Interview: Frank Ocean on jewellery and his luxury brand Homer

“Somehow colors affect the way you experience,” reported Frank Ocean. On the mobile phone, contacting from New York City, Ocean is wondering out loud. He is pondering the meaning of color, and mixtures of colors, in the do the job he creates. “I encompass myself with factors that have lifetime, and color.”

Ocean gained recognition with his songs initially now, he also provides operate that can be witnessed – as a photographer, for example, or as a product for Milanese manner dwelling Prada – and tangible items, products. Chiefly amongst the latter is jewellery (and some components) by Homer, the impartial American luxury brand Ocean unveiled in August last yr. 

At Homer, jewellery arrives in fantasy hues. On the brand’s web page, a a short while ago included A-Okay pendant is carved by hand from silver ahead of white, blue and environmentally friendly enamel is hand-utilized. Up coming, the geometric gem is dotted with red and pink rubies. It is a striking mix at when joyous and non-conforming to jewelry traditions. What, in basic, inspires his use of color, I question. 

“The 1st matter that arrives to intellect is how I think of green, the colour eco-friendly,” Ocean explained. “Green is the stem colour of your common flower so we use it like a neutral, due to the fact every colour of flower that comes out the other conclusion of a eco-friendly stem compliments environmentally friendly.” Ocean, who solutions concerns little by little and with regarded as tempo, is speedy to insert: “That’s one thing I just manufactured up and it is most likely not legitimate. But, that is how I see it.”

Homer Sphere Cross Pendant in chet blue (£1,263)

‘I like little in depth things’

Ocean was born Christopher Edwin Breaux in Prolonged Beach, California, in 1987 he grew up in New Orleans. In 2006, possessing dropped out of the College of Louisiana at Lafayette, following becoming displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Ocean returned to California. In Los Angeles, he located first successes as a songwriter, for between some others which includes John Legend, Brandy and Justin Bieber. Four several years afterwards, about 2010 and immediately after getting formed a near bond with rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator, he joined Los Angeles-based hip hop collective Odd Potential. 

He went by Frank Ocean then, a name chosen in reference to Frank Sinatra and 1960 heist motion picture Ocean’s 11. In 2011, Ocean unveiled his debut solo mixtape Nostalgia, Extremely, followed by his debut studio album Channel Orange in 2012. His past studio album Blond was an unbiased, self-released success, unveiled 1 day just after the start of visual album Limitless. Because then, Ocean has self-introduced a amount of singles – among the them, a 2018 include of Moon River, famous for its scoring of 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And he has widened his remit, to contain pictures and publishing. This has bundled Boys Don’t Cry, a 2016 magazine with contributions by photographers and artists, which include Tyrone Lebon, Harley Weir, Tom Sachs and Wolfgang Tilmans. 

Ocean had been wearing jewelry for a whilst himself – a one diamond stud, a smaller hoop earring or a floral-motif bead bracelet all appear to thoughts – the producing of jewellery he delved into deeply about 3 and a half decades in advance of presenting Homer. He launched the manufacturer in the summer time of 2021 with a debut collection of a lot more than 25 layouts encompassing each entry-amount high-quality jewelry – a line of silver Moreover pendants hand-enamelled in hues such as the cherry-like Coco Cola or sky Bubble Blue comes in at $435 – and marquee items. Of technically complicated design, a Homer Jaxstones bracelet is cast from yellow gold, thorough with outstanding-reduce lab-developed diamonds and prized at just shy of $50,000. And there is superior jewellery too: the Homer Sphere Leg necklace in white gold is dusted with a whole of 9,226 diamonds. Homer’s debut was regarded as, and bold in its completeness. 

“It’s amusing since one particular of the points that was important for me particularly with this variety of job was to counteract what I really feel is well known now, that is staying almost everywhere and all the things for anyone all at at the time,” he explained. “Not the motion picture but yeah, this sort of multiverse multi-discipline multi-endeavor artist… we did not conclusion up counteracting it completely, as our heads nonetheless do spin and we’re intrigued in so significantly. But for now, we make diamonds, and no telling what subsequent. Twenty decades of my lifestyle was about track-writing and recording new music. I’d been in the studio because I was 12-and-a-fifty percent several years previous. My assumption was that some of what I produced in one area of artwork and company would be beneficial in the upcoming area, but I nonetheless required to know much more about particularly what I was performing in advance of I did it.”

Understanding and experimenting freely was a course of action he observed pleasurable. There ended up similarities to what he had been carrying out for lots of several years. “I like tiny thorough items – at the stage of a bail engraving or a bracelet closure,” he stated. 

Homer Sphere Signet Ring in retba pink (£732)

From seeds to finished stones

It was keys – and locks – that segued Ocean’s foray into jewelry. In 2019 and in Los Angeles, Ocean and 20 close friends – all craftspeople or experts in fields such as botany – briefly moved into an empty property, devoid of household furniture, wiring or heating. “The Summit project introduced with each other people today from many trades into this shell of an aged ranch home,” he discussed. “The intention was to make it a spot we could perform in. There ended up steel and wooden staff, industrial engineers, architects, ceramicists, graphic designers, painters, even a horticulturist functioning around and it became our initially shop and style and design studio. We wired the lights ourselves, created our tables, crafted our chairs, set up our personal bathrooms, our individual doors, bought the hearth heading. One of the designers, Charlie, wrote out typical working processes for the workshop that browse like a manifesto. It was weird but we worked there for months and when it was time to depart and go back again to New York I definitely missed it, I think a lot of us did.”

These doorways inevitably the team equipped with locks. “It was a person of the lesser objects that we produced and we were being experimenting with a tender resin as the casing on a metal lock,” he said. “The contradiction of those components I remember being struck by. We saved heading smaller and smaller sized from there. Compact, thorough factors built out of challenging components.”

Currently, Homer jewelry is intended in Manhattan and realised by qualified workshops in Italy. Gold and recycled silver depend amid the brand’s components, as do lab-grown diamonds, which are finished by its proprietary manufacturing unit in the United States. In this article, organic diamond seeds grow to be completed stones in a course of action that usually takes about 4 weeks for each gem.

“This was an quick selection,” Ocean explained of picking out to get the job done with lab-grown, as opposed to mined diamonds. “There are several jewellers who appear like me. There are several black jewellers in the house of great jewellery, black relatives-owned jewellers. Much more than it currently being a issue of difference it also would not have felt in action with the moments to extract diamonds from the Earth and to include things like mined diamonds in our source chain. Of program, the price of what we make is not solely based on the materials we use, no far more than this mobile phone’s benefit is captured from adding up the price tag of silicone and cobalt and glass and so forth. But guy-created diamonds are in point similar to mined diamonds, they are the very same arrangement of carbon. Light moves by means of them at fifty percent velocity, exact same as a mined diamond and our criteria for clarity and colour are equivalent to the greatest in our business besides we really don’t have to crystal clear forests and deliver individuals into the earth to obtain ours.”

Then, there are items enamelled by hand or finessed with nano ceramic coating, as witnessed in Homer’s When a Puppy Comes to Continue to be collection. Released a pair of months in the past, the selection is centred on a four-legged mascot, shaping pendants, rings and bracelets in vibrant tones. A corresponding H-Bone large jewellery necklace in white gold sparkles with a whole of 14,904 diamonds of varying cuts. 

Homer Sphere collection

‘In retail outlet, you understand the scale’

In New York Town, Homer jewellery can be seen, touched and purchased in reduce Manhattan. When the manufacturer initial created its debut, it did so with an 84-site catalogue that includes images by Ocean and Tyrone Lebone. At the exact same time, a Homer shop opened in the New York Jewelers Exchange at 70-74 Bowery, a five-storey setting up with retail areas on the floor floor. In this article, Homer’s neighbours consist of standard enjoy and jewelry mend workshops and specialised merchants. “In keep, you have an understanding of the scale, the pounds,” Ocean reported of his business’ approach. “We’ve recognized folks coming into the keep realizing specifically what they want from viewing it on the web but they arrive to see it in human being in any case.”

Now in keep and offered by way of the Homer web site: a new poster guide – XXXL: When A Pet dog Arrives To Keep – and new additions to the Sphere collection. A handful of signet rings stand out, rendered in vivid tones of canary yellow, cadmium red or the two-tone cody inexperienced. But what parts of jewellery is Ocean putting on himself, these days? “Today, I’m sporting a uroboros ring, the snake consuming alone, a symbol of infinity. It is silver and gold,” he explained. “I have a nano ceramic bracelet in my hand though we’re conversing but I’m looking at it, not donning it. It is gradients of greens, lime to a lot more of a Kelly eco-friendly, white gold with some white diamonds on the connections. And – I really have on 3 yellow diamonds right now, in my ears.”