Novelty beard decor has come a long way since we became a “peak beard” society. (Reminder: On April 16, 2014, The Washington Post
declared, “Hipster beards are not long for this world,” based on the results of a British study
on negative frequency-dependent preferences and variation in male facial hair. Which just means that when beards are everywhere, people are less attracted to them. Anyway, this has been proven wrong.) First came the fragrant beard bouquets
. Then, beards dipped in glitter
. Last Christmas, Santa brought Beard Baubles
, festive ornaments designed to be hung from facial hair.
Now, we present the hot new trend in beard adornment.
Meet designer Valeria Stroukova, the brave canary in this fashion coal mine. Her line of Krato Beard Jewels
, touted as the first ever jewelry collection
for bearded men, is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter
Ridiculous? Maybe. Still, you’ve got to admit there’s a hole in the (infinitesimal) market.
When she moved from Toronto to Milan two years ago, Stroukova couldn’t get over how into style Italian men were. Oh, and the beards. Italy is full of beards.
In her opinion, if a groomed beard is another way of expressing style, like wearing a designer suit, why aren’t there beard accessories for the modern man? “An Italian man wearing a suit and tie might never wear Viking beads
on their beards, but they would choose a sophisticated little crystal or a rebellious skull or anchor,” she says.
Stroukova skips over the whys of beard jewelry and focuses on the hows: A typical hairpin or barrette can pull on a beard and slides out too easily, she found, so the former industrial designer spent over a year testing what seemed like a zillion clips, closures, and even magnets (those ripped out hairs during trials). “I developed a lot of handmade and 3-D-printed prototypes before settling on this triangular spiral,” she says. As for how it works, you just insert it into the beard and twist like you’re using a Lilliputian version of the Goody Spin Pin
We think this is a fashion fork in the road that could change the global beardscape. You can usher in the new era of grooming and get two Beard Jewels for the price of one in time for the holidays by pledging €28 (approximately $31) on Kickstarter. Plus, there are a bunch of other fundraising deals including a custom-made jewel for €150 (approximately $161), which we can only hope you will order in the shape of Italy.