Since launching her first women’s collection in 2013, Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Amy Gregg has become known for her Scandinavian-inspired geometric designs and captivating gemstone selections, mostly in dreamy and oceanic greens and blues. Noticing a gap in the men’s accessories market and inspired by the beautiful men’s jewelry that had been passed down from one generation to another in her family, she decided to explore the possibility of what men’s jewelry could be in the present. Her new line AMUSEZ is an elevated and modern take on men’s luxury, and it includes men’s jewelry staples like lapel pins, cuff links, tie clips, tie pins, and rings – all with the same pops of color and modern silhouettes found in Amy’s women’s pieces. Ultimately, AMUSEZ offers men a playful and elevated way to have fun with fashion and express themselves in an adventurous way.
What prompted you to design and create a men’s collection?
This collection is a natural extension of my women’s collection. It’s an extension of the modern and clean design. With this collection, we aspire to provide timeless, wearable art for men.
My grandmother inherited lapels and cufflinks from her father when he passed, and she asked me to alter the accessories into pieces she could wear, like turning cufflinks into earrings. Seeing her pieces made me realize that there aren’t many intricate men’s accessories with precious metals with stones these days. Men have a more limited scope of accessories. You don’t see many lapel pins or tie clips.
I felt like previous generations had more numerous options for men’s jewelry, and they had things of value that allowed for self expression and for passing down. That sparked my interest.
I felt like previous generations had more numerous options for men’s jewelry, and they had things of value that allowed for self expression and for passing down.
What was your initial inspiration for the collection?
I read a story about A.A. Milne, the author of “Winnie the Pooh”. He was a playwright who would go on walks with his son and gradually discovered this incredible world his son had imagined. In the spirit of Milne, we’re inspired by helping people remember how to play, enjoy, experiment, take risks, and try things – just because.
Self criticism and doubt are debilitating people right now. We believe in exploration and going on an adventure and leaving self doubt and criticism at the door. It’s important to me to be able to create a collection that inspires me as a designer to adventure and that also encourages other people to do that. If I was going to do this, I was going to do this in a way that’s true to myself.
I wanted to create cufflinks that were a more precious cufflink, so men could wear them how they would wear a nice watch.
When you were researching the men’s accessories market, what did you feel was missing, and how do you think your new collection fills that void?
I had an intro into the men’s market by doing a lot of engagement rings and custom pieces for people, and part of that is doing mens’ bands. I noticed in the last few years that I have a lot more male clients now. Men are wanting to invest in pieces for themselves that they can cherish the same way women have accessories and rings that they cherish.
When I was looking into the men’s market, I saw a lot of dark, masculine pieces but saw an opportunity to introduce solid gold pieces with precious and semi-precious stones, which is not common in that market. I wanted to introduce color and a sort of lightness. A lot of my statement pieces are plays on what I’ve seen in the market, like snakes and skulls, but I’m adding a playful, adventurous edge that’s pushing the envelope.
I thought, Why not try out what I’ve been doing with women’s? My male wedding band clients are asking me to make them a ring for their other hand. I wanted to create cufflinks that were a more precious cufflink, so men could wear them how they would wear a nice watch. They could have pops of color in their wardrobe in a confident, elevated way.
I love the idea of incorporating stones and color into a men’s band but still have a band read as masculine. With my pink opal and turquoise rings, I wanted to inlay precious stones, so people wouldn’t mistake them for women’s rings.
People are more comfortable with self expression today. There’s a sort of revolution going on right now in mens fashion.
Why is now a great time for men’s accessories? And why is now a great time for this collection?
I feel like boundaries are being explored in men’s fashion in ways we haven’t seen before. Fashion trendsetters are ranging from an athlete to an influencer to an author – you have a whole spectrum of people who are trendsetting, probably due to social media. Men’s accessories are the next frontier. From a design perspective, we bring a wink to men’s accessories. Men’s ability to express themselves at special events has been limited to a different cut suit or different tie, and we’re pushing the envelope on that. We call on our clients to use this collection as a means of self expression. Men aren’t as worried to be stereotyped. Men are more comfortable with gender lines blurring. People can express themselves for who they are. The younger generations are saying, “You can dress the way you want to dress and take risks.” People are more comfortable with self expression today. There’s a sort of revolution going on right now in mens fashion.
Who do you imagine is the perfect customer for these men’s pieces?
I would say our perfect customer is a confident risk taker who sees his fashion choices as an expression of his individuality, guys who are just tired of the monotonous way of dressing for occasions. Women get hundreds of choices for dresses, and men get one black suit. We want to give options to do playful things with how to express themselves and how they dress up.
How do you imagine men styling these pieces? For what occasions and in what situations are they wearing them?
Layering them, pairing them, mixing them. You can wear your lapel pin the traditional way or wear three in a row. You can wear mix and match cufflinks. I want not only the way my pieces look to be a form of self expression but the way that they’re worn. I see them as a way to elevate all occasions, not necessarily to be worn at specific occasions. No matter what the occasion, these pieces can bring a level of self expression and comfort – in work settings, dress up occasions. I think they lend themselves to being dressed up or dressed down, and I would encourage both those things.
I want not only the way my pieces look to be a form of self expression but the way that they’re worn.
Do you have any favorite pieces in the new collection?
I knew I wanted to create some really statement, one-of-a-kind pieces. I draw with a pencil and paper, and then I have my visions transformed into a computer rendering. Working through the production with these intricate pieces and getting the flamingo right, where I had the stones cut to a certain way to fit into the rendering, and seeing the metal come to life, was amazing. The process alone makes this piece one of my favorites. I love that piece.
One of the earlier pieces in this collection, the opal cufflinks – when I first got those back, and I saw how clean and beautiful and masculine they were while also bring light and interesting – they took my breath away. I was very proud of that piece.
What do you have planned next? And how would you like to see men’s accessories evolve in the future?
I’ve designed the next three collections. Once it clicks, I start getting ideas for new pieces. We have a really cool skull coming out and a lion piece that has “king of the jungle style” with a full crown and colored stones. Those pieces are so much fun to create, and they’re also so different. I look forward to introducing more of these one-of-a-kind statements.
We want to see these pieces make a splash with our clients. We want to evolve with our clients. We kind of want to get these statement pieces out into the world and encourage a new way to think about men’s accessories. We see this as an opportunity to be more playful and have more fun, thinking of things in a different way.
Men are willing to take more risks than they were before, at least from what I’ve seen. I think that fashion goes in cycles, and men are looking for new ways to express themselves.