Material boys

More men are buying jewelry, spurring new lines in the industry.

Published February 2, 2006 8:08PM (EST)

Only 12 more shopping days until V-Day! For those women who don't care about the Hallmark holiday (or at least pretend not to care and then try to ignore the voice of disappointment when Feb. 14 passes as just another day), let us point you to a funny piece in yesterday's Los Angeles Times. If hip-hop mogul and fashionista Russell Simmons is correct, our boyfriends don't want another sports jersey, they want the finer, sparkly things. Jewelry industry insiders estimate that there has been a 20 percent growth in men's jewelry sales in the last few years, and designers who once focused exclusively on women are launching men's lines at breakneck speed, learning that diamonds can also be a guy's best friend.

Simmons, who recently launched Simmons Jewelry Co. Men's Collection, sells his rubber men's bracelets at $400 a pop. And if you're protesting, "Yeah, but my man's not an iced-out rapper," think again. Men from the "basketball court to the boardroom" are buying bling, says the Times. The reason for this trend is not immediately clear, although it seems to have taken off by word of mouth. Industry insiders (again) believe that it's "more the start of a new era in jewelry than a fad." The piece also points out that the surge in men buying jewelry for themselves increases their comfort with buying jewelry for their girlfriends.

Whether this is just a slow news day or women across the world can now look forward to sharing jewelry with their menfolk, it is always a nice break to read articles devoted to men's style, exploding the notion that shopping is a female thing and putting the spotlight on the material boy.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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