Frank Ocean’s jewelry line wants to be like Tiffany, not Travis Scott

It’s unclear how or when Frank Ocean might return to the limelight.

It’s been nearly a year and a half since he released a pair of songs, “Dear April” and “Cayendo,” and remixes for each, which would have suggested the start of an album rollout if he involved a more convention-minded artist. Two years have passed since Ocean last spoke to the press and four since he performed in front of a live audience. When he last released a full project, Blondit was August 2016 and just a day after he released another one, Unendingwho ably sealed his contract with Def Jam and allowed him to move forward as a freelance actor.

Ocean is one of the few people who can grab the attention of millions out of thin air, and that’s exactly what he did last Friday by breaking his silence with the press with a cover story for the FinancialTimes. Any excitement for the rare interview and the potential for it to be used to promote new music was quickly tempered, however, when it became clear that the coverage was all about a new line of jewelry made by Ocean.

Homer is the name of the new venture of Ocean, a fine jewelry line sold only by phone or in a store in New York’s Chinatown. An Instagram account for Homer hasn’t posted any posts and has already gained nearly 150,000 followers since the brand was introduced to the world on Friday. A brief catalog of Homer’s first set of jewelry can be viewed on the brand’s website, while print versions made available for free are listed as “out of stock”. Looking at the range in either form reveals prices few can afford.

Luxury

Homer

Ocean has already gifted its rabid fan base with somewhat typical, if not more tasteful, merchandise scraps on its website and during its 2017 festival appearances. Hoodies, sweatpants, iPhone cases and “Blonded” brand boxers released in early January 2020 with prices ranging from $15 to $150. Other versions were also accessible cost-wise, assuming, of course, you were quick enough to get in before it all sold out. Homer is in an entirely different category — the goal is not to sell products to Frank Ocean fans, but to sell high-end jewelry that happens to be made by Frank Ocean.

Fans like passionate as his will want something associated to her name.

Homer uses ceramic, gold, silver and diamonds in cartoonish pendants, chains, bracelets, rings and earrings that should look familiar to anyone familiar with the artist’s work. and prolific merchant Takashi Murakami.

A smiling, Pokémon-esque character hanging from a silver chain sells for $1,385, while a standalone butterfly pendant fetches $780 in rhodium-plated silver or $5,135 for 18k yellow gold. On the high end is a graphic purple, pink and red chain in 18k white and yellow gold and an abundance of lab-grown diamonds. The asking price for the rapper-level piece is $471,900, the highest known price for the fledgling Homer line. According to FinancialTimes article, however, there is another unnamed piece that will cost $1.9 million.

Even Homer’s much lower prices are likely to alienate the majority of Ocean fans, perhaps unwittingly, but the natural byproduct of wading into fine jewelry. Fans as passionate as him will want everything associated with his name, and this time around they’ll be dealing with a limited budget rather than a limited supply.

$$$$

Homer

You can’t lament Ocean for following her heart to craft jewelry, and her obligation to her fans ends with the accurate delivery of what they paid for. Yet this latest development in his career stands in stark contrast to what we are used to. While Travis Scott has a scattershot approach to branding that has seen a meal invented for him at McDonald’s and fortified seltzer available at a liquor store near you, Ocean is less interested in making himself available for everything. the world. “I didn’t want our work to be cheaper than Cartier,” he told the FinancialTimes.

Preparation for Homer’s launch began in 2019 with a collective of 20 craftsman friends in his home to create tables, chairs, light fixtures, seating and a deadbolt lock that Ocean calls “beautiful” for its detail despite a “mundane and ordinary”. key and mechanism. None of these items were made for sale, but part of Homer’s early collection includes a play on the classic Cuban-link bracelet that took him and his team a year and a half. half to make.

Homer is the first for ocean itself then for anyone can afford.

With such craftsmanship, not to mention the precious metals and stones, Ocean’s wearables should cost as much as Tiffany & Co. or Cartier rather than being sold to the masses like the commodities of its musical peers. Take what you might call the most highly regarded product of Travis Scott’s prolific collaborations and it still can’t compare to what Ocean is doing now with Homer. Sure, Scott recently lent his hand on a Dior collection – but few would argue that his contributions are worth spending on luxury.

Silent movements

Homer also collaborated with Prada on a soon-to-be-released capsule featuring backpacks and anoraks, the latter continuing a narrative that began with Ocean wearing a relatively simple black Prada jacket to the Met Gala as everyone stretched out. too much. themselves to embody the theme of “camp”.

These items won’t be for all of us either, and only time will tell when Ocean releases something more democratic, whether it’s cheaper merchandise or what fans really want: new music. Homer is first for Ocean himself, then for anyone who can afford him. Considering what he’s given us already, you shouldn’t be salty if you have to wait for this one.