On Nov. 26, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal surprised holiday shoppers at Zales’ flagship Fifth Avenue location in New York City by working behind the counter.
The 7’1″ four-time NBA champion, who recently added jewelry designer to his resume, was promoting the debut of the Shaquille O’Neal Collection in collaboration with Zales. “Shaquille has a broad appeal and is popular among generations,” Theo Killion, CEO of Zale Corp., says.
The 36-piece collection includes men’s rings, pendants, and bracelets ranging from $129-$500. “The pieces are affordable, sexy, and classy,” O’Neal tells JCK.
O’Neal worked with various designers and George Vacval, managing director of CDQT, to create the line. “Shaq has always been a leader when it comes to fashion. The partnership was a natural fit,” Vacval says.
“I’m the center and George is the forward. He gives the ball to me and I shoot it,” O’Neal says.
O’Neal with fans at the Zales flagship store
Lucky fans at Monday’s event browsed the new collection while receiving fashion advice from Shaq himself. “Keep it classy and presentable. You have to dress for your age group,” O’Neal says.
O’Neal tells JCK that when dressing up and accessorizing, he looks to make an impression on a woman’s parents.
Although we are unsure which lucky lady gets to bring O’Neal home for the holidays, women across the country may have the chance to wear Shaq-inspired jewelry in the future. “Shaq’s men’s line has been well-received so there is definitely a possibility of launching a women’s line,” Vacval says.
O’Neal with Theo Killion, CEO of Zale