Thursday, August 18, 2022
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    Introducing Homer, Frank Ocean’s “Independent American Luxury Company”


    In the last several years, Frank Ocean’s creative output has been tantalizingly sporadic. He released a handful of singles and called off the release of one more. He threw a series of dance parties in Queens. He launched a voter registration drive before the 2020 election and appeared in a Prada campaign. Mostly, though, he seemed to be working on a mysterious project about which little was known. He rented an art studio in New York’s Chinatown, where one of his cars could often be seen parked outside, and there were whispers that he was launching… something. Definitely not an album, though—a physical thing. Was it clothing? Furniture? Just what Ocean and his small group of Blonded employees—architects, graphic designers, fashion creatives—were up to in his downtown office was anyone’s guess.

    It turns out that Frank Ocean has been designing jewelry. Today, he announced the launch of Homer, a line described in a press release as an “independent American luxury company.” The first Homer collection is extensive, comprising dozens of diamond-encrusted bracelets, cartoon-colored enamel pendants, patterned silk scarves, and gold rings sculpted into the word “OK.” A Homer store is expected to open in The Jewelry Exchange, an Uncut Gems-style emporium on the Bowery filled with old school diamond setting and watch repair booths, on Monday. For now, the collection is only available at the store.

    The project has been in the works for almost three years, a span that suggests Ocean has approached Homer—the name is described in the release as representing “carving history into stone,” and is perhaps related to Home Record, an LLC Ocean registered several years ago—with the level of meticulousness and connoisseurship he brings to making music (and buying couches). The pieces in the first collection are designed in New York and handmade in Italy, and the diamonds are grown in the brand’s own domestic laboratory. The price points range from accessible to outrageous. Enamel plus-symbol pendants are $435, similar to what you might find at a local Canal St. gold shop. And then there’s the “sphere legs high jewelry necklace,” which will cost just shy of $1.9 million. (Yes, $1.9 million.) Ocean is aiming to reach his twenty-something fans as well as the celebrities who engage in Instagram one-upmanship with their Ben Baller and Jacob the Jeweler pieces. (It’s easy to imagine Lil Uzi Vert fighting, say, Quavo over a one-of-one Homer high jewelry chain.) Not many brands encompass both entry-level and high jewelry, but not many people are as mysteriously alluring as Frank Ocean, whose merch drops (to say nothing of his music releases) cause multi-day, social media-driven news cycles.



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