Homer, the enigmatic luxury label that Frank Ocean launched early this month, debuted with little more than a catalog. So why did Homer take over the internet for a few days? The answer is, well, not much of a surprise.
It is interesting that the low-key company maintains ongoing interest, despite an utter lack of presence on Instagram and its arduous ordering process.
I polled members of the Highsnobiety Rolodex, as well as a few Homer customers, to explore Homer's lingering appeal.
Short answer? Frank Ocean. Long Answer? Frank Ocean's excellent taste.
"The main appeal of [Homer] for me is the fact that it's Frank Ocean's brand," said Alex, who purchased a Homer pendant. "If it didn't have Frank Ocean's name attached to it, I probably wouldn't have [bought anything]."
Simple enough. And, truly, if it wasn't for its alignment with Frank, Homer wouldn't have a third of the following it currently enjoys.
Over on the dedicated Homer Subreddit, you can find plenty of obsessives poring over the comprehensive catalog, working out the methods for ordering Homer product, and swapping purchase stories.
"I checked out the catalog online, originally," Wayne recalled. "I really liked the pendants, so I bought [one] and have since also bought a silk scarf. [They're] very good quality and really nice designs.
"I think they're keepsake pieces and really good to have. Very good quality and I look forward to more pieces in the future."
It helps to have a piece in hand to really understand Homer's intrigue, it seems. That's well and good for return shoppers, but what about new converts? Turns out, they're just happy to be along for Frank Ocean's ride.
"[Frank] needs minimal publicity to gain attention," said David, a Rolodex member. "There's a method to his madness. Homer has the potential to be iconic. ... If he treats Homer with the same passion he approaches his music with, then it would only be a matter of time that it will be in the same conversations as Cartier and Rolex."
Indeed, that high-end, exclusive appeal — an intentional angle that Frank iterated in an early Homer interview — hasn't been lost on fans.
"I think the first capsule is high quality and, because it's co-signed by Frank, it should sell well," Rolodex member John contended. "I agree with [others] that the designs and product ideas are not new. I think [Homer] will need time to find its way and really settle into its narrative."
"Let's see how far it can go," Florent continued. "[The] market is very competitive and, to be honest, I doubt [that] just because Frank created [Homer,] it will skyrocket."
Max concurred. "Really excited [about] what's going to happen," he said. "I haven't seen that much [about] what kind of jewelry Homer is going to make, since the IG is empty and [the catalog] only gives us a sneak peek of some items and the general design idea. [I'm] really curious about generating a brand identity that takes DNA from Frank Ocean.”
It's important that Homer reiterate its product's quality, but its Frank connection is truly crucial. The famously press-shy musician has asserted that he's trying to keep the Homer spotlight off himself, at least partially, despite the brand's inseparable relationship with his name.
“It’s not anything too special just yet, but he’s a legend, so I’m excited for the future," said Rolodex member William.
So, Frank Ocean is clearly the draw for Homer, but why?
Well, Frank's co-sign is different than any other celebrity's approval. Frank's inimitable taste, feverishly documented by fans captivated by his mysterious aura, has been so difficult to tease out aside from his occasional appearances on the streets of New York, that any evident indication of his approval is received like a blessing.
I mean, he made Worldnet hoodies happen, mostly because it's so rare to get Frank's stamp of approval. Plus, fans know that Frank's love is authentic: he wears Prada or Arc'teryx because he likes their products – not because he took a paycheck.
They're mostly left out in the cold by fancy jewelry brands and exclusive parties — unsurprisingly, Homer's most popular commodity to date is its free catalog, still coveted by fans nearly a month after release.
"The price point feels a little crazy to me — what percentage of Frank fans are going to be able to afford this?" asked Highsnobiety Rolodex member Alex. "I love that it's gender-neutral but skews a bit feminine, unlike so many other unisex collections."
"I worry that with the price point and the density of the playing field, it will be very very faddish, worn only by some celebs for a season or two, and then close its doors. I just do not see this competing with the giants. But it's a passion project, generated some beautiful images."
That's basically the two stances that Franks fans have taken on Homer. If they can afford the goods, they're all in. If not, they at least appreciate the resulting imagery, even if there's some trepidation about the future of Homer.
"It'll probably inspire someone else to make a similar line that retails at [a tenth of] the cost," Alex continued. "Whatever! Great community shout-outs in the catalog. Also: color palette goals."