Industry / Pearls

Men’s Pearls Continue to Score as Fashion-Forward Fans Layer Up


Along with the traditional seasonal fling with flowers, beaded necklaces, and armsful of cuffs and heavy bracelets, New York Fashion Week’s spring runways sported another jewelry trend: men in pearls.

Thanks to celebrities like Harry Styles and major fashion houses such as Marc Jacobs, men wearing pearls has gone from a surprising moment to long-term play. Kentaro Nishimura, COO of Mikimoto America, notes that pearls are “essential jewelry for everyday life for all genders and generations.”

At Jacobs’ New York Fashion Week show last February, all the runway models donned classic Mikimoto akoya pearl strands and studs, as a balance to the designer’s 1990s punk–inspired Heroes collection.

Jacobs himself walked in Mikimoto while wearing a black sweater, black skirt, and black chunky boots. Jacobs has worn pearls for several years now, sharing in interviews how his pearls have become a good-luck charm, so he wears them daily.

Marc Jacobs Mikimoto
Fashion designer Marc Jacobs highlighted Mikimoto pearls at his New York Fashion Week show called Heroes and wears his strand every day. (Photo courtesy of Marc Jacobs)

Mikimoto’s Nishimura says: “The momentum at which pearls have grown in popularity is incredible—and is in large part due to their timelessness and elegance. We’re celebrating our 130th anniversary this year, with new campaigns and product launches to share the beauty and history of Mikimoto and its high-quality pearls with the world.”

It’s about time men stepped up to this classic in the jewelry world, says Leon Rbibo, president of the Pearl Source and Laguna Pearl.

“Men, welcome to the current century,” Rbibo says. “Pearls for guys are going to continue to trend. We’ve seen everyone from Sam Smith to Pharrell, Harry Styles, and A$AP Rocky pull off the pearl look—don’t expect that to stop.”

Rbibo expects jumbo pearls and long drop earrings to trend. Pearls can go large without breaking the bank, he says, especially if you look at freshwater as an option. He also thinks pearl studs are great for men with everything from dressy wear for an upscale evening event to “ripped denim for brunch the next day.”

Freshwater studs
Men can wear pearl studs ($99), such as these from the Pearl Source, during the daytime or evening, says the Pearl Source president Leon Rbibo. (Photo courtesy of the Pearl Source)

“The bigger, the better. The chunkier, the better. The more layers, the better. You get the idea,” Rbibo says. “Customers are looking for statement pieces that give that wow factor, and they get it with both of these categories [necklaces and earrings].”

Athletes are hopping on the bandwagon too. Alex Cannon, cofounder of men’s jewelry brand Craftd London, says his company got a big PR push when soccer star Raheem Sterling wore its pearl necklace while in uniform.

“I love seeing athletes showing glimpses of their fashion style on the pitch. Raheem is leading the way with his fashion choices, as per usual,” Cannon says. “We’re proud to have Raheem wearing Craftd. He’s a world-class player and an inspiration to many. Every man wants to feel confiden,t and our pieces are designed to help them achieve that feeling.”

Top: Men who want to try pearls can wear a simple single stone, like on this leather necklace with a golden baroque pearl ($139), says the Pearl Source president Leon Rbibo. (Photo courtesy of the Pearl Source)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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