HEROES OF MENSWEAR
The jewellery designer on the evolving nature of men’s accessories
Thomas Sabo on rising to the top of the burgeoning men’s jewellery industry.
REAL MEN WEAR BRACELETS. At least, that’s the guiding ethos for Thomas Sabo — both the man, and his eponymous jewellery line, which over the past 30 years has become one of the world’s largest accessories brands. Inspired by punk rock and Asian mysticism, Sabo has created an eclectic aesthetic uniquely his own. And this spring, with a men’s collection featuring brand new bracelets, necklaces, charms, and watches, he continues to be a leading force in the increasingly accessorized world of menswear. It’s probably time you took his advice. Your wrists will thank you.
What inspires you?
I like people who have a distinctive character, are true to themselves and have a cosmopolitan attitude. Many of my influences come from different cultures, especially from Asia, where I spent many years myself. For this latest collection, we wanted to capture the trend of jewellery that is an expression of personality, designed for people who like to combine jewellery in a completely individual way.
In your view, what sets Thomas Sabo jewellery apart?
We always stay true to our DNA and design language, which means maintaining a consistency. And quality and product management are at the forefront of each design.
How do you define luxury?
Luxury is what money can’t buy: the health of my family.
What does it take to make it to the top in the jewellery industry?
The development of our brand has been a long and painstaking process. We didn’t enter the market with a “big bang,” but did so in a rational way that was healthy for the business. In the beginning, it was hard to imagine global success.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since you started?
The way in which consumers shop. More men now believe in the power of accessories. It is more common now for them to buy jewellery and watches for themselves, as opposed to receiving them as gifts.
What do you think of the current state of menswear?
I like that today more than ever, anything is possible. Fashion etiquette has become more diverse.
What should every man have in his wardrobe?
It is not about any one piece, but about having a clear understanding of good style and what suits you. In this process, you have to find your own must-have pieces that reflect your personality.
What is one trend you’re tired of?
Everyone being attached to their phones.
What’s the next big trend in menswear? In jewellery?
People are trying to not look so perfect, so the challenge is to help them express their personal style. Vintageinspired jewellery, like the pieces in our relaunch of Generation Charm Club, allow for fresh expresssions of creativity.
Some men may be scared of wearing statement jewellery. What advice do you have for them?
Dare to express your personality. It does not always need to be with big statement jewellery, but a thoughtfully chosen watch, ring, or bracelet can make all the difference to an outfit.