Can A Spanish Men’s Jewellery Start-Up Take Its Hype Machine Global?

Can A Spanish Men’s Jewellery Start-Up Take Its Hype Machine Global?

BARCELONA — Biel Juste and Joan Margrit — the influencers-turned-entrepreneurs behind men’s jewellery start-up Twojeys — tend to ignore the conventional wisdom not to mix business and pleasure. In fact, blending the two is key to how the magnetic 26-year-olds have caught the attention of trend-setting clients including Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, Jaden Smith and Jared Leto.

Juste and Margrit, who are often seen online partying with friends in Ibiza or kicking about Barcelona in 90s skater-boy inspired fits, have leveraged that visibility to build a direct-to-customer jewellery business with €4.5 million in sales in 2022. This year, the brand known for its €60 signet rings and €75 silver chains is on track to grow 60 percent, the brand said.

Twojeys has become synonymous with sybaritic summers in Ibiza, where they have hosted influential friends — from Spanish actor Manu Rios and Brazilian football star Marcelo Vieira to French motorcyclist Fabio Quartararo and Spanish YouTuber El Rubius — capturing the action on social media. This year, they rented a small galleon resembling the Black Pearl from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“This was our version of a fashion show,” explained Juste. In a similar way to how social media-savvy Jacquemus built a global brand by tapping into the landscapes and attitudes of Provence, Twojeys bottles the Ibiza mystique for the world.

A scroll through Juste and Margrit’s Instagrams reveals a heady mix of sun-drenched hedonism and meme-worthy materialism linked to extreme sports: the founders are seen driving vintage sports cars, riding jet skis and flying in helicopters — all branded with Twojeys’ double star logo — as well as going to parties, jumping off boats, skateboarding, snowboarding and cliff diving.

“It was always fun, it was always kinky, it was always young,” said Marc Forne, a stylist and fixture of the annual revelry, who has known Juste since they were 16 years old.

Their formula has conquered Spain’s Gen-Z shoppers: In Madrid’s artsy Malasaña neighbourhood, Twojeys pieces are now everywhere. “It’s like the New York Yankees hat,” says Marius Seiryu Yo, a student in the city.

It doesn’t hurt that its price points are accessible, tapping into a sweet spot in the market: Silver Cuban link chains are €130, zodiac pendants are €85 and knuckle rings are €91.

While DTC brands pushing affordable mens’ jewellery are abundant on Instagram, the personal, even voyeuristic content that accompanies Twojeys’ products lends credibility to the proposition. The founders’ fun, seductive vibe has pushed some fans to go farther than buying their latest pieces: some have even tattooed the Twojeys logo on their bodies.

“The story is more important than the product,” said Jacquemus CEO Bastien Daguzan, who advises Twojeys informally. “The community chooses you because of what you are and not because of what you sell. And that creates a connection with customers that you cannot have with paid marketing.”

Now, Twojeys is targeting growth beyond Spain. This autumn, it partnered with its first third-party retailer, London’s Selfridges, which saw early traction so strong that it doubled its order. And on November 24, the brand will open its first store outside Spain on London’s Brewer Street, a stone’s throw away from Machine-A, Palace and Supreme.

“The guys are aspirational — they’ve got style,” said Selfridges’ accessories director Jack Cassidy. “They’ve really tapped into that kind of nonchalant carefree Gen-Z spirit, which just feels so marketable.”

Although it’s a Spanish label, the concept behind Twojeys was born in the American West. In April 2019, Juste and Margrit drove from Las Vegas to Coachella, documenting their trip for their growing Instagram followings. But as Margrit tells it, “we had a problem: we couldn’t find the jewellery to wear, we didn’t know where to buy it… so let’s make our own jewellery.”

Twojeys

A month later, back in their hometown of Barcelona, they each put in €2,000 pulled together from modelling jobs, influencer deals and a top-up from Margrit’s mother. They Googled “jewellery shops” and after four days of rejection, they found a local manufacturer who took a chance on them. At that point, they only had sketches of popular Ibiza iconography like the sun, the moon and the Horus eye, which the local artisan helped translate into handmade silver necklace pendants with its now signature “perfect imperfect” patina.

A couple months later they started to tease the launch on Instagram, initially just posting mood images: wild horses, Brad Pitt from the “Fight Club,” cowboys, and scenes from “The Fast and The Furious.” To market their first 200 pieces, they created a video featuring themselves in a Ford Mustang at Margrit’s family ranch outside Barcelona.

By the end of July 2019, the Twojeys Shopify website went live. They priced their jewellery at €50, which, they reasoned, 20-somethings like themselves could afford. They sold out their first production run of 200 in 2 days, netting €6000 on €10,000 in sales. The pair soon dropped out of university to focus on the business.

They restocked the styles that kept selling out. A few months later, they broadened their product assortment and expanded into other categories like rings and bracelets. In the summer of 2020, they turned on the social media hype machine: launching a collaboration with Spanish actor Manu Rios, and hosting its first summer villa party on the Costa Brava. Ibiza came the following year.

Amid pandemic lockdowns when people were looking for escapism, the brand’s Instagram audience grew: first to 30,000, then 250,000, and now 360,000 followers.

So has their business. Sales jumped 700 percent in 2020 to top €2 million. In 2022, they began to host pop-ups in Berlin and London — not only to meet their clientele but to test appetite for their products outside Spain. This year, they’ve started to expand beyond jewellery with oversize hoodies, which quickly became sell-out items on their website.

Retail is also powering growth. In addition to the new London shop, Twojeys now operates boutiques in Barcelona and Madrid.

Still, the brand remains calibrated for online consumption, from its pricing to its straightforward marketing materials, often created with little more than a simple point-and-shoot film camera, GoPro and an iPhone. That approach allows the brand to push out near-daily content on Instagram and YouTube, blending the codes of e-commerce and reality TV. “It’s like a channel: instead of Netflix, you can see what they are doing; each day they have something new,” said Daguzan.

Whether they can sustain the hype remains to be seen. In today’s fast-moving world of digital commerce, consumers often blow up hot products before moving on to the next idea just as fast. But for now, Twojeys seems to have the building blocks in place to scale: a clear and sticky identity, powered by the strength of its community.

“I compare them to Unknwn, Corteiz, 6 pm in Berlin, Rare Humans in Austria,” said brand consultant Christopher Morency. “They are a part of this generation of lifestyle brands that connect with their audience. They are taking us on their journey with them. And you want to root for them to win.”

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