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Frank Ocean Launches Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Line, Opens Store
“Homer” is a meditation on permanence and the idea of leaving a legacy.
The old is a reverence for the brick-and-mortar experience. The line, called Homer, has launched without e-commerce.
It is available exclusively at its store in downtown Manhattan at 70-74 Bowery, opened Aug. 9.
Located in Chinatown at Canal Street, it’s in the vicinity of the neighborhood’s jewelry haunts that deliver the basics, such as gold chains and diamond pavé pendants.
Those who can’t make it into the store to shop in person can call to place an order; global shipping is free.
Homer announced its debut with a free limited-edition printed catalog that quickly ran out, with the cover shot by Ocean himself, and the artfully arranged campaign imagery by frequent collaborator Tyrone Lebon.
The new is Homer’s eschewing of natural diamonds for lab-grown diamonds manufactured at a “state- of-the-art lab” in the United States.
Designed in New York City, Homer is manufactured by hand in Italy in 18-karat gold, recycled sterling silver, vivid hand-painted enamel, and the aforementioned lab-grown diamonds.
In a statement, the brand cited its inspirations as “childhood obsessions” and “heritage as a fantasy.”
Rainbow shades of enamel adorn cartoon-like figures that bring to mind Japanese anime. One motif is a riff on a toy jack.
There are also more stylistically subdued, but technically impressive, gold and silver bracelets with specially crafted twisted links.
Ocean is a notoriously elusive interviewee but spoke about Homer to the Financial Times in his first interview in two years. He elaborated on his inspirations to the publication, citing his need to establish a tangible legacy.
The name Homer is an allusion to the Greek poet and author of “The Odyssey” and “Iliad.”
“Homer is considered the father of history and history is meant to endure—the same as diamonds and gold—and I know Homer used papyrus, but I’ve always liked the idea of carving history into stone,” Ocean told FT.
This desire, he said, is the result of being able to trace his personal lineage to the early 1700s slave trade. Ocean’s legal last name, Breaux, was a name the French commonly gave to slaves.
Homer is Ocean’s way of naming himself. The work asserts his autonomy, his ability to craft his own narrative.
Per FT, Homer has been in the works for about three years, but really began to develop in 2019, when the musician hosted 20 creator friends in a variety of design-focused fields—architects, carpenters, metalworkers and horticulturists—in a secluded, empty house outside of Los Angeles.
Some of the works they crafted, like tables, chairs and lighting, became the basis of the Homer jewelry designs and, though not for sale, can be seen in the catalog.
Working with resin at this unofficial creative summit also inspired the use of the material in the Bowery Street store and Homer’s packaging.
Ocean is known for being a disruptor in the music industry.
Getting out of a contract with his old label Def Jam, he released the album “Endless” under the imprint in 2016 then released a secret album, the critically acclaimed “Blonde,” the following day.
He seems to be bringing the same rebellious attitude to Homer, which at press time, boasts 145,000 Instagram followers and, yet, zero posts.
Homer’s first collection comprises 25 pieces and is priced from $395 to $1.9 million.
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