You don’t have to know the words to a Machine Gun Kelly song to have heard the artist’s name. In fact, if you haven’t heard his name in the last several months, well, where have you been?
From the toi et moi engagement ring he bestowed upon his now-fiancée Megan Fox, to the headline-making fashion and jewels he wore at red carpet events and performances, MGK, whose real name is Colson Baker, has shown a flair for jewelry that you don’t see from too many men (though, excitingly, that number is growing).
On the topic of MGK’s red carpet appearances, one in particular caught many a jewelry fan’s eye: a $30,000 manicure courtesy of Nails of LA (and its founder Brittney Boyce) in partnership with Marrow Fine Jewelry, spotted at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
Dressed as an “emo cactus”—the singer’s own words, as captioned on his Instagram—he wore head-to-toe custom Dolce & Gabbana that featured metal spikes and Swarovski crystals. His 11.4 cts. t.w. diamond manicure was the perfect finishing touch.
It took more than 10 hours to create the diamond nail art, but the designer tips will have lasting impact: The stones are set to be upcycled into a series of limited-edition rings, the proceeds of which will go to a charity of MGK’s choosing.
We had a few questions for Marrow Fine Jewery’s founder, Jillian Sassone, on this seriously cool opportunity.
Can you tell us a bit about how this opportunity/partnership with Nails of LA was presented?
Brittney and I have worked together in the past and she called me three months ago saying, “I have this crazy idea….” She pitched the diamond manicure concept, and I was immediately in. She works with Megan Fox and MGK and had them in mind for the project. We both agreed that the diamonds should later be upcycled for a charitable cause.
Can you tell us a little more about the rings that the diamonds will be upcycled into?
Yes! Brittney removed the preformed nails from MGK and soaked the diamonds off of the nails. I will turn the stones into 10 rings that will be sold at marrowfine.com, and 100% of the proceeds will go to a Cleveland-based charity (where MGK is from).
And how about the charity the proceeds from the rings’ sales will go to?
MGK’s team hasn’t announced the charity yet but will soon in a press release. In the meantime, I’m creating the rings that will take six to eight weeks to complete.
MGK also wore the Til Death ring you sent him during his performance at the BBMAs! How did it feel to see your work in such a spotlight?
It was wild! We really didn’t know if there would even be time for Brittney to apply the nails between his rehearsal and hitting the red carpet, so once she started sending me progress photos of the nail application, we were getting so excited. And then he hit the red carpet with our Waterfall cigar band as a pinky ring and the Til Death enamel band on the other hand—I was screaming.
MGK is a style icon in his own right, pushing the boundaries of what has long been considered men’s fashion. How much of an impact do you think he, along with other celebs like Harry Styles and Timothée Chalamet, have on the general public?
I love that there is becoming more of a fluidity in fashion—so many more pieces feel androgynous now. It feels like the old rules are going out the door, and it’s an exciting time to be in fashion.
Have you noticed an increase in the demand for jewelry from men? Absolutely. More and more men are coming in wanting to explore jewelry outside of just the traditional wedding band, and men’s jewelry is a vastly underserved sector of the market.
MGK and Megan Fox have also had their share of influence on the wedding scene—her toi et moi ring and the recent goth bride trends as examples. Have you gotten any interesting requests for engagement rings or wedding bands recently, or noticed any particularly different trends?
Yes. Toi et mois have been increasing in popularity again since Emily Ratajakowski’s flooded everyone’s Instagram feed a few years back. I personally love creating them because there are so many fascinating combinations of color and shape. Our Til Death black enamel band has been the solid breakout star of 2022. It resonates with so many different brides and they can get matching bands with their partner, which we’re also getting more and more requests for. I think the pandemic has made people more sentimental in general. We’re seeing a lot of heirloom stone reworks or mixing a family wedding band into their bridal ring stack, which is such a sweet way to honor a loved one.
Top: Machine Gun Kelly wears custom Dolce & Gabbana and a $30,000 diamond manicure by Nails of LA in partnership with Marrow Fine Jewelry (photos courtesy Nails of LA)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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