Luxury brands are eager to cater to the desires of men as, “men are wearing more and more jewelry,” says Caroline Gaspard, founder of Akillis, a French-based jewelry brand which specializes in unisex jewelry. “The barriers are falling, and younger men are confident in expressing their own look.” Although the jewelry industry is still very much female-centric, brands are making headway by catering to men who are more fashion-forward and not afraid of expressing their individuality through jewelry.
Bourcheron and Van Cleef & Arples remember the time when they received orders from maharajas for extravagant neck pieces and brooches which represented their power and wealth. It is unlikely for men to start wearing bombastic pieces of such magnitude, but the trend of men wearing jewelry is definitely on the rise. Simon Spiteri, an accessories buyer for MR PORTER, says “the small details of men’s style have become increasingly more important to highlight [their] look and [help them] stand out.” He continued, “Asian men are more willing to try different accessories. [However], as much as the men’s jewelry sector is consistently growing, it is still a low value category compared to watches and cufflinks.”
Watches like a Rolex or a Patek Phillipe are to men what a Cartier Love bracelet or Birkin bag are to women. Most men are more comfortable wearing a watch, but designers have noticed a trend in the last decade where men have started to include jewelry in their wardrobe, and not just the rock or sport stars. Designer Stephen Webster uses rose gold, silver and diamonds, as well as black sapphires and rutile quartz in his jewelry. He draws inspiration from switchblades, ravens, thorns and geometric shapes to create a masculine, sleek finish. Braided leather bracelets from Bottega Veneta for a business executive and an Alexander McQueen skull bracelet for a night out.