Monday, December 5, 2022

Frank Ocean Just Gave His Upcycled Jewelry Brand Homer an X-Rated Upgrade

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“Nights” singer Frank Ocean can now add luxury jeweler to his list of hits. And the newest addition to the collection is x-rated.

The 34-year-old Grammy award winner launched Homer last summer—a line of sustainable jewelry featuring lab-grown diamonds and upcycled metals.

According to Ocean, Homer draws on his “childhood obsessions” and the relationship between nature and technology. The range features 18 karat gold, recycled sterling silver, hand-painted enamel, and American lab-grown diamonds.

“My mother was into jewelry, but in a low-key Princess Diana kind of way,” Ocean said in a statement about the launch. “My godfather was into guns, but he was also into cars, and he bought luxury-lifestyle magazines, which I became obsessed with. They became a form of play for me as a child. It was the furthest thing from my actual life at the time, and I began plotting ideas and a life in that universe,” he said.

Homer

Ocean says he took the name Homer from the Greek poet, born in 750 BC. Homer is best known as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

“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 said.

Image courtesy Homer

The first jewelry collection featured chain trinkets in alien shapes, and curved rings that read “A-OK”. Made in Italy, the collection launched at a pop-up store in New York City last summer. The new drop comes on the one-year anniversary of the launch.

But Ocean’s newest drop gets a bit more interesting and NSFW. The new collection features a $25,000 18-karat-gold cock ring—yes, you read that right. Homer debuted the ring in a blurred-out Instagram post.

Ocean took to Instagram with a picture of himself in a black wig and orange hoodie, which he says are from his “tour that was canceled in 2020 due to covid.

“Wigging w/ multiple fans blowing thru my hair + hoodie from tour that Covid cancelled back in 2020.. plus some sketches from my desk a couple months ago and a buss down Homer bday cake .. love u see u.”

The rest of the collection includes more modest pieces, such as pendants, earrings, and keychains.

Lab-Grown diamonds

Indistinguishable to the naked eye when compared with mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds rely on emerging techniques seen across food and fashion with lab-grown bio-identical meat and dairy—a process similar to making yogurt or brewing beer. Lab-grown diamonds are less intensive on the land, require fewer resources, and there’s no child labor involved. These carbon-based diamonds are held to the same standards as mined gems in terms of cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Image courtesy Homer

A 2020 report published by the International Peace Information Services found an increase of 50 percent in children working in more than 100 different mines across the Central African Republic. But the numbers could be higher as many of the mines are guarded by armed militia who control more than 60 percent of the country.

And while diamonds typically come with a hefty price tag at retail, diamond mining doesn’t pay well for most of the workers, especially the children, some of whom make little more than the equivalent of one meal a day. They spend their days digging or polishing for little pay, which keeps most of the industry workers well below the poverty line.

Image courtesy Homer

Homer x Prada

Ocean’s Homer also collaborated with Italian luxury fashion label, Prada.

In 2019, Prada became one of 32 fashion brands to sign onto the G7’s Fashion Pact. It’s centered on three sustainability targets: eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, innovate a way to eliminate all micro-fiber plastic pollution, and reduce single-use plastic by 2030.

Shortly after the G7 summit, the luxury label signed the industry’s first sustainability loan for €50 million. Earlier this year it’s signed its third sustainability-linked loan for €90 million to help further its sustainability targets.

Prada’s push into sustainability builds on its recent fundraising of more than €90 million to reach targets that include eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, eliminating all micro-fiber plastic pollution, and reducing single-use plastic by 2030.

Courtesy Prada x aaaHomer

“Sustainability, as a value, is now universally recognized and shared, also by the financial industry,” Prada’s chief financial officer Alessandra Cozzani said in a statement last year.

“For us and for all companies, this results in an important stimulus to achieve increasingly ambitious goals toward a sustainable economy. We are proud to be among the first players in the luxury sector to have embarked on this path and to be considered a reference counterpart in the field today.”

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