In the realm of high jewellery, the likes of Boucheron, Tiffany & Co, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton have all launched collections that are either gender-fluid or specific to men. What has given birth to this ‘resurgence’? Katerina Perez, Editor-in-Chief of KaterinaPerez.com, believes that rather than calling it resurgence, we must put men’s jewellery in context.
I think it would be counterintuitive for brands to throw their energy behind a ‘men’s collection’. What we can see from current trends in the market is that jewels that were likely designed for women are being worn by men. I will point you to the likes of Boucheron that has demonstrated an enviable ability to create high jewels with stylish potential for men and women, with advertising images that show pieces worn with equal panache by both gendersHere is an excerpt of Diamond World's interview with Katerina Perez:
Why is there a sudden surge in demand for men’s jewellery – what are the socio-economic and cultural changes that have paved the way for this segment to shine in the last year?
Rather than being a sudden surge, I think we need to put men’s jewellery in context. The landscape of masculinity is changing and as more celebrities tap into their individualism, we have seen a steady increase in men wearing fine jewellery on the redcarpet, including Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes and Timothée Chalamet. Gender fluidity has also played a role in the diversification of jewellery, helping to shift perceptions and ‘unlock’ the styling potential of jewels typically designed for women. It is also interesting that both Jay-Z and Beyoncé were chosen to be the new faces of Tiffany & Co. What influence will this have on the men’s diamond jewellery market, for example? I expect to see an increase in demand for men’s engagement rings as a direct result of this campaign.
In your observation, what defines the characteristics and the style sensibility of the target audience of these collections?
In general, we are seeing a youthful, metrosexual and gender fluid cohort finding new avenues of self-expression through jewellery. If we use the recent Met Gala and Cannes Film Festival as examples, there were vintage pieces, diamond-set brooches, single line diamond necklaces, pendants, multi-stacked rings and, in the case of French actor Nicolas Maury, there was Boucheron high jewellery in the form of an ear cuff and brooch. There’s a sense of ‘subverting’ the status quo with oversized brooches pinned to traditional tuxedo jackets and pearl strands hidden beneath collars.
What are the significant trends when it comes to men’s jewellery? What are men more inclined towards adorning themselves with?
I believe we are only seeing the beginning of the brooch revival in both men’s and women’s jewellery right now. When they do appear on the red carpet (something that is becoming increasingly frequent), we tend to see them in their ‘traditional’ place on the lapel of a jacket. However, even this is being challenged by the best-dressed men. For example, in a recent promotional video, the South Korean actor, Lee Jung-jae, who is now recognised globally for his role in Squid Game (Netflix), was dressed in a sharp suit wearing numerous gem-set brooches near the shoulder and on the lower chest. Elsewhere, TimothéeChalamet wore Cartier diamond brooches onthe cummerbund of his deconstructed suit at the Met Gala 2021.
As an influencer/blogger why would you urge brands to tap into this market, if they haven’t already?
I think it would be counterintuitive for brands to throw their energy behind a ‘men’s collection’. What we can see from current trends in the market is that jewels that were likely designed for women are being worn by men. I will point you to the likes of Boucheron that has demonstrated an enviable ability to create high jewels with stylish potential for men and women, with advertising images that show pieces worn with equal panache by both genders. More energy needs to be placed, therefore, into designing collections with fluidity and s non-conformist attitude that can be enjoyed by all. When pieces are specifically for men, for example the Charles Tiffany Setting men’s engagement ring by Tiffany & Co., it is more powerfully done as a standalone – an icon of sorts – that takes on its own legend. I expect more brands to debut or revive ‘iconic’ men’s engagement ring designs in the coming months.