For those in the fashion set, the name Sidney Garber is a familiar one. The Chicago-based jeweler owned and operated his own store there for decades, building a fan base for his polished, elegant pieces. So when his daughter, Brooke Garber Neidich, inherited his eponymous brand in 2008, she wanted both to keep those iconic styles and to update the line with her own spin. Today, she’s furthering the brand’s evolution into a territory that’d gone unexplored by her father: men’s jewelry.
Centered on bracelets, the new men’s collection was designed in conjunction with the Barneys buying team and continues the Sidney Garber hallmarks of fine craftsmanship, the utmost quality, and a refined elegance that speaks to a variety of customers. Beyond that, it also embraces the brand’s philanthropic ethos in that all profits are channeled into non-profit organizations dedicated to education, the arts, and children’s mental health.
The Window recently chatted with Garber Neidich about the new collection, the men who inspired it, and how the brand will continue to grow. Read on for a closer look at the new men’s pieces, then head to Barneys to add one of the bracelets to your own collection.
The Window: Can you tell us about the decision to add men’s to the already-beloved women’s line?
Brooke Garber Neidich: Men’s has been in my thoughts for years. We’ve created special orders for men—in fact, a very tall, very handsome interior designer was my muse in the beginning—but we’d never repeated the pieces as inventory available in the stores until now.
Well overall, how would you describe the new men’s pieces?
[Barneys EVP] Tom Kalenderian says it best—he speaks about how the pieces are made, how they feel. He told me he admires the artisanship and the look of the pieces, of course, but he really meant the craft, the technology you don’t see but that lays beneath the look. He said it brought men’s to a new level—I was thrilled!
How would describe the man you envision wearing these pieces?
Well there were four men who wore and tested out the bracelets as I perfected the designs, and I think they really embody different aspects of the Sidney Garber man. The spectacular and stylish Russell Westbrook wears two of my bracelets; my dear friends Dennis Freedman—Barneys’ Creative Director—and curator, designer, and renaissance man Duro Oloru both also wear them. I have another friend who is a prominent banker and who wears a suit every day but surfs every weekend—he wears the bracelets as well! Russell is an extraordinary athlete; Duro and Dennis are strong, talented, creative men. These are styles that can really work across the board. My younger son is an artist in L.A., and while he’ll wear the bracelet, he’s already requested that the silver be darkened. So I still have work to do!
With such a variety of guys wearing the pieces already, how would you say your male client relates to the woman who’s already a Sidney Garber devotee?
Again, I think he’s someone for whom jewelry is not fashion but a signifier of style and creativity, and that’s the case for the women who wear my pieces too. All my clients love wearing the jewelry daily—in the morning, in the evening, with jeans, with a gown, or with a suit.
Are there themes that cross the line between the women’s and men’s collections?
I always think of jewelry that can be worn every day. It has to be comfortable and not make any noise. It becomes part of your DNA, your daily look, your uniform. I have to force myself to change my jewelry or else I’d never take it off. Even so, I wear the same pieces and only change the color of gold!
Looking back at the brand’s roots and your father, what do you think he would make of the men’s pieces?
My father was a very specific, very elegant man. He wore cufflinks and a watch—the watches changed, but not often, and the cufflinks never changed! He did have fabulous evening studs and cufflinks, but his everyday cufflinks were his trademark.
As the men’s line continues to grow, where do you see it going?
I think there will be more rings and chains, both with and without charms. My jewelry tends to be a little more precious than what is available to men right now, so I think my audience will expand because they will love the craft of these pieces. But what’s immediately next? Next, I have to get to work blackening that silver wave bracelet for my son!