Kanye West’s fine jewelry collaboration with designer Jacob Arabo, Jacob & Co. x Kanye West, officially debuted in April—but has only recently partnered with a powerhouse fashion retailer.
The collection of 18k gold pieces, made up mainly of chain necklaces strung with irregularly shaped cast medallions, debuted on Colette’s website this week and is also being stocked at the brick-and-mortar Parisian boutique.
The collection has that edgy, primitive-cum-artifact look that’s currently finding an enthusiastic following among fashion-forward consumers.
But the line is prohibitively expensive. The lowest priced piece in the collection—the This Is a God Dream band ring—is $2,489. It’s an etched gold band. The most expensive: an 18k gold Virgin Mary medallion bearing zero gemstones, priced at $22,165 (see photo at top).
Entwined ring, $4,986
Angel Gabriel medallion necklace, $14,603
Fine craftsmanship and artistic vision should come at a cost, undoubtedly. An elegant piece by a visionary designer (the likes of a Cat Bates or a Pamela Love) fabricated in a base metal should be priced well above its labor and materials total.
But in this collection, the jeweler and hip-hop star clearly see West—his fame, work, and notoriety—as the expensive element, beyond the raw gold and cool-but-elemental design.
And as with his fashion collection, which has often touted basic apparel items (like leotards and leggings) as innovations, West feels the fruits of his singular designing mind justify the sky-high prices here.
Whether or not this “personality” surcharge makes sense is, by any measure, highly subjective.
(Top: Virgin Mary medallion necklace, $22,165. All photos courtesy of Colette)