As with most things of Frank Ocean’s creation, the announcement of his new luxury company Homer on Friday afternoon came suddenly and as something of a surprise—but, in actuality, reflected years of quiet and careful work and thought. Ocean didn’t announce Homer as a vague concept, but rather as a fully formed company ready for business. Introducing the line with an emphasis on high-end jewelry, the first Homer boutique, located in Manhattan’s Jewelry District, opened its doors today. That’s key for anyone looking to get a hold of Homer product: Its items are only available to purchase in person or by placing an order over the phone.
While Ocean wanted Homer to be taken with the same level of respect of traditional high jewelry brands (“I didn’t want our work to be any less expensive than Cartier,” he said in a rare interview with the Finacial Times’ How To Spend It magazine supplement), it’s clear from the store interiors he’s not all that interested in the trappings of tradition. The space is sleek and minimal, accented by pops of bright color, much like the jewelry on display. With an emphasis on aluminum and urethane surfaces, the store was designed in collaboration with the architects Michael Abel and Nile Greenberg of the firm ANY.
The existence of a store in the first place is a testament to the fact that Ocean isn’t positioning Homer as an e-commerce brand, either. The label’s website lets you thumb through a digital version of its printed catalog, but to order, you’re asked to actually place a phone call. Some amount of human interaction is required to acquire the pieces. You’re not buying groceries from Amazon, after all. These are high-end pieces.
Prices for the collection range from $395 to $1.9 million, and items are fashioned out of 18-karat gold, recycled sterling silver, hand-painted enamel, and American lab-grown diamonds (a nod to Ocean’s interests in both sustainability and the intersection of nature and technology). All items are manufactured in Italy. As he tells FT, the brand originally grew out of a “summit” of 20 craftspeople Ocean brought together in Los Angeles in 2019 with an interest in making objects. Eventually, his focus was whittled down to jewelry. The brand’s take on the traditional Cuban link bracelet, for example, took a year and a half to perfect.
Ocean is also aware that the presence of an independent, Black-owned brand in the luxury space (especially in the jewelry industry) is all too rare. “There are possibilities for Black people now that weren’t always there for us,” he told FT. “I grew up in poverty. I’m grateful to my mother because she tried to expose me to as much as she could so far as the bigger picture is concerned. I’m very fortunate to be someone who can make someone else feel like they have possibilities, and I think that will make art and fashion richer for it.”
The Homer store is open Mondays through Saturdays. Limited walk-in appointments are available, but appointments can also be scheduled ahead of time online.