Tom Leonardis is branching out and bringing the savvy that helped build Whoopi Goldberg’s business to the world of wedding bands, but with a twist.
Leonardis, who is president of Whoop Inc., has stepped out with a side project of his own — Gámos, a brand of genderless engagement rings that interlock with a wedding band.
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The idea for the rings started with same-sex marriages in mind, but Leonardis said there is also a much broader opportunity in breaking the tradition of women’s-only diamond engagement rings.
“Why doesn’t everybody wear an engagement ring?” he asked in an interview.
It’s a question more people have been asking as the fashion world — and the world generally — has awoken to the specific needs and marketing opportunities in the LGBTQ community.
Tiffany & Co. has a line of men’s engagement rings and Kay Jewelers is targeting the market as well.
Gámos is aiming for the space between with an offering that, once combined, does away with that extra engagement ring that can come when two men get married.
“As we read now about what’s happening in the world with men and engagement rings, I think there’s another avenue,” Leonardis said. “Right now, it solves a problem for the LGBTQ community, but I think this can go beyond. I want Gámos to be a household name. There’s something about Gámos that I just think can continue and can be the first and be the leader.”
The idea began when Leonardis’ close friend Woodie Neiss posted a photo of himself wearing a ring on social media to announce his engagement. When Leonardis congratulated Neiss, the talk turned to the ring. The plan was to replace the engagement ring with a wedding band, but Neiss wasn’t sure what to do with the engagement ring afterward.
The two teamed up and brought the quandary to jewelry designer and goldsmith Elisa Melegari and the three cofounders created Gámos, which is Greek for matrimony.
Together they designed two styles of engagement rings that interlock with a wedding band. The Vída collection has an engagement ring that twists into the wedding band and comes in stainless steel and gold. And the Syndéo collection, which comes in gold and can be set with diamond, features an engagement ring that slides into the wedding band. Patents are pending on both designs, which can be personalized with engravings.
Gámos are made to order and available on the brand’s web site.
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