Jewelry is an elegant expression of metal and gemstones. It’s inherently genderless. But in the United States, it’s mainly been marketed to, and worn by, women for the past two centuries—since the stateside colonialists cast off the fussy sartorial trappings of the British gentry. You don’t see many diamond stick pins in Revolutionary War paintings, now do you?
But when it comes to men wearing jewelry, a new era has definitely dawned. And it’s being led by young male entertainers—pop stars and A-list actors including Harry Styles, Gucci Mane, Timothée Chalamet, the Jonas Brothers, and Shawn Mendes. These millennial and Gen Z peacocks aren’t shackled by antiquated ideas of “manly” jewels! They won’t be boxed in by the snoozy, old opinion that men should limit their jewelry to a wedding band, a watch, and maybe a small stud earring or two. Styles has made men in pearls a real thing (just ask the Jonas Brothers). Mendes and Gucci Mane donned diamond necklaces to the Grammys. And Chalamet is the king of bejeweled brooches.
Will this men-wearing-flashy-jewelry moment be a flash in the pan? Considering how quickly attitudes on gender and sexuality are changing and evolving in the United States, I wouldn’t bet on it. Already we’re seeing manufacturers respond to the shifting of the sands. Collections geared toward guys have been cropping up quickly—major players Jacquie Aiche and David Yurman both recently debuted full men’s collections.
But this wave isn’t just about making more—and better—jewelry for men, though that’s a welcome turn of events. It’s about removing the gender labels from jewelry entirely—and shaking up our ideas about who gets to wear big gemstones, statement pieces, and classically pretty jewels.
Enter gender-fluid jewelry collections: brands (and ranges within brands) that create pieces meant to be worn by anyone who loves them, male, female, or gender nonbinary. These collections, and ones that will inevitably follow them, represent inclusivity—and also opportunity for the industry. If men embrace jewelry even a fraction as much as women do, think how much the industry would grow.
Here are a few gender-free lines we love.
Founded by Kiera Junghyun Kim in 2017, genderless jewelry brand Undefined offers tough-feeling silver pieces designed to make men and women feel powerful. Its spring 2020 collection is composed of “sterling silver jewelry that reflects not what divides us, but what unifies us all as human beings,” reads a press release on the debut.
XX/XY by Eva Fehren
Eva Fehren’s new XX/XY collection, which dropped last November, “explores and celebrates the delicate line between masculine and feminine to appeal to the unique duality within each of us.” The range includes edgy–but–old world lapel pins, collar chains, cufflinks, and fabulous signet rings set with geometric-cut black and gray diamonds.
Cofounded by Jess Hannah Révész, founder of J.Hannah Fine Jewelry, and business partner Chelsea Nicholson in 2018, Los Angeles’ Ceremony makes “unisex” wedding brands and rings that are chic, minimalist, and made for everyone.
Top: Eva Fehren XX/XY white gold and diamond ring (photo courtesy of Eva Fehren)
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