Local designers launch men's jewelry lines

Bands of Brothers

Lei Chic
The jewelry display at Oliver Men's Shop

This just in. We're getting word of absolute chaos breaking out in the Kailua area. Initial reports indicate that pigs may be flying and… hold on, I'm getting an update right now… yes, we have confirmation that hell is indeed freezing over.

Experts have traced the origin to Oliver Men's Shop, where two local designers have ventured into strange new territory known as men's jewelry. Little is known about the phenomenon, but from what we understand, it involves casual, raw, textured pieces designed to elevate the wearer's style from simple to sexy.

To get the inside scoop, we turn straight to the designers themselves, Justine Jones of JbyJ, and Amanda Watkins of a.wattz.

Lei Chic
JbyJ by Justine Jones

Why did you decide to launch a men's jewelry line?
It adds that certain something to the male style. The ones who wear it have the confidence to not care what other men think and I love that.
AW: I've always wanted to make men's jewelry but there wasn't really a venue for it in Hawaii. Enter Oliver (Men's Shop).

How would you describe your line?
I use similar materials in my women's line of jewelry (Jewelry by Justine), like African trade beads, nylon cording and decorative buttons. I also created leather cording with skeleton keys, river rock stones strung through ball chains with other talisman-type charms, and woven nylon bracelets on cording with huge metal clasps for a nautical feel.
AW: The pieces are somewhat similar to my women's line, but more manly, like shark tooth pendants that go from rose gold to dark oxidized silver, and macrame bracelets that range from dainty to chunky. Now that I have an outlet for these designs, I will be adding more to the line.

Lei Chic
a.wattz by Amanda Watkins

What is your favorite piece from the collection?
My favorite piece is the chain of a 50-year-old rosary on which I added an African pendant and a coin from the Middle East. I love melding cultures and religions together in my pieces in the hope of a more harmonious world.
AW: The long oxidized silver large shark tooth necklace is my favorite. I can just imagine a man wearing it in a simple white tee and jeans. You can't get much sexier than that in my book.

JbyJ, $20-$90, and a.wattz, $40-$92, men's jewelry are available at Oliver Men's Shop, 49 Kihapai St., (808) 261-6587.