When it comes to jewellery, many men are reluctant to venture far beyond a watch or pair of cufflinks. “Men’s jewellery has been tainted by some accessorising faux pas of years gone by, plus by a lot of male insecurity,” says celebrated designer Stephen Webster, founder of the eponymous jewellery brand and recipient of an MBE for services to the industry. But the genre is undergoing a “democratisation”, he says, as men start to embrace items once seen as the preserve of rock, hip hop and sports stars.
Witness Webster’s Exclusively Men pop-up at Harrods (for six months from June 22), featuring his iconoclastic rings (from £200), bracelets (from £160), tie pins (from £200) and pendants (from £650). Among them will be items from his Beasts of London range (inspired by the many animal sculptures found around the City), such as the Embankment Fish ring (from £575) decorated with fish like the lampposts that line the Thames.
There will be many limited edition pieces at the pop-up, including a selection of cufflinks – but expect nothing conventional, as evidenced by his Beasts of London Grasshopper designs (£450, or £1,475 with rose-gold wings) and Jewels Verne Shark Jaw cufflinks (£6,950) in 18ct white gold with black diamonds.
“I’ve been on a bit of a crusade to create a home for men’s jewellery in Harrods for some years,” says Webster, whose other standout pieces for the pop-up include the Smoking Gun tie pin (£200) in sterling silver and Switchblade pendant (£700) in black mother-of-pearl or malachite.
Away from jewellery, but still tied to the Beasts of London idea, the space will also host a special set of six Beasts chef’s knives (£50,000 for the set). Made using the Japanese Damascus technique at a forge in Peckham, the jeweller had chef Mark Hix put each knife through its paces in a professional kitchen before finalising the designs, which have handles shaped like a cock, a bull, a ram, a boar, a salmon and a courgette – “for the vegetarians”, Webster says.