Ocean has that uniquely compelling draw because he’s carved out a one-person home at the intersection of massive global popularity and exquisite, niche taste. He’s done billions of Spotify streams, but seems more interested in collecting the perfect old Céline bag than in embracing the trappings of celebrity. Fans and fashion insiders alike have long wondered whether—or when—Ocean would launch a project that aligned with his famously particular tastes in clothing. Though the ultimate ambitions of Homer are yet unclear, Monday’s drop is billed as the “first collection”—the first, perhaps, of many, including a forthcoming collaboration with Prada. What’s nearly certain is that Homer will be more like Tyler, the Creator’s Golf Wang or A$AP Rocky’s AWGE—defined by unpredictable drops and one-off projects meant for a new generation fluent in personal style—than a world-eating Cactus Jack or Yeezy.
And while launching a new luxury brand with jewelry might seem slightly out of left field, Ocean’s own personal adornment has traced the shifting contours of masculinity in fashion. In the Channel Orange era, Ocean occasionally wore the brash iced-out Jesus pieces and dookie ropes that once defined the hip-hop aesthetic. In the ensuing years, as DIY brands and artisanal jewellers have introduced pearl necklaces, diamond chokers, and dangly earrings into the menswear lexicon (and as luxury brands have followed suit by introduced more delicate forms for men), Ocean’s taste in jewelry has become softer and more subtle. In 2018, he posted a flowery bracelet made of emeralds and pink diamonds on his Instagram story, spawning dozens of Depop dupes. He took to wearing slim silver hoop earrings and subtle cushion-cut diamond studs. On his 2019 GQ cover, he wore a simple custom ID bracelet engraved with the phrase “Feel Loved.”
It turns out that Ocean’s fascination with making jewelry might have been hiding under our noses this whole time. In that cover story, Vegyn, the co-host of Ocean’s Blonded Radio show, asks if he’s got any resolutions going into the new year. “I didn’t do my last one, to be honest with you,” Ocean replies. “My last one was self-decoration, and I haven’t finished any of my jewelry, so I’m gonna carry that on to next year.”
Today, finally, Ocean’s quest for self-decoration has been fulfilled.
This piece was originally published in GQ US
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