Chrome Hearts Jewelry weren’t released yesterday. Although the brand has steadily increased its position in mainstream fashion, it is well-known in underground circles for decades. This niche popularity made it so popular that fashion designers and rock musicians longed to be part of the company’s cultural heritage. The aura of mystery plays a prominent part in Chrome Hearts appeal. Chrome Hearts is supported by the aura of mystery, disruption and an unrelenting desire to offend.
The Chrome Hearts Jewelry Beginning
In 1988, Richard Stark, a leather dealer and John Bowman, a leather designer, decided to start a biker gear tailoring company. They felt that there wasn’t enough high-end leather products for motorcyclists, and set out to fill this gap. Leonard Kamhout, a professional jeweler, joined the team soon after. He was a solely silver-working jeweler, which meant he could bring the needed eye-catchiness and sparkle to the leather jackets and chaps he and his partners created. Their signature fashion workie style was characterized by large silver zippers and snap buttons.
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown was the first project that the company completed. The movie’s production title was ‘Chrome Hearts’ before it got its final name. Stark believed this name would be the perfect choice for a business that serves chrome bikers. Stark and his co-founders of the brand parted ways a few years later. Stark met Laurie Lynn when she gave him a request to design a line of leather swimwear. The couple opened their first boutique in New York in 1996. This was the beginning of the Chrome Heart fashion empire.
More than a Jewelry Brand
Chrome Hearts can make anything you can think of. You can find everything you need: clothing, caps, sunglasses and household items. They take great pride in what they do and they make sure it is perfect. Although Chrome Hearts is a low-key brand with a lot of diversity, one thing remains constant: its designs are centered around motorcycles and gothic themes. These pieces are mysterious and mesmerizing. They pay homage to icons such as crosses, skulls daggers, spikes, and all things jazz. These motifs and their monochromatic color palette earned them a loyal following of rock ‘n roll fans, bikers, and others who enjoy a dark aesthetic.
Chrome Hearts is one of the rare brands that prefers brick-and-mortar stores over digital platforms for promoting their products. This outdated approach has its advantages. This allows for a wide range of opportunities to showcase the company’s distinctive style. Chrome Hearts uses unique top-to-bottom designs in each of its brand stores. The highlight is the rock ‘n roll vibe. The Miami branch, now closed, provided a candy section that was unique in its genre. The New York branch is, however, the only fully-fledged furniture store. You will find unique interior designs and exclusive stock at every store, no matter where you go.
A Fusion of Niche and Mainstream
Most motorcycle hard jewelry companies, including mine, place a strong emphasis on affordable and cheerful products. It’s simple: most riders don’t want to spend a lot on trinkets. Chrome Hearts took a different path. They offer the world eccentricity, elitism and luxury in high-end materials. This is not something you can buy on a shoestring.
Who are the clients of the brand? Chrome Hearts jewelry is worth considering if you are a follower of trends but still want to be bold. Chrome Heart is the right choice for you if you don’t mind paying a lot and are willing to show off your style, then Chrome Hearts is the perfect option if you’re looking to emulate celebrities.
The brand’s first collaboration was with celebs in 2002. It wasn’t just a collaboration with someone only known in the biker community. The Rolling Stones were the real heroes of this collaboration. The brand and the band created an exclusive capsule collection that included apparel, leather accessories, jewelry, and other apparel. Every piece featured the iconic tongue and lips logo, be it a ring or pendant, pin, keychain or keychain.
The brand has partnered with virtually everyone involved in fashion and the bohemian lifestyle since then. It has collaborated most prominently with Off White, Guns and Roses and Matty Boy. Comme des Garcons is a Japanese fashion brand. Bella Hadid presented a 40-piece CHROME EARTS x BELLA collection in 2017. It was presented at Paris Fashion Week that year, and Bella Hadid’s sister Gigi also contributed by displaying some pieces on the catwalk.
There are many celebrities who love Chrome Hearts’ unique aesthetic. Chrome Hearts were worn by Steven Tyler, Steven Tyler and Britney Spears. Late Lil Peep was photographed in Chrome Hearts jewelry pieces during one of his most memorable photo shoots. The brand’s pieces were praised by Karl Lagerfeld, the creative designer for Chanel at the time. He proudly wore a dozen Chrome Hearts rings along with Dior Homme.
An Ode to Silver
For their biker-style jewelry collections many of the more well-known brands use inexpensive materials, mostly stainless steel. Chrome Hearts is a luxury brand that emphasizes elegance and quality, so it cannot be cheap. The choice for jewelry is sterling silver.
It does not use chrome in its shein jewelry collections, despite the brand’s name. It doesn’t include heart designs, except in rare cases. You may occasionally see Chrome Hearts laser engraving on some rings and pendants, but that’s it. The brand does not try to place its logo on every piece. It features daggers and ornate crosses, blackletter fonts, fleur de lis and other Gothic motifs as part of its statement style.
Why is it so expensive?
Chrome Hearts jewelry, as well any product created by Richard Stark’s creative genius and his family, is very expensive. Why is it that their prices are so high while other brands in biker-related niches make their pieces much more affordable? It is difficult to answer this question in just a few words. The following paragraphs will reveal the secrets behind these four-digit pricing figures.
Many of the brand’s custom pieces were made in one copy. Richard Stark and his family are proud of the many friendships they have made with A-listers. Some of them collaborate while others become their loyal customers. These high-ranking clients demand unique items and personalized service. It takes a lot of work to create jewelry from scratch so it is not cheap. Celebrities don’t have to worry about the high price. Hand-crafted, made-to-order products can be the best way to stand out from the crowd.
There is no turning back once high prices are a brand’s standard. The brand’s retail stores can’t afford to lower the standard for the pieces it created. You can pay for luxury and exclusivity if you are willing to pay that price.
Family Chrome Hearts Jewelry Business
Chrome Hearts is not like many other businesses that move production to China or to other countries in order to lower their cost of production. Chrome Hearts was founded in an LA garage over 30 years ago. It doesn’t plan to move. Only thing that has changed is the fact that the Stark family no longer owns a single garage, but a large workshop that spans three blocks in Hollywood. Chrome Hearts aren’t willing to compromise quality and feel that it is best to keep everything in close reach and under control. A label that is made in the USA, or more precisely in Los Angeles, will require you to pay more.
Chrome Hearts had approximately 900 employees around the world by 2020. However, it remained a family-owned business. Richard Stark and his immediate family hold the key positions within the company.
Hidden in Mystery
Chrome Hearts was determined from the beginning to create a mystery surrounding its image. We’re not talking Gothic motifs that we find cryptic. We’re trying to show that Chrome Hearts manages to remain under the radar despite being associated with celebrities. This is especially surprising given the digital age, where celebrities are everywhere. Chrome Hearts are not in the mainstream spotlight, however.
The company does not have a website. The company’s marketing efforts are confined to retail stores. These stores do not even have signs. It is a club, so a man walking down the street will not be able to enter the doors. Chrome Hearts has never been short of clients, as you probably know. The brand had just 20+ locations in the USA, plus a few in Europe and Asia. Its motto was “If you need it, fly and get it”. It worked.
It worked up until recently. The company had to change its sales strategy in 2020. Chrome Hearts had the unfortunate decision to close several of its stores in Europe and the USA. It doesn’t rush to improve its online presence. The brand does have an Instagram account, but it has a very incomplete website. The brand opted out digital look books and doesn’t keep us updated on what’s next. We don’t know what the Starks are up to. Chrome Hearts are a secretive bunch that wants their pendants, rings, and bracelets more than anything. This demand leads to outrageously high prices.
Chrome Hearts do what they want
Chrome Hearts aren’t a follower of trends. They are the ones who set trends, if nothing else. This allows them to do what they want, whenever they want, and however they like. They don’t make large quantities at affordable prices in hopes that consumers will take their bait. They instead create small batches and set the price at which they want. Then they sell like hotcakes.
It’s impossible to predict what Chrome Hearts will release next. It could be an exclusive, gold-plated and jewel embellished white jewelry box collection or a $6000 toilet plunger. Designers for the brand let their imaginations run wild and go wherever it leads them. They don’t need anyone’s approval, and that’s what brought them to the top of the fashion world.
Chrome Hearts Jewelry Collectables
Although it is unlikely that Chrome Hearts jewelry will become an heirloom, the piece has gained the status as a sought-after collectible. It’s possible to find pieces made 20 years ago in second-hand online shops, and their value won’t drop. However, pieces that are only a few copies have become iconic and sell for four-digit prices. It is rare for items made in large quantities to be as cheap as they are. A vintage Chrome Hearts ring will cost you at least $400. Chrome Hearts ring are not plated with metal. A status symbol is what you pay.
Bikerringshop was one of the many jewelers who became inspired by Chrome Hearts. We don’t offer custom-made items, but we keep true to the principles of the proclaimed jewelers: manual production, sterling silver, and the glorifying of biker style. You’ve come to the right place if you are looking for quality biker jewelry at a reasonable price. We have a lot of great options, so don’t be afraid to browse our collection.