Diamonds and Pearls

The men’s jewelry category has been a fast-growing one for the last several years. As a result, designers of both fine and costume jewelry have been entering the men’s sector or expanding their men’s businesses. This year, for example, Tiffany’s added to its men’s assortment by creating its first engagement rings for men, while fine jeweler Gabriel & Co. launched its first dedicated men’s collection, encompassing wedding and engagement rings, chains and pendants, bracelets, cuff links, and money clips. Several retailers, both online and off, have increased their men’s ranges dramatically in the past year as well. Jewelry category watchers such as WWD have attributed the growth, at least in part, to male consumers increasingly using bold statement pieces for self-expression.

Naturally, licensed and collaborative lines have been part of the mix. For instance:

  • The Karl Lagerfeld label announced last month that it has entered into a licensing agreement with The Jewelry Group that will include a men’s collection to launch in 2022. The men’s range will follow two chunky women’s collections (Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Lagerfeld Paris) debuting in the U.S. and seven other countries.
  • In November 2021, men’s jewelry brand Mister SFC added Naruto to its portfolio of licensed pieces. The collection features shinobi (ninja) and other symbols associated with the anime series, on rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets of stainless steel with black, chrome, and gold finishes. The company’s other licenses include Marvel, DC Comics, Star Wars, and Playboy.
  • Also in November, Hearst and IMG launched an Esquire men’s collection at Jared, in collaboration with SHR Jewelry Group.The line is named Estd.1933 by Esquire, after the year the magazine launched, and consists of bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and rings in a variety of materials and textures. SHR is a long-time men’s jewelry vendor to Jared.
  • The Elvis Presley estate teamed with Zales for a men’s collection in September 2021, with pieces ranging from diamond rings to linked chains to diamond-framed, two-toned 10-carat gold cufflinks featuring silhouette busts of Elvis. The initial assortment includes 23 styles in all.
  • Jewelry designer Kendra Scott launched her first men’s and gender-neutral collection, Scott Bros. by Kendra Scott, in June 2021, hinting during the launch event that a collaboration with soccer club Austin F.C. was in the works. The designer’s three sons are partners in the new men’s label, and some of the styles—which feature natural stones like lapis, tiger’s eye, and jasper—are named after them. A current offering of 13 Cade oxidized sterling silver beaded bracelets for men includes one piece, the verde mix, that is a result of the Austin F.C. partnership, with 20% of the proceeds going to the club’s 4ATX Foundation charity. Scott also produces Longhorn charms under a license with the University of Texas at Austin.
  • In April of 2021, Italian luxury label Palm Angels, founded by art director and photographer Francesco Ragazzi and influenced by L.A. skater culture, announced a collaboration with emerging men’s jewelry designer Bleue Wickham-Burnham and his Bleue Burnham label for a seven-piece capsule collection made from lab-created and natural fair-trade “galaxy” sapphires and recycled precious metals.
  • Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs and his Bikkembergs label signed a five-year licensing deal with Arkano Srl, an Italian jeweler, in 2020 as part of an ongoing transition into a lifestyle brand. The collection includes three ranges of rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Bikkembergs’ other licensees produce footwear, underwear and beachwear, ready-to-wear, junior footwear, textile and leather accessories, fragrances, and children’s wear.
  • Marvel Entertainment paired with men’s jewelry specialist GLD, also in 2020, for a line of pendants that includes both higher-end gold-and-precious stone pieces and more affordable examples, all tied to Marvel Superhero icons. Designs range from Spiderman’s mask to Captain America’s shield. Fans voted on the 10 characters to be included in the initial release.

In addition to the proliferation in men’s ranges, more jewelry companies are introducing gender-neutral lines. In June, designer Zac Posen and online jewelry brand Blue Nile debuted a unisex collection of 12 engagement and wedding rings, for example, marking the second collaboration between the two partners.

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