It’s Election Day, the votes have been counted, the results are in, and the blog is written. I want to thank all of the women who played along with this here crazy experiment of mine. It was only a matter of days after this thing got started that some guy mentioned to another guy how they should do a looks contest on the women of the jewelry industry, which of course, added to my justification for starting this little poll in the first place. This, m’ladies, was to turn the tables and give us the opportunity to do the judging… for once. You took the chance and ran like a bat out of hell with it, and I can’t thank you enough for making it fun for me, while hopefully giving a bit of an ego boost to those guys who made the list below. Without further hesitation, here are your top twelve Best Dressed/Most Handsome men in Jewelry according to your vote:
No. 12 – The Rockstar
For me, the hottest thing about a man is his sense of humor. If a man is funny – and I mean, genuinely humorous – then chances are he’s intelligent, and that, too, is an incredibly sexy characteristic. The second hottest thing for me is a damned good head of hair. Stephen Webster – our resident industry rock star, or as we’ll call him, “Mr. December” – has both of those attributes and oh, so much more. I’ve been following Mr. December on Twitter for a while now, and if for some reason you don’t, know that you’re severely neglected in the world of social media. With tweets like “To show my support for my partners in KC (Tivol Jewelers) I’m rooting for the Royals. Baseball, and not the Windsors” it’s no wonder so many find the man infectious and superbly attractive. I’ve not met Mr. December personally as of yet but I thank the gals who voted for him because I couldn’t imagine this list without his snark and spark.
No. 11 – The Celebrity
What would this business be without the style and swag of Michael O’Connor? This man is walking perfection, and he never has so much as a hair out of place. Er, scratch that last part. Not only did Mr. November attain multiple votes in his favor, many of his female colleagues made sure they added their reasons why. “Seriously, does the man age?” “I’ve got to go with Michael O’Connor for Best Dressed. I mean, duh.” “If Michael O’Connor doesn’t make this list we all need a serious lesson in HOW TO KNOW WHEN SOMEONE LOOKS GOOD.” I couldn’t agree with that last statement more. I mean, he’s sort of the male version of Joan Rivers (God rest her soul) so why on earth wouldn’t he have made the cut? Congrats to you. My friend! Well deserved, and please keep up the good work.
No. 10 – The Guy I Always Thought Was Italian
There’s a special place in my heart for Italian men. Why do you think they’re the poster children for all things fashion-related? Ever step foot in the Italy pavilion at any of the trade shows? Yeah, uh-huh. You know what I’m talkin’ about. I mean, the French are hot and all, but the Italians… well, they just “get it.” And Barry Verragio gets it, too, even though he’s Russian. Wait, what? I’ve been HAD! Ah, screw it. He can be an honorary Italian in my book. With a great head of hair, cheekbones for days, and a disposition that most of us are simply not worthy of, Mr. October was a popular choice among those who have either been in his presence or stared at his profile picture, not that I’ve done that myself… lately.
No. 9 – The Fashionisto
Dallas Selsey. What do I think about Dallas Selsey? He’s sort of like… a portable vibrator. Meaning, he’s small enough for you to throw in your purse, stealth enough that you might forget he’s there for a while, yet dependable enough that he shows up when you really need him most… for example, that time you sat in a traffic jam in Charlotte for three hours and you started tearing your handbag apart swearing that you threw in an apple pie flavored Larabar before you left the house that morning, and then, WHAMMO! There he was! Traffic? What Traffic?? Yeah, he’s kind of like that but in a designer cashmere sex toy pouch autographed by Tom Ford. I’m pretty sure Mr. September will like this description of himself. I know for a fact I couldn’t have used it for anyone else on this list. Thank you to everyone who voted for Dallas Selsey. Seeing him make the cut makes me wonder where my purse is.
No. 8 – The Southern Gentleman
“You should see his closet!” That was a quote included by Terry Chandler’s beloved wife Cindy when she emailed her vote for him to me last week. Has anyone in this industry laid eyes on this man and not thought to themselves “that guy knows how to wear a bowtie”? I highly doubt it, and yet it isn’t just the bowtie that draws people in; it’s the complete Tennessean package. Nice suits, great disposition, cool glasses, Southern manners, and an infectious personality only add to the tall stature and handsome face. Terry is a presence in this business in more ways than one, and when it came to voting for him in this competition, his many fans showed up in droves. Well done, Mr. August! Don’t ever change your style!
No. 7 – The Renaissance Man
For a while there my email inbox looked like a Todd Reed groupie convention broke out in it. Vote after vote had “Todd Reed” as the subject line which neither shocked nor surprised me because I’ve met the guy… and he’s pretty dang cute. People who didn’t recognize him by name were messaging me saying “I’ll take the guy with the shaggy hair in the center-right square to block”… so it appears that you don’t even have to know who Mr. July is to know how sultry he can be. On top of being one of the sexiest men our industry has offered up thus far, he makes cool jewels and does a slew of other interesting projects as well. Glasses + messy mop + Coloradoesque attitude + talent = lucky number seven. Good on ya, Mr. Reed, and keep those awesome hugs a flowin’!
No. 6 – The One We Want to Convert
Come on. Admit it. If you’re a woman, you think JCK’s Mark Smelzer is gorgeous. If you’re a man, you also may think the same thing but for the sake of this little poll, we kept the votes to gals only. Who here hasn’t imagined some steamy night under the covers with Mr. Smelzer after four or five (dozen) martinis? If you haven’t yet had that vision, you will soon enough, trust me on this. I personally love a challenge, and well… I should probably change the subject. Stunning duds are only a part of what makes this Mr. June so fantastic. He’s witty, kind, and passionate about what he does, and the fact that he’ll soon be a dad makes all of us swoon just a little bit more, which is likely one of the reasons he received so many votes. Congratulations on making our poll, Mark. We are all here if you ever ((wink)) need us.
No. 5 – The Pleasant Surprise
I have no idea who you are, Jeremy Dunn, but clearly, it doesn’t matter whether I do or not. Your name is now forever burned in my brain via the private tweets, Facebook messages, emails and smoke signals I received (I mean, you are in Seattle, maaaaan. Smoke signals are alllll goooood.) One voter stated “(Jeremy Dunn) is very handsome, indeed, but what’s more important is that he’s beautiful on the inside.” Let’s face it, you’re the “Pleasant Surprise” because I don’t remember the last time I saw a master bench jeweler who looked anything like you. You’re adorable! You’re your own secret weapon, bro, and you’re going places, from what I hear. Good luck with TheRephinery.com and Mazel Tov on the title of Mr. May!
No. 4 – The International Man of Mystery
What can anyone say about GIA’s Craig Danforth that hasn’t already been said? He’s charming, suave, personable, charming, funny, friendly, stylish, and charming. Oh, and he’s charming… did I mention that? Craig got so many votes at once that I had to reboot my laptop. That’s saying something, right there. Mostly that I need a new laptop. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t consider him a close friend and I’m pretty sure most men (and women) envy the life he leads. The consummate traveler, Mr. April prides himself on dressing his best and according to one vote-giver, he has “the most wonderful collection of cufflinks I’ve ever seen in my life.” Kudos to you, dear Craig. You are loved and admired amongst your minions, friends, and followers.
No. 3 – The Breath of Fresh Air
Young, blue-eyed, and stunning. Or so, that’s what I hear from the multitude of women who scurried to get their vote in for Gannon Brousseau, show director for Couture. I don’t know a damned thing about this guy and I’m pretty sure he likes it that way. Was he a KGB agent in another life? Is he in the witness protection program because he used to be a North Jersey mob boss named Vinny Acquilinni? Is he wanted in six states for killing alpacas and selling their hooves to be ground down as the latest hallucinogen? I HAVE NO IDEA. But that’s also the part that’s refreshing. Mr. March doesn’t have to be sprawled across social media to have the ladies fawning all over him. All he needs to do is show up when he needs to, do the job he’s supposed to, and exit with the grace bestowed upon him, and the women of the world will be at his beck and call. Rock on with your blue-eyed self, yo.
No. 2 – The American Sweetheart
Is there a kinder, more empathetic man in jewelry than Lecil Henderson? I doubt it. Which is why when his closest colleague rallied the troops to send in their votes for him, billions and billions of women showed their support. Maybe not that many, but if you had to read every one of those emails it would have felt like billions to you. Not everyone has that effect on people, and the fact that Lecil has left such a mark on people’s lives is a true testament to just how lovely he is. He’s a defender of the weak. He’s chivalrous to a fault. He’s kind-faced, sweet-natured, and just an all-around wonderful man. All of these things are what make him so handsome to those who voted, and I send my congrats to Mr. February on an impression well left.
No. 1 – The Royal
Are you surprised? I know you’re not surprised. I wasn’t surprised. I’m pretty sure this was a lock.
“Mike always looks as if he stepped off of the pages of GQ magazine…”
“Mike is not only the best looking and best dressed, but he’s also the best friend you could ever have…”
I only just met Mike Asscher this past May at JCK Las Vegas but there is a particular memory involving his attire that stands out for me. A huge group of industry folk were hanging out in the casino bar when one of my colleagues playfully pulled Mr. Asscher’s pocket square from his jacket. Without skipping a beat in his conversation he politely took it back, and continued to speak while folding the thing into the neatest geometric shape I’d ever seen in my life. Then he tucked it back in, like it looked like he’d done a thousand times before, and carried on as gracefully as a prince, which is when my friend turned to me and said “that thing we just witnessed was on a completely other level,” She was right. There is a grace and charm about this man that makes him what most in his position are not… approachable. He is debonair. He is witty. And he is madly in love with his wife and his kids. Combine all of those characteristics and pour them into a hand-tailored Italian suit and you have yourself a winner of any competition, day after day, and time after time. Mike was the only one of my three votes who made the top twelve, but I have to say, I’m incredibly happy to see that he came in as number one. Three cheers for you, sir. It’s more than deserved.
Congratulations to all of the winners! Keep straightening those ties, polishing those shoes, adjusting those glasses, and slicking back that hair, because you just never know who’s watching you or when and if those watching will vote again.