After shaking up the entire world late last week with the initial announcement, Frank Ocean's Homer debuted its first collection of jewelry and silk scarves inside the New York Jewelers Exchange on Monday. Though its selection of fine wares is substantial, the coveted 160 page Homer catalog is harder to come by, given that it's listed as out of stock on Homer's website and may only be available in-store, just like the Homer goods. Or eBay, if you're desperate to spend $1,000 on what was essentially a free gift.
There's a complete scan of Homer's catalog below but it's still an imposing skim, littered with obtuse lingo and artsy photographs. Plenty of close-up product shots detail the flashy jewelry even as the staccato text refrains from revealing much aside from prices and specs.
Much can be discerned from combing the Tracy Ma-designed pages with an inquisitive eye but the big reveals are as frequent as aesthetic oddities. We don't have all the answers — is all that poetic text a hint at some new lyrical content? — but we have come away from our observation with a series of crucial takeaways.
Tyrone Lebon and Frank did the photography
It's not always clear who shot what but photographs of Frank, his friends, Frank with his friends, and their DIY projects are scattered throughout the Homer catalog in between stylized product shots. Frank is a gifted photographer and Lebon is no slouch, having worked with the likes of Harmony Korine, Phoebe Philo's Céline and Stüssy, to name only a few clients.
Lebon is also ingratiated into the realm of Daniel Lee's Bottega Veneta, having snapped campaigns imagery for the house since Lee's initial offering. Oh, and Lebon is also a longtime friend of Frank and directed the music video for "Nikes" off Boys Don't Cry.
The inspiration for Homer came from Frank Ocean's 2019 boho retreat
In 2019, Frank and nearly two-dozen friends formed insider's-only collective Summit and decamped to Frank's LA house for a season spent tinkering with DIY craft.
"We had everyone from horticulturalists to electrical engineers and architects, carpenters and metalworkers," Ocean explained. "We made tables and chairs... then started working on other things for the house."
These handmade curios and snaps of the group working together appear throughout Homer's catalog. The funky one-offs range from foam-shrouded speakers to gem-studded tees to a gargantuan metal Angry Man sculpture, which inspired the shape of the diamond-studded Homer pendant of the same name.
Homer's graphic design is steeped in Y2K influences
There's a distinctly Y2K aesthetic in much of Homer's wares, from the superbright colors to the chunky geometric shapes. Some fans have called out Frank of "[stealing] designs" from pioneering artist Karim Rashid but only the plus-shaped pendant and catalog creative direction recall Rashid's work.
By his own admission, Frank is a child of the late '90s-early '00s and that kind of graphic inclination has always pervaded his output. Furthermore, Homer's character-driven shapes can be traced to Takashi Murakami, Walter Van Beirendonck (penis included), and Micha Klein just as easily as Rashid.
No argument that Homer's initial output has been very referential thus far, it's just that the designs go beyond mere imitation.
Some of Frank's muses are models in the catalog
Along with some of Frank's personal peers, some artists and creatives he's met along the way feature in the Homer catalog. For instance, Frank himself took photos of London-based artist Slawn and model Selena Forrest, who ended up in a spread and on the cover, respectively.
Note, however, that Frank has been reticent about revealing the other members of the Homer team. He dropped some names in his celebratory Instagram Story, sure, but the rest of the Homer crew is a known unknown — besides outliers like Michael Abel and Tommy Mathew — and it'll probably stay that way for a long while.
Homer x Prada reiterates the brand's luxury inclinations
Miuccia Prada's luxury house doesn't just collaborate with every cool person she's friends with (just some of them) and this tie-up not only celebrates Frank's anorak obsession, it also underscores Homer's positioning as a true luxury label.
Homer is situating itself to sit alongside the big boys
"I didn’t want our work to be any less expensive than Cartier," Frank said during Homer's rollout, rubbing some fans the wrong way. Like it or not, Homer's opulent aspirations are bold, especially given that it's a young jewelry brand selling four, five, six, and even seven-figure accessories right out of the gate.
Homer's prices range from $400-$600 for buckles, rings, and pendants to $2 million for one diamond-studded necklace. This is Frank and co. looking to create Tiffany or Hermès for Gen Z or at least Millennials. Whether that uncompromising approach will work, we'll have to see.
Homer's jewelry utilizes exclusive lab-grown diamonds
Some of the most lucid text from the entire Homer catalog comes from the lengthy dissertation on the exclusive lab-grown diamonds utilized in much of Homer's jewelry. It touches on the unique atomic arrangement of carbon that yields diamonds, ornately explaining the process of refraction and diamonds' inherent toughness.
"Homer's diamonds are formed under the supervision of a team of materials engineers in the United States," the catalog says. "At our factory, it takes a diamond to make a diamond: each diamond enters existence as a 1/400th carat natural diamond seed. The result is the real thing. ... Each diamond is cut, polished, and inspected... before being independently graded by the International Gem Institute."
There's ample debate online in favor of and against lab-grown diamonds.
Some argue that lab-grown specimens are inferior to naturally-forming diamonds (partially because they retail for less), that they're not inherently less sustainable, and don't hold resale value. Others posit that diamond mining is often exploitative of the miners and the environment and that man-made diamonds are visually identical to organic diamonds.
What it comes down to is personal preference, really, and it seems that Homer's main focus is to sidestep the concerns of potentially purchasing unethical gems. And, it's not like creating bespoke lab-grown diamonds is necessarily cheap or lazy — cut corners will be visible in the finished product.
The Homer store was jointly designed by Frank and ANY
In a surprise to no one, the architects who worked with Frank Ocean to design the Homer store are as low-key as he is. ANY is a partnership between Nile Greenberg and Michael Abel. Greenberg and Abel met while working for MOS Architects and formed ANY in 2020, immediately putting their skills to work on ads, masterplans, residency design, and Homer's store.
Interestingly, according to Abel's Instagram bio, he is now the design director of Homer.
"We’re trying to understand the mistakes architects made in the past when approaching topics like the public sphere and community," the duo said last year. "The type of ambiguity we’re interested in is not uncertainty but the incredible confidence of knowing exactly what to do — architectural certainty."
The future of Homer
Aside from the Prada collaborations, there's not much known about what Homer's next move may be. Its catalog reveals two scant images of what appear to be clocks or perhaps Tamagotchi-style handhelds, their pixely LED screens showing the date, time, and illustrations of dice. That's about it, but it's worth remembering that Homer was introduced as a "luxury company" rather than as "a jewelry brand," hinting that the brand's future releases are going to include far more than necklaces, bracelets, rings, and scarves.