Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Culture of Bling Clangs to Earth

After years of starring in rap-music lyrics and videos, "bling" is losing its ring. The recession is cramping the style of hip-hop artists and wannabes -- many of whom are finding it difficult to afford the diamond-encrusted pendants and heavy gold chains they have long used to project an aura of outsized wealth. In an attempt to keep up appearances, celebrity jewelers say rappers are asking them to make medallions with less-precious stones and metals. Some even whisper that the artists have begun requesting cubic zirconia, the synthetic diamond stand-in and QVC staple.

Even my boy Johnny Dang is hurtin'
"The look is still big, it is still bling, but people are going with smaller diamonds and lower-karat gold," trading down from 18- and 14-karat alloys to 12k, which is only 50% gold, or less, says Mr. Dang. A Vietnamese immigrant, he started out at flea markets and now has a shop in the tony Galleria mall next to Neiman Marcus. To survive, Mr. Dang is relying more often on machine-made versions of his jewelry that can cut the cost of a $10,000 handcrafted pendant in half. Mr. Dang's "grillz" sales also have fallen off 60% in the recession.

[via WSJ]

1 comment:

harold said...



the running mule

the running mule