If ya like ’im then ya betta put a ring on ’im

Posted on 03 May 2013 at 9:45am

Designer Dian Malouf branches out into wedding rings for gay couples

RINGS

SQUARING THE CIRCLE | Malouf’s line of men’s jewelry were meant to stand apart from the sameness of round, boring options so widely available.

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

Dian Malouf came up with the idea for her line of men’s wedding rings, as she does most things, in the middle of the night.

Malouf has been a jewelry designer for 20 years — a career she stumbled onto mostly by accident.

“I started out doing it for myself when I couldn’t find a large Texas ring,” she says about her entrée into finger fashions. “I was in Santa Fe, working on my first book, and every day at 3 I’d take a break and go looking for [a ring I liked]. I never found one,” she says. When she came back to Dallas, she designed and created one herself. And it was big.

Soon after, Malouf and her husband went to Rome where strangers would stop and ask her where she got her marvelous jewelry.

“My husband said, ‘You should try some more of those.’ But I was not in the ring business — I had children! I designed another that was so ugly I literally threw it in the garbage. It never occurred to me I’d sell any.”

Eventually, though, shops expressed an interest, and almost without trying, Malouf was in the business of designing jewelry.

It’s almost the same process that led her to her current line of rings targeting gay male couples.

“My husband has a really interesting wedding ring I bought years ago along the Mexican border, where they have much more interesting things,” she says. “[Last year], I was looking for a good-looking man’s ring like that. I went to 18 jewelry stores and didn’t find one that I would buy.

What does that say? They were all round and looked exactly alike.”

Then one night five months ago, she awoke suddenly from sleep and began sketching.

“I came back to it and drew a square ring. Then another square one,” she says. Before she knew it, she had an entire collection of rings in intriguing finishes and unusual designs, from interlacing strands to one emblazoned simply with “Hitched.”

The designing was just a small part. Malouf then found a model who would wear all of them and convey the masculine sex appeal the line was designed for. (She made sure it was a shirtless pic — yeah, she’s that kind of lady.)

The process has been “a series of learning events,” she says. It so preoccupied her, she has been on hiatus writing her third book (about the old Texas ranches near the brush country along the Mexican border, where she grew up) until the line was ready; it just launched, more than four-and-a-half months after she started the process.

So how did a straight married lady decide to design a line of men’s wedding rings?

“Hmmm … I never thought about that,” says Malouf with absolutely sincerity. “If they are going to legalize [same-sex marriage], for me the men will need something. I think there’s a need for it. I just feel like. Before I was even thinking about gay marriage rings, it was just about options for men with taste.”

And everyone knows, Malouf says, gay men have taste.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 3, 2013.

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