If you think about men who wear jewellery well it's hard to go past A$AP Ferg with his diamond studs and rainbow gem-studded rings and the internet's favourite dresser, actor Jeff Goldblum. Both were guests at Tiffany & Co.'s launch of its new men's jewellery collection in Los Angeles last month. Goldblum looking particularly resplendent in a twinkling pineapple brooch pinned to his Tom Ford tux lapel.
As New York Magazine said of the Tiffany launch party "Finally, diamonds for the fancy man".
The launch of the range, and the men who are going to wear it, speaks to a shift in how men think about adorning themselves.
Reed Krakoff noticed this. He's wanted to create a jewellery collection for men ever since he started as chief artistic officer of Tiffany & Co. in 2017.
"I feel like Tiffany is the only American luxury brand that has credibility in making men's jewellery," he says.
"Jewellery has never felt like it's been a bigger part of a man's style and self-expression. Men are spending much more time on their personal appearance, so it felt like the right idea and the right time."
For Krakoff it was imperative to be always asking "'What does this man need or want?"' throughout the design process.
When it comes to need and want, Krakoff also noticed men wear jewellery differently now.
"I think most men have favourite pieces of jewellery that they wear all the time, things that become an everyday staple, like a signet ring, an I.D. bracelet or one of our pendants. I think men are interested in things that are worn every day, not just on special occasions," he says.
"There are many pieces that can be worn so often, they really become part of your personality. They feel like you've had them for a long time and they simply are an expression of who you are."
The launch of the men's collection is part of a big year for the blue-blooded New York jeweller.
It's been a year of monumental announcements from the company, including a $US16.2 billion ($AUD 23.8 billion) buy-out from LVMH in November. It has also opened its first stores in India and renovated 35 boutiques China. In September Tiffany & Co. opened Tiffany & Co, Vision & Virtuosity in Shanghai, the largest exhibition in its 182-year history. It showcased about 350 Tiffany artifacts, some of which had never been on display to the public.
In April the jeweller opened a new flagship in Sydney with a glittering party featuring a guest appearance from model Kendall Jenner and the famous (and honking great 128.54 carat) Tiffany diamond, which was also worn by Lady Gaga at the Oscars in February.
For Krakoff the magic of Tiffany & Co. comes from its heritage and also its approach to luxury. Krakoff sees luxury as something to be taken apart and put back together again. You can see this in the playfulness of his collections such as Everyday Objects and in the glinting edge of Hardwear. He thinks you should wear your pieces, not save them in hope of a suitably glamorous occasion.
"Tiffany has a proprietary, signature, recognisable identity. It's respectful of the past and of Tiffany's long heritage in high jewellery, but at the same time it's re-contextualised and re-thought so that you have figurative mixed with abstract, industrial mixed with natural, artisanal mixed with mechanical, creating juxtapositions of the past and present in the way they're recombined and rendered," he says.
"We like taking things apart and putting [them] back together again in a completely new way. We also believe that luxury doesn't mean formality, and that even the most intricate pieces can be worn in a very casual way with the right edge and attitude."
The history of the house plays a part in Krakoff's favourite piece in the collection too, the Globetrotter luggage.
"The branding on it comes from an original logo created for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago," he says.
He likes the new jewellery pieces for "many different reasons."
"There's the new chain, that's sort of a faceted link that I think is really good looking. I'm hoping also that the Makers signet ring becomes an iconic piece because we've taken something that's essentially traditional and made it contemporary," he says.