The practice of wearing jewelry that defies the gender binary continues to grow.
Jewelry pieces that are meant to be worn by both men and women have been around for decades now, but we can examine its steady rise in popularity in recent years.
Many attribute it to celebrities like Harry Styles, whose fashion sense has certainly evolved ever since he debuted as a solo act. The singer had people talking about his 2019 Met Gala look, when he paired an all-Gucci ensemble with a single pearl earring.
K-pop stars have also been lauded for defying gender norms with their androgynous styles. Fashion houses are certainly starting to notice this, as they’ve been hiring more Korean ambassadors to showcase their jewelry collections.
One such example is Tiffany and Co.’s first-ever genderless jewelry collection, the Tiffany Lock. Rosé of Blackpink and Jimin of BTS are both ambassadors for the brand, and have been featured in the collection’s campaign among many other celebrities.
But would celebrities be expressing themselves this freely if it wasn’t for the growing visibility of the queer community? For decades the community has been deconstructing what it means to be “masculine” and “feminine.”
Nowadays, many people—queer or otherwise—have been emboldened to explore their own forms of gender expression. There’s no need to make everything so pointlessly gendered. Boys can like the color pink, girls don’t need to stick to “lady products,” and so on.
“A lot of boundaries are crumbling, with men becoming more adventurous in their jewelry choices,” said Maxim de Turckheim, senior buyer for luxury watches and fine jewelry at men’s fashion retailer Mr Porter.
“Celebrities such as Pharrell Williams, Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith, and Tyler the Creator are wearing huge stones, and we are seeing great growth in stone-encrusted pieces from brands,” he continued.
In 2021, jewelry brand Taylor & Hart reported that according to Google searches, there’s been a 228% increase in demand for “genderless jewelry” and a 69% increase in interest for “male engagement ring designs.”
“There has been such a shift in the past 18 months,” Edwina Hilton, a jewelry and watches buyer at Net-A-Porter, told Porter Magazine.
“Brands are designing more and more pieces with both men and women in mind, and tweaking designs to appeal to both by increasing the size range or offering something a little bit chunkier,” she said.
Banner image by Kadeem Stewart via Pexels.