Pete Wentz has a new side hustle.
The Fall Out Boy bassist has been working on a jewelry line for the better part of a year. Named after the word for a master-less samurai, Ronin is Wentz’s passion project-turned-direct-to-consumer jewelry brand. It launches online today and is Wentz’s first accessories venture independent of Fall Out Boy.
“Making tangible pieces is counterintuitive because we live in an age where people are into AR and VR and people want to be in a room that doesn’t really exist, but feel like they’re touching things that also don’t exist,” said Wentz. “It’s cool to have tangible things because they can go on the journey with you and they have a story and they become a talisman in that way.”
Ronin launches with a tight selection of four gold-filled and sterling silver products: Elliot Signet, $50; Serpens Ring, $75; Luna Pendant, $115, and the 14-karat solid gold Cor Locket, $1,300. Each design was made by Wentz and a team at Crush Management, which manages Fall Out Boy. The pieces were both designed and priced with first-time jewelry buyers in mind.
“I think there can be an entry point for jewelry and for fashion that doesn’t have to be extreme, it doesn’t have to make people feel bad,” said Wentz. “Buying your first piece of jewelry is exciting and that’s something you can hold on to forever, whether it’s a watch, a necklace or a charm. I want [Ronin] to feel inclusive.”
The $1,300 locket, he added, was originally going to be gold-filled, but he and his production partner, MKM Jewelry in Los Angeles, opted for solid gold to make it weightier.
Wentz and Fall Out Boy, are gearing up to release a new album and go on tour with Green Day and Weezer in the summer of 2020. Asked whether his music inspired the pieces, Wentz said that it was important for him to create pieces he would be able to wear on tour.
“I went out and road-tested all the pieces,” he said. “I played 50 shows in most of them and got in the shower afterward and sweated and saw how the pieces reacted to that. It’s design and ideas that can go past the parameters of the band. [With] the band, the idea has to be processed through a bassist, two guitarists, a drummer and a singer. Some of the designs here don’t need to be in the realm of that.”
Wentz added that he is interested in finding retail partners — though only of the specialty boutique variety (RSVP Gallery in Chicago, GR8 in Tokyo or United Arrows) — and is already working on a second collection for Ronin. He also expressed interest in pursuing a home goods line.
“There are things that make your world feel smaller and bigger and better all at the same time and I want these pieces to do that,” he said. “Anytime you can have a tangible thing that makes you feel better, that’s a great thing.”
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