The creative multitalent with business acumen
Who is Frank Ocean?
Franck Ocean was born on 28 October 1987 under the name Christopher Edwin Breaux, but in 2010 he changed his name to Christopher Francis Ocean, and then in 2015 to Frank Ocean, which is the name we know him by today. He was born in Long Beach, California, but grew up in New Orleans. However, Frank moved back to California, this time to Los Angeles, in his late teens to chase the dream of a career in music, and success he must say he had.
After working some odd jobs, Frank had the opportunity to write songs and work with producers.
Meeting the then rising star, Tyler The
Creator, in 2009 resulted in Frank joining the hip hop group OddFuture or ODFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All). However, Frank continued to pursue solo projects on the side. In 2011, for example, he released the mixtape nostalgia, ULTRA as a free download on his Tumblr, and it proved to be something of a stroke of genius. Jay-Z and Kanye West heard the mixtape and contacted Ocean to get his vocals on two of the tracks on the Watch the Throne album. Quietly. His breakthrough was made, and before long he was reaping a Grammy for his 2013 album channel ORANGE. In addition to his solo career, Frank has continuously continued where he started and written songs for other artists. He has written for none other than John Legend, Justin Bieber and Beyonce.
Despite his great success and place in the spotlight, Frank Ocean is described as a very reserved and private person who cherishes his personal life. As a result, he is not seen as often in the media as other big names, is seen in limited photos and has almost no social media presence.
A creative businessman
When a celebrity of Frank Ocean's calibre, who otherwise keeps to himself and doesn't make much noise, finally says something, ears perk up. And ears were pricked in the creative and fashion worlds when Frank Ocean issued a press release about his latest project, the Homer jewellery brand, which launched on 6 August 2021.
Homer's collection consists of jewellery in classic categories such as bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces with or without pendants and loose pendants. The collection also includes a host of coloured silk scarves and a single belt buckle. Overall, the collection is divided into four main groups: chains, H-crest, Plus and Sphere Legs.
The jewellery has a playful aesthetic, tending towards the childish, with small figures of various shapes; butterflies, a Pokémon-like creature, a cat mask, a cube and a doll. All in metals or bright colours and studded with diamonds to a greater or lesser degree.
A diamond is usually formed by coal being under pressure for thousands of years, but this is not the case for the diamonds used in the Homer jewellery. The diamonds in the jewellery are artificially created by experts who, under controlled laboratory conditions, can mimic the natural process and even speed up the process considerably, but they are still real diamonds. The process starts with a tiny "diamond seed", a tiny part of a diamond equivalent to 1/400 of a carat. Over a period of four weeks, coal is then stored around the tiny "diamond seed", put under extremely high pressure and exposed to extremely high heat. This melts the pressurised coal and the "diamond seed" together, transforming the coal into diamond. The diamond is then aligned and polished, and the stone undergoes quality control to ensure that it meets Homer's high standards. The high quality standards are confirmed by the fact that the stone is not only assessed internally by Homer. Once approved here, it goes to the International Gemstone Institute to get a thumbs up there too.
And by the way, Frank Ocean himself owns the diamond farm. Homer has a flagship store in New York City, though it is currently temporarily closed (as of January 10, 2022), while preparing for the launch of its next collection, "When a dog comes to stay."
Despite its rather short lifespan, Homer has already done a pretty massive collab - recently landing a collaboration between Homer and Prada.
And speaking of Prada, it's perhaps no coincidence that Homer is landing his first collaboration with the fashion house.
There's a strong bond between Frank Ocean and Prada. For material for the fashion house's Spring/Summer 2020 campaign, Frank Ocean was one of three specially selected to represent the brand. He was also joined by actor Austin Butler and Danish film director Nicolas Winding Refn (the man behind the Pusher films and Drive), all photographed by legendary photographer David Sims.
And while we're on the subject of the Met Gala, let's round off with the latest happening on that front from Frank Ocean. For the 2021 gala, Ocean trotted the red carpet, wearing Prada of course, with a little green robot boy on his arm. The boy's skin was the same acid green colour as Ocean's hair. By all accounts, the little robot boy was a publicity stunt for the new Homer jewellery brand. The boy wore a full suit in the same pattern as the silk scarves from the first collection. Frank Ocean himself, of course, also wore a necklace from the Sphere Legs range by Homer - reportedly a necklace worth an estimated $1.9 million, or about DKK 12,500,000.
If you'd like to get your hands on some of the Homer jewellery created by Frank Ocean, it's actually possible to get some of the jewellery for a reasonable price, but depending on what you fall in love with, you might need to look a little towards your savings or a lottery win. Prices for a necklace without pendant, for example, start at around DKK 2,100 and end at DKK 130,000.
You can also splurge and go all Frank Ocean on it and drop DKK 4 million for a single pendant, but then you also get diamonds for a total carat of 83.5 mounted on a base of solid 18 carat gold.
But it's not just as a model that Frank Ocean pulls Prada. At the 2019 Met Gala, he showed up on the red carpet wearing black suit trousers, a white shirt, black tie and an anorak. A Prada anorak, to be sure, but still such a special combination that the outfit drew a lot of attention. Some compared him to a doorman or a parking attendant, but once the worst of the buzz had died down, the critics could probably eat their own words again. In record time, the Prada anorak became one of the most sought-after pieces of luxury clothing, selling out fast, and the photos of Ocean on the red carpet wearing the Prada anorak are considered a Met Gala highlight today.
In the photos from the 2019 Met Gala, Ocean can also be seen holding a camera, but it's not just any camera. Frank Ocean had been equipped with a cream-of-the-crop analogue Contax camera, which Vogue had hired him to shoot during the Met Gala because photographers are not allowed at the dinner and party itself.