Jewelry for Rap Gods (and Mortals Alike) – by Christopher Barnard (New York Times – February 5, 2023)

The jewelry designer Alex Moss specializes in creating custom pieces for clients like Drake and Jack Harlow. This month, he releases a collection available to the masses.

Nine floors above the storefronts of New York’s diamond district, in a corner suite of the World Diamond Tower, a lariat necklace with diamonds the size of molars sat inside a silver briefcase. The necklace was fresh from a cleaning — an ultrasonic water bath, followed by a steam — and visiting the office of the jewelry designer Alex Moss in late January en route to its owner: the rapper and singer Drake.

“Jewelry is like a car, it needs to be maintained,” Mr. Moss, 30, said. The piece, created by Mr. Moss, took 14 months to make. A video shared on Instagram by the designer said that its 42 diamonds represented the number of times that Drake had considered proposing marriage. When asked how much the necklace cost, Mr. Moss declined to answer, citing the security of its owner.

Personal orders like Drake’s necklace have been Mr. Moss’s bread and butter since he started his namesake line in 2020. Last year, he created about 170 custom pieces, he said, and is currently juggling about 40. Much of that jewelry has been made for young hip-hop artists:

His other clients have included include Tyler, the Creator, ASAP Rocky and Chief Keef. Some of the pieces have had price tags with six figures, including a belt set with rubies and white, black and green diamonds for ASAP Rocky, and a diamond-and-sapphire-encrusted bellhop chain for Tyler, the Creator.

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