Monique Lhuillier is known for her extraordinary bridal gowns that set the high bar for romantic, stylish nuptial dresses (the Los Angeles-based designer truly is the heir apparent to legendary bridal designer Vera Wang). But she moonlights as a jewelry designer—for years Lhuillier’s been designing a collection of engagement jewelry in collaboration with Signet Jewelers-owned retailer, KAY Jewelers.
And this month the retailer has dropped Lhuillier’s first-ever collection of men’s wedding rings. The Monique Lhuillier Bliss Men’s collection includes 18k white gold and two-tone gold designs featuring diamonds in an array of shapes—baguette, marquise, round, and oval. Prices for the 18k gold rings range from $2,200 to $6,500.
The diamond-encrusted styles would have perhaps been considered too “blingy” for a men’s band collection even a few years ago. But in 2022 they’re right on trend for Gen-Z and Millennial guys, whose cultural role models—think Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet, and Kendrick Lamar—are enthusiastic jewelry and gem wearers.
We caught up with Lhuillier to chat about designing for men for the first time, and her inspirations for the series:
The Zing Report: What made you want to do a men’s ring collection?
Monique Lhuillier: This collection is yet another way to mark…significant occasions. I’ve taken inspiration from favorite engagement rings in my collection and brought those design elements into men’s bands. A couple’s wedding bands will be worn for the rest of their lives, so I wanted this collection not only to be a special symbol of love, but also a complement to his partner’s ring.
What inspirations and considerations did you factor into creating this collection?
The men’s wedding band collection is inspired by my love of fashion! While I love romantic designs, the men’s collection allowed me to convey a sense of modernity which is also part of my design aesthetic.
Love the diamonds! We’ve seen a shift to blingier rings for men—why do you think that is?
As much as they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, they’re for men too! I feel like grooms today are willing to be more of risk-takers, similar to modern brides. They listen less to tradition and more to designs that reflect their true personalities and style. I love seeing how people find ways to express themselves through their jewelry and fashion. We’re seeing a lot more men feel comfortable wearing what they like regardless of the traditional styles they have been accustomed to.
Who do you think the customer is for this collection?
This collection is geared toward someone who has a unique and luxurious sense of style. They are going to be wearing their ring for the rest of their lives, so it should reflect one’s personality.
What do you like most about working with KAY/Signet?
KAY Jewelers is an authority in the bridal industry, and therefore they’ve been the perfect partner…we share the same values. The power of love and superior craftmanship is important to both of us. Because we have these same passions, it allows us to have a beautiful and seamless partnership.