Fashion / Industry

Dominick Gabriel on Why Now Is the Right Time to Promote Men’s Jewelry


In the more than three decades that Gabriel & Co. has been in the jewelry business, this year marks the first time the New York–based manufacturer has created a dedicated collection of men’s fashion jewelry.

“Last year, we introduced a men’s wedding band,” Dominick Gabriel, the company’s co-owner, senior vice president, and chief design officer (pictured), tells JCK. “Consumers had been saying, ‘My engagement ring and wedding band are from Gabriel, and I want my husband’s band to be Gabriel too. But do you have something else for men’s gifts, for his birthday, for Father’s Day?’ We knew it was time to create a men’s fashion line.”

Brimming with 125 pieces in silver, gold, and two-tone, ranging from $150 to around $7,000, the collection arrives at a key moment for men’s jewelry, as millennial and Gen Z consumers push sales and interest in the category to new heights. To hear Gabriel tell it, even the generation coming up behind Gen Z is on board.

Gabriel & Co. silver chain bracelet
Sterling silver chain bracelet, $175

“My younger son is turning 11,” Gabriel says. “We said, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ He told us he wants a gold bracelet. Usually, they want a game, an iPhone. That put a smile on my face.”

Below, Gabriel tells JCK about the 1980s-eque inspiration for the line, why now is the right time to be in the men’s jewelry business, and which pieces from the collection he personally favors.

After all these years, why was now the right moment to introduce your first dedicated men’s collection?

Going back three or four years ago, I saw the trend of the ’80s and ’90s coming back. I was telling my wife, herringbone is back. If you remember in the ’80s and ’90s, men’s jewelry was very popular. We’re seeing more and more of it now. But you don’t want to be too early in the wave. Because our retail partners, if we introduced it three years ago, the turnover wouldn’t have been as good, so they would have been discouraged.

Gabriel & Co. nugget yellow gold ring
Wide 14k yellow gold faceted nugget band, $1,775

We started getting demand for men’s jewelry when we introduced the men’s band, but we didn’t want to release the collection in the heaviness of the pandemic. Consumers were asking us for men’s wedding bands, and they started asking us, what else do you have? We have a very active community online. And we realized, OK, it’s time. Now the market is ready for it.

What are the distinguishing details of your collection?

We have silver and gold and the combination of two-tone. The collection has around 125 pieces, from cufflinks to men’s bands to men’s bracelets, necklaces and medallions. And thank God it’s been received phenomenally by our retailers. We’re seeing some good sell-through.

Gabriel & Co. rose white gold chain bracelet
14k rose and white gold chain bracelet, $3,775

The more popular price point, less than $1,000, of course that’s going to turn. That’s natural (for gifting and so forth). But what we’re seeing is a lot of higher-ticket items are selling. One of our retail partners was telling us that now the consumer has something to buy other than a watch for their loved one. Before they didn’t have that option. From gold cufflinks to gold bracelets, pieces that are a few thousand dollars are selling.

And the collection is growing. We will introduce another 20 to 30 styles for JCK Las Vegas 2022.

Some people think it’s no longer necessary to specify gender when talking about jewelry. Do you think we’re headed for a future in which all jewelry is genderless?

I wouldn’t say that’s where we’re heading. But our approach is more that we design beautiful jewelry and if a woman wants to wear it, great, and if a man wants to wear it, great also.

We have a sizing kit for bracelets. As you know, bangle bracelets are very popular and there was no sizing kit for bangles, so we created one. And we didn’t say men’s or women’s; we have it for both. Because you’re seeing now, tennis bracelets being worn by men. Or the Cuban link—those big chains being worn by men and by women. Some particular styles are more feminine, but a lot could be worn by both.

What are some of the ’80s-inspired pieces you included in the line?

Remember the Italian horns that were very popular then? We also brought the nugget back but in a very different way—we brought it very contemporary, very subtle. We brought herringbone back. I wear a bracelet, a herringbone-inspired design in a men’s cuff. There was great design in the ’70s and ’80s, and phenomenal trends and we take our inspiration from them, we just change the interpretations for today’s consumers.

Gabriel & Co. gold Italian horn pendant
14k yellow gold Italian horn pendant, $325

Which pieces from the collection do you personally wear?

I have two pieces from the collection. I made them for myself three years ago and when I went to shows, retailers would ask, do you sell them? I did these two designs for me, and they’re in the collection. One is the herringbone bangle, I have it in rose gold. But it’s available in silver and yellow too.

Gabriel & Co. herringbone cuff bracelet
Herringbone cuff bracelet in 14k rose gold, $4,990

And I have a two-tone line bracelet, with rose gold and white gold. Neither has stones. It’s more that casual everyday look. I’m wearing it every day. What’s funny is, after you wear it, you feel naked if you don’t have your jewelry on. It cheers you up. Even on the weekends, I’m home, I’ll finish working out, and I’ll put my jewelry on, even if I’m sitting there in my sweatpants.

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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