Lately, it seems like Frank Ocean is creating and existing on his own terms. Following the release of his critically acclaimed 2016 album Blonde, the acclaimed private artist experimented with a range of creative non-musical productions. As well as releasing a handful of singles, Ocean has launched a string of queer-friendly tracks. dance parties in Queens, launched a voter registration campaign before the 2020 elections, has become the face of a Prada campaign, and even bought a modular Dune Sofa by Pierre Paulin.
Unbeknownst to us, Ocean also worked hard to design jewelry. From his Bowery studio in Manhattan, Ocean recently announced the launch of Homer, a line he describes as an “independent American luxury company.” The inaugural collection includes dozens of bracelets encrusted with lab-grown diamonds, hand-painted enamel pendants, patterned silk scarves, and 18-karat gold and recycled sterling silver rings carved into words such as “A- OKAY”. (A planned collaboration with Prada is also forthcoming.)
Although the collection radiates personality and joy a la “Takashi Murakami and the graphic energy of ’90s club flyers” according to the FinancialTimes, it’s clear that Ocean takes craftsmanship seriously. He recently said he “didn’t want our work to be cheaper than Cartier”, making it clear that Homer’s reach extends far beyond just another hard-fisted celebrity collection. Prices also range from entry-level ($435 for an enamel pendant) to extravagant ($1.9 million for a “spherical leg necklace”). The whole line plays in a 84-page catalog shot by frequent collaborator Tyrone Lebon, who directed Ocean’s video for “Nikes.” The collection is only available for purchase in-store – above The Jewelry Exchange at 70-74 Bowery in Manhattan – by appointment starting today, August 9, by calling or texting to the store using the Signal encrypted app.
While the pivot to jewelry may seem unexpected from the start, Ocean’s new venture follows a current trend in which artisan jewelers and fresh-faced designers have dramatically expanded their offerings for men, from pearl necklaces to drop earrings, as the lines between masculinity and femininity in fashion become less clear. “Hand on my heart, this project has kept my mind racing and my imagination racing throughout it all,” Ocean wrote in a now-expired post. instagram story. “My hope is to make things that last, that are hard to destroy, set in stone. It’s been three years in the making and there’s so much that I’m excited to share with all of you strangers.