Mike had always had an obsession with accessories. He originally started making ladies jewelry as unique gifts for family and friends. But as more and more people started to notice the special pieces, Mike experienced a demand and ended up making more pieces that he had originally planned. It wasn’t for long that his passion became so big that he turned into a real time job. Over the years Mike received many commissions to do large pieces of jewelry and sets, but slowly he already saw some requests for men’s jewelry, which was of course quite different from his usual work.
Quite a few times when Mike sold ladies pieces to friends and colleagues, he received the request to design and make something for their husbands or boyfriends. The increase in interest made Mike believe there was more of a demand for man’s jewelry than he could have imagined and so he started to explore his possibilities in this area. As a happy coincident, Mike’s lifetime partner Nige Rorbach is a well known photographer specialized in male autistics, who also thought that jewelry pieces specially designed for men would be a great addition to the male beauty he surrounds himself with on regular base. And so Mike set to work.
“I have always made pieces for Nige and myself as we both like jewelry,” Mike explains when asked about the origins of his men’s collection. “The difficulty with designing men's jewelry is to maintain the masculine element of each piece, which is why the range that launches in April starts with semi precious stone bracelets with stones like Tiger's Eye, matt black Onyx and Obsidian which are darker in color." Mike’s men’s jewelry collection will launch in April on the Alphamaleundies website. The first collection to be released will be a range of precious stone bracelets for men, followed by a series of necklaces in the summer.
Having a partner who is a successful photographer of the male form, offers of course the unique possibility to display the unique and well designed jewelry pieces in a stylish and sensual way. The difficulty in this is however to find a model who can bring the pieces to life in their own rightful beauty. Not an easy task and when we first heard James Cohen was cast for the job, we were a bit afraid. After all, we have come to know James as a piece of jewelry by himself. But we couldn’t have been more wrong. Mike continues: "James was the perfect choice of model, and will be the face of my men's range. He's masculine, sexy and incredibly talented, and both Nige and myself knew that he would deliver stunning images."
The pieces that are in the images are all one off, unique necklaces that were designed specifically to launch Mike’s Haus of Jewels man’s jewelry range. They can be replicated but the individual pieces will never be identical. This is because Mike wants his customers to feel special, and give them the feeling and knowledge he has designed something with them in mind. "It's always nice when someone notices or comments on one of the pieces I have made, and it's a great feeling when I see someone wearing something I have created. After all, everyone deserves to sparkle."
From top to bottom, left to right: Antique bronze tone, 5 wing necklace. Chain length 22 inches, feathers are 2 inches long. £12,00 | Copper & Gunmetal 5 strand necklace. Longest chain is 35 inches, shortest chain is 30 inches. £15,00 | Black crystal & Skull 3 strand necklace. Lowest point is 29 inches, highest point is 26 inches. £15,00 | Antique bronze tone, asymetric necklace 4 to 1 strand detail. Chain length is 33.5 inches. £15,00 | Handcuffs & Key, silver tone necklace. 3 strand detail. Length to lowest point is 35 inches, shortest point is 31 inches. £18,00.
Mike’s man’s jewelry is available for purchase through his Haus of Jewels page (just send him a comment or message) and as of April 2013 also on
All photography by Nige Rorbach, Immortal Images. Model: James Cohen.
HAUS OF JEWELS BY MIKEY | BEAUTIFULMAG