Meet the Jewelry Brand Saying “No” To Gender

Montreal-based jewelry brand Deux Lions is spearheading the move to create jewelry outside of the constraints of gender.

Putting on a ring or a necklace has long been a way for women to elevate their outfits and express themselves through fashion. Women have dominated the jewelry market since its conception, leading most major jewelry companies to offer only a small selection of men’s jewelry, if any. Charlotte Piché wants to change that.  

The founder and creative director of Montreal-based jewelry brand Deux Lions, Piché has spent months thinking about the often-arbitrary constraints placed around men’s fashion, and especially jewelry. Why is it that when a male celebrity wears a necklace or adorns his hands in rings, it becomes a news story? Why are most of the jewelry options for men dark, heavy pieces that lack personality, while women’s jewelry is made for self-expression?  

These questions inspired Piché to look deeper at the messages that the jewelry industry is sending men, which in turn found her rethinking the concept of masculinity as a whole. The product of her thoughts and research is an edgy, androgynous campaign for Deux Lion’s Spring/Summer 2022 campaign, shot exclusively on men.  

 

“I really wanted to break down the walls of who should be wearing what,” says Piché. “I also wanted to amplify the fact that anyone can shop in any kind of category for jewelry.” Though Deux Lions does sell both men’s and women’s jewelry (her brother, Alex, heads the men’s section, Deux Lions Homme), Piché hopes that showcasing the women’s collection on men will break down the barriers between the two lines and empower men to broaden their jewelry searches.  

 

The campaign, which reimagined and ultimately reconstructed the classic magazine beauty shoot, showcases a contemporary version of masculinity. Piché intentionally placed the models in vulnerable positions, to highlight the fact that vulnerability is a sign of strength. She also wanted to ensure that the models looked comfortable while tapping into their innate femininity: “I just kind of wanted to play around with the concept of these guys showing their feminine side, as a way where that makes them extra masculine,” she explained.  

The end result of the campaign is a stunning collection of images which capture the essence of androgyny and ever-fading gender roles, with the jewelry simply supporting the vision. Piché chose young models who fit with the edgy and ambiguous inspiration for the shoot, à la Robert Maplethorpe or Mick Jagger, two pioneers in the male jewelry game who pushed the limits of men’s fashion.

 

The new collection, which is launching exclusively on Moda Operandi, is an extension of the brand’s signature style: natural, bohemian, and timeless. “I always joke around and say that the jewelry that I make reminds me of stealing from my grandfather’s jewelry, his signet rings especially,” says Piché. Necklaces with rough, non-uniform pearls blend with gold dripped Egyptian eye symbols and charm bracelets adorned with Roman coins. To add to the rawness of the pieces, each item is fully handcrafted, and the brand doesn’t outsource any materials.  

 

 

As a brand, Deux Lions has always celebrated femininity. Styles like the Ines Baroque Pearl necklace, Piché’s personal favorite, are inspired by female goddesses from ancient Egypt. Each Roman coin design also references femininity: Piché creates wax molds of actual ancient coins and shaves one side of each, allowing her to redo the coin’s central design with a powerful woman.  

 

The Spring-Summer 2022 collection pays homage to perhaps the most powerful woman of all: Gaia, the goddess of the Earth, who inspired the reign of powerful women around the world. With the new campaign and collection, Deux Lions is giving men the opportunity to feel that divine feminine energy. 

For Piché, making fashion more diverse has always been at the foundation of everything she does. It’s why she started Deux Lions in 2014 after leaving the toxic world of retail, recognizing the inclusive nature of jewelry. Through this lens, the move to make the brand essentially genderless makes perfect sense: it’s just another step towards her ultimate goal of wide-spread acceptance and inclusivity within the industry. 

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