There’s little doubt that legendary pearl producer Mikimoto has been following the trend of men wearing pearls—a look we’ve spotted on nearly every red carpet in the last 18 months—with keen interest.
The brand’s new collection, Passionoir, which pairs inky pearls with pitch-black metals, aims squarely for the guys—the collection’s online campaign, which features a sweaty boxer punching a speed bag and skater dudes sailing down urban streets on their boards, makes that clear. The vibe and visuals are compelling, if slightly incongruous-feeling for a brand that helped make pearls the penultimate elegant accessory over the last century. But turning the “ladylike pearls” archetype on its ear is the point of Passionoir. (And its campaign could double as case study in how far a heritage brand can contort itself in an attempt to capture a new demographic, while staying true to its DNA.)
It’s not the first time Mikimoto’s created pearls for men. The Japanese company, whose founder is credited with having invented cultured pearls, partnered with Commes des Garçons for the cerebral fashion brand’s first-ever fine jewelry collaboration in 2020. That partnership, which extends through 2021, began with Commes des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo’s vision to adorn men in pearls.
This new range was “inspired by the chemical reaction brought by the strong contrast between the innocent beauty of pearls, combined with the powerful and mysterious black color,” according to the company. The collection, “further pursues the possibilities of pearls.”
Here’s to the elegance of shadows, and the beauty of trying new things.