As a native of New York City, it is still amazing that one can find hidden treasures buried within the overpopulated retail landscape of this city… such a treasure is M. de PHOCAS. For those of you who are not familiar, they are a bespoke fine jewelry business, which caters to gentlemen from around the world. They are located in the far reaches of west Chelsea and yet the taste level and appeal are decidedly Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Place Vendome.
Fashion is an odd business; it is far easier and more common to sew a dress and start a business than it is to start a fine jewelry business. In fact, it is even more difficult and rare to establish a business in the tradition of the great jewelers, i.e. Cartier, Tiffany, Verdura or Van Cleef and Arpel. I refer to M. de PHOCAS and the multi-talented Jesus Torres and Alexis Zambrano.
These two young men have begun on a journey that will no doubt take them to great heights of recognition by way of offering objects of great desire for many in the same way the legendary jewelers did in their times. The focus of their business, at the moment, is men which is again a rarity, especially in the fine jewelry business. They take much of their inspirations from nature as well as from the art of fine jewelry making. Whether it is the exquisite diamond and sapphire studs with matching cufflinks, the black coral scallop shell cufflinks or the crab stick pin, the level of artistry is beyond the pale and their appeal is timeless.
The humor and respect for the art and craft of jewelry-making are what set them apart from the contemporary flock of designers. Their commitment to offering original and exquisitely designed and rendered jewelry is certainly not taken lightly when you consider the plethora of designers who opt for “bridge” collections, which are far more commercial rather that stepping all the way up to fine and precious jewelry. Hands down, it is evident that these two are gentlemen, in every sense of the word, possess a refinement and taste level that is unique amongst their peers.
Features of the collection are that each style can be offered in 18k white, yellow or rose gold as well as sterling silver. Their choice of “stones” is a bit more particular to their tastes as they use coral, turquoise and agate as well as the usual variety of precious stones.
In the very near future, this design team will be offering a capsule precious leather collection (totes, wallets, belts) and by that I mean… think croco, as well as the more standard varieties of skins. At the moment all pieces are made to order and in the true tradition of “bespoke,” they can be customized to the buyer’s specifications. Keep in mind that cufflinks are easily converted to earrings so that any woman of discerning taste can partake of M. de PHOCAS as well. | Jeffrey Felner
pictures courtesy M. de PHOCAS