Jason Arasheben is the go-to man when celebs want to add some outlandish jewels to their collections. Arasheben–known to his A-list clients as Jason of Beverly Hills, though he also maintains shops in Las Vegas, Miami, and Tokyo, in addition to his Rodeo Drive HQ–has made some iconic pieces. When Lil’ Jon wanted a record-breaking five-pound pendant reading “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” or Justin Beiber wants a 3D, gem-encrusted figure of Stewie from Family Guy to wear around his neck, he’s the one they call. Last week, he delivered his latest creation: A jaw-dropping, diamond-dripping iPhone case for Drake, worth an estimated $400,000.
Drake has been bringing his business, and that of his OVO associates, to Jason of Beverly Hills for some time, most famously a series of pendants depicting the label’s logo, including the 100-carat version that Champagne Papi posted to his ‘gram in September, boasting that the owl was “life size.” The iPhone case, however, seems to be a whole new level of extravagance, and has Arasheben back in the news.
We caught up with the jeweler, who has come a long way since breaking into the bling business by selling his fellow UCLA undergrads the $50 pieces he crafted in his dorm room.
How did you develop the outrageous signature style of your designs?
I always say if my mom doesn’t like it, it’s gonna sell. I’ve always strived to make jewelry that pushes the limits of conventionalism and evokes some emotion. I want all of our designs to steer away from the the confines of traditional jewelry.
What are some of the wildest or most memorable requests you’ve had for custom jewels?
We’ve definitely had some crazy requests. Every year there is something new and exciting. Two that come to mind are Nick Cannon’s diamond loafers and Mattel commissioning us to make a blue diamond HotWheels car.
The family crest we made for Michael Jackson is a special memory. Of course the reversible Championship ring we made for the Golden State Warriors–and we once had a wealthy real estate tycoon commission us to adorn his six-foot fish tank in diamonds.
I love collaborating with other creatives from other industries. I would love to use precious metals and gem stones to accentuate a work of art, a sculpture, or even a dress.
So, tell us about this iPhone case you made for Drake. How did that project come to be?
As soon as the new iPhone came out, Drake reached out to me wanting to create something epic to add to his collection of jewels. Of course we had to incorporate [the OVO logo] into the design. I guess I’ll have a new order from him once Apple comes out with a new model!
Why do you think your clients feel so drawn to these objects?
Diamonds have a mysterious allure to them. For centuries, societies elite have worn diamonds to not only celebrate their personal style, but to creatively communicate an image of success.
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