When Frank Everett, Sotheby’s senior vice president and vice chairman of jewelry in the Americas, conceived “For the Boys,” the auction house’s first selling exhibition focused entirely on men’s jewelry (held in New York in September), he knew he wanted to feature jewels that defied expectations.
“I’d been seeing more and more great editorial work on jewelry on men really thinking beyond traditional pieces that men are comfortable wearing, like dog tags—which are military-inspired and cool—and bead bracelets that relate back to surfer culture,” Everett says. “We wanted to also think outside that box. Why not wear groovy long chains from Cartier from the 1970s? Why not wear art deco on your lapel in the way so many guys are wearing?”
Perhaps unwittingly, Everett had hit upon the most cutting-edge idea in the men’s jewelry category: that there’s no such thing as “men’s jewelry.”
The slew of men who now gravitate to pieces that are classically feminine—think diamond tennis necklaces, diamond brooches, and teeny-tiny wristwatches (here’s looking at you, Timothée Chalamet)—proves that the very idea of men’s jewelry is bound for the dustbin of history.
Brooches may be the easiest way to persuade men to wear diamonds, Everett says.
“I love brooches for men and think in many ways they’re better for men than women,” he says. “They can be heavy, and fabric doesn’t always support a brooch. You really can’t see a red-carpet event now without men wearing brooches, from a simple stickpin from Victorian times to a big diamond flower by Van Cleef & Arpels in the ’50s.”
Below and at top, we’ve collected a handful of styles that are bound to appeal to your male clientele—including a big diamond flower. Retailers, don’t be shy about encouraging them!
Top: Maple leaf brooch, circa late 1800s, in darkened silver over 14k gold with 1.75 cts. t.w. old mine cut diamonds centered on a single old European cut diamond, $3,450; Lang Antique & Estate JewelryFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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