WWD Digital Daily
Simone Smith to Launch Higher- priced Men’s Jewelry Line Under Majesty Name
● The collection will launch at the end of May and will feature her husband LL Cool J in the campaign images.
Simone Smith launched her women's jewelry collection after recovering from a near-fatal bout of rare bone cancer. Her first design was a lollipop pendant, A Sweet Touch of Hope, that has become her signature.
Since then the designer, and wife of the actor and rapper LL Cool J, has created a dual-pronged line under the Simone I. Smith name that is carried at Walmart, Macy's and most recently Daniel's Jewelers, a 120-unit national chain.
But with this year being the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Smith turned her attention to men and will launch a higherprice line called Majesty at the end of the month.
Smith, who donates a portion of her sales to the American Cancer Society, actually started designing men's jewelry two years ago. The line, called Legacy, is carried at Macy's and includes pendants, chains and bracelets. The men's collection is also carried at Daniel's.
But while some of the styles are similar, the materials and price points are elevated in Majesty. And the size of the pieces in the new line are larger and “chunkier,” Smith said, adding that they were inspired by looks popular in the '80s and '90s.
“We're paying homage to the hip-hop culture,” she said over Zoom from L.A. “There are stainless steel pieces, the finest simulated diamonds, Cuban links, rope chains, bracelets and medallions.”
While the Walmart collection is opening price, retailing for $19.99 to $49.99, and the Macy's collection is mid-tier with prices running from $99 to $499, Majesty will be a step up, with pieces retailing from $200 to $800.
The initial collection will consist of about 20 styles and will include a goat medallion she designed in honor of her husband, whom she views at the “greatest of all time.” The two met as teenagers, married in 1995 and have four children. “The designs are more of a throwback but with a modern approach,” she said, adding that many men are looking for chunky jewelry pieces “but can't afford $50,000 for a chain.”
Not surprisingly, LL Cool J was her muse for the collection and the actor and their son Najee appear in the campaign for the launch.
Ronny Seliktar, chief executive officer of Simone I. Smith, said LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, “only wears styles that are true to who he is and he will wear Majesty on tour and in interviews. He really loves it.”
Smith said that while the line is designed for men, some women may be attracted to the pieces as well. “One Cuban link bracelet looks really nice on my ankle,” she said with a laugh.
Looking ahead, Smith said she hopes to expand Majesty in the future.
“I'm always thinking of what can be the next pendant or earring,” she said. “I want to keep the customer excited.”