Since its founding in the 1980s, Chrome Hearts has produced a variety of luxury products, primarily jewelry, clothing, accessories, and home goods. Chrome Hearts has a long history of collaborating with celebrities and wearing their product line for more than three decades. In light of Chrome Hearts’ high prices, limited collection/items, and the fact that it is available only in stores, it is difficult to obtain this brand. However, celebrities are less concerned with these factors. Several celebrities who wear and love Chrome Hearts have a connection to the brand and the founders, Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark. The following list includes some celebrities who work with Chrome Hearts:
Chrome Hearts x Rei Kawakubo
In addition to being a fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo founded Comme des Garçons, a Japanese fashion company. A collaboration between Kawakubo and Chrome Hearts began in 1991, when she invited Richard Stark to model Chrome Hearts during a Comme des Garçons exhibition at Comme des Garçons’ Aoyama headquarters. As a result of the exhibition, Chrome Hearts was introduced to the Japanese market, which is their second largest market after the United States. Upon receiving the invitation, Stark purchased a black Comme des Garçons shirt and designed it as a Chrome Hearts shirt to present to Kawakubo. In exchange for the silver Chrome Hearts buttons on the shirt, he wrote “Chrome des Garçons” on the tag. There has been a friendly relationship between the two since some of Kawakubo’s Dover Street locations still carry Chrome Hearts. A small seasonal collection of silver pendants and apparel was released by Comme des Garçons in 2007 as their first official collaboration. The most recent collaboration was with Comme des Garçons in Fall/Winter 2021. The collection consisted of 19 pieces and is only available at Comme des Garçons Osaka. Prices range from approximately $3000 to $18,000.
It is through her friendship with Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark that Cher is connected to Chrome Hearts. Cher is an American pop singer with a connection to the business. In 1992, Richard Stark chose Cher to present him with the CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year award. As part of the award presentation, Cher wore Chrome Hearts; she wore black leather pants with Chrome Hearts crosses at the knees, a large amount of Chrome Hearts jewelry, and a handbag that she joked was not yet fully functional. In the early 2000s, Cher was also featured in Chrome Hearts Magazine, specifically Series 1 Volume 7. The magazine was shot by Laurie Lynn Stark and was released exclusively in Japan. Aside from being friends with the Stark founders, Cher is also the godmother of their eldest daughter, Jesse Jo. When Cher was touring, Jesse Jo would accompany her as a child. As a result, Cher nicknamed Jesse Jo “Sugar Jones.” She decided to name the white heeled boots the Sugar Jones boot when she got the idea to design them for Chrome Hearts.
The Rolling Stones
For The Rolling Stones, Chrome Hearts provided custom tour gear, including a $40,000 gold and diamond belt buckle for Mick Jagger, which is extremely popular with rock and roll bands. For The Rolling Stones’ “Forty Licks” tour in 2002, they collaborated on a small capsule collection. All items featured the band’s iconic tongue and lips logo. This collection included trucker hats, T-shirts, hoodies, and jewelry. Chrome Hearts revisited the 2002 collection in 2016 to celebrate the new album release of The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome. A blue shearling jacket, for example, was created using blue sapphire stones to make the logo on the belt buckle, as well as adding more diamonds and semiprecious stones to the items. This was to match the album name, so Chrome Hearts added new items, some with touches of blue. Among the other items were hooded sweatshirts, leather jackets, rings, red plaid pants, and silk shirts.
Chrome Hearts x Virgil Abloh
Since he was a young child, Virgil Abloh, designer and founder of Off-White, has been a huge Chrome Hearts fan. The Starks are very particular about who they collaborate with, so Abloh was turned down from collaborating with the brand because he had a genuine admiration for “Richard’s creativity and what Chrome Hearts represents.” They wanted to collaborate with people they know personally in order for their collaborations to occur naturally and instinctively. As a result, Abloh has been rejected by Stark since Abloh has never met Stark before and Stark has not heard of Abloh. However, they met a few years later and Stark took an interest in Abloh. This mutual interest laid the foundation for the collaborations Abloh dreams of.
Off-White and Chrome Hearts collaborated for the first time in 2015 on a series of T-shirts and trucker hats. Rather than a one-off collaboration, they released a follow-up collection of short-sleeved tees the following year. As a result of a mutual respect between them and their brands’ perspectives, they decided to collaborate again in 2019 for Abloh’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection with Louis Vuitton. Their most iconic collaboration occurred in 2019. One piece from the collection was a wooden ebony bench that was broken in the middle. Chrome Hearts hosted the collection at their New York flagship store. The concept of the bench is that “at first glance, [the bench] looks fragile and [snapped in half] while ultimately being built out of the strongest ebony wood.” A total of only 10 pieces were produced, and one was for the designers, while the remaining eight were sold. The collaboration between Stark and Abloh are a great example of how crucial relationship building is to collaborations.
Rihanna, though she has never collaborated with Chrome Hearts, has always been a big fan. She purchased a meat cleaver and stapler from a Chrome Hearts store when in Japan, even though they appear normal at first glance. However, they both have Chrome Hearts-like 3D emblems on the items. There are three emblems on the handle of the meat cleaver, as well as matching leather cases for the blade. This stapler is made out of sterling silver and has a different style emblem than the meat cleaver engraved on the top. It is obviously an extravagant item, but it appears to be the right choice for Rihanna.
Rihanna also wears Chrome Hearts to public appearances. During the presentation of her Anti album cover in 2015, Rihanna wore Chrome Hearts. Rihanna wore a black silk robe and matching dress covered in Chrome Hearts crosses to the event. At weekend 1 of Coachella 2018, Rihanna attended The Weeknd’s performance in a custom Chrome Hearts outfit featuring a white leather button-up shirt and pants. Rihanna seems to like matching button-up shirts and pants sets, as she wore a Chrome Hearts tie-dye set in November 2020.
Chrome Hearts x Bella Hadid
Similarly to Cher, the American model Bella Hadid also has a familial connection with Chrome Hearts. She has known Jesse Jo for many years and visited the Chrome Hearts factory as a teenage girl. According to Hadid, if his family weren’t his, he would probably be a Stark. They’re like the other half of him. She has released a few collections for the company. Hadid released the first collection in 2017 that contained 40 items of clothing and accessories. Hadid held a charity fundraiser with Chrome Hearts in 2020 as part of the COVID-19 pandemic during which she hand tie-dyed baby tees, short sleeve tees, and long sleeve tees. These 49 shirts were sold exclusively on Chrome Hearts’ website for one day only. Chrome Hearts does not normally sell products online, however for this collection, they did. Feeding America was chosen by Hadid as the recipient of 100% of the proceeds from the collection.
The model has also appeared in Chrome Hearts advertising campaigns. Before signing with a modeling agency, Hadid was 16 when she participated in the Chrome Hearts Spring/Summer 2013 campaign. Additionally, she appears in advertisements promoting her collaborations with Chrome Hearts. During the collaboration between Chrome Hearts and Hadid for an eyewear collection, Chrome Hearts launched a Spring/Summer 2018 campaign starring Hadid and Australian male model Jordan Barrett. There are few Chrome Hearts advertisements because the Starks, particularly Richard Stark, do not want to make the brand too public. Almost all of the advertisements are taken by Hadid’s “angel mother,” Laurie Lynn Stark.
Chrome Hearts x Drake
As a huge Chrome Hearts fan, Canadian artist Drake has been documented since 2019. On December 11, 2019, he was photographed sitting courtside at the Toronto Raptors versus LA Clippers basketball game wearing a Chrome Hearts jacket. His admiration for Chrome Hearts only increased in 2020. In July of that year, he posted an Instagram story displaying his gold Chrome Hearts x Rolex watch. The piece was customized for Drake as Chrome Hearts and Rolex have never collaborated on an official project. It features a Rolex Day-Date encrusted with diamonds and a Chrome Hearts bracelet. Drake also dresses his son Adonis in Chrome Hearts. Drake posted a picture of his son on the first day of school in September 2020 wearing the Chrome Hearts outfit.
In May of 2021, Chrome Hearts and Drake had their first official collaboration. Drake and the brand collaborated in order to promote his Certified Lover Boy album by creating Certified Lover Boy merchandise including hoodies and jade rollers. Chrome Hearts intentionally produced a limited amount of the merchandise for their Miami location, and it was only available there. Laurie Lynn explained this by explaining that Drake wanted the merchandise to be cherished and heirloom-like. He was very specific about having things that have longevity. Like, in 10 years, if someone says, ‘Oh, remember they did that Drake project? What were those few pieces that were made? How do you have one?’”
Similarly to the Chrome Hearts x Rolex watch, Drake collaborated with Chrome Hearts on a personal custom product. Laurie Lynn described it as an “unusual” and “difficult” request. Chrome Hearts is known for producing unique and odd products such as toilet plungers, mousetraps, and ice cream scoopers. All of these products are functional, but with a car, “the technical side is extremely complex.” Having the car up to standards was difficult, Laurie Lynn told GQ, but Chrome Hearts was able to accomplish it. The car had fire retardant leather seats with Chrome Heart crosses and designs. While Rolls Royce usually displays a Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament, the Chrome Hearts car features three Gothic Chrome Heart crosses. It was displayed at Miami Institute of Contemporary Art for a limited time.
Clearly, Chrome Hearts does not cater to the average person but manages to speak to an audience of celebrities. Although Chrome Hearts is unlikely to be purchased by the average consumer, the brand continues to be exposed through public figures of a wide variety. It is rare for designers, rock bands, pop/rap artists, and models to be able to all describe the same brand as well. While this article only covers a short list of celebrities who have worn, collaborated with, or spoken in favor of Chrome Hearts, there are many more celebrities who have worn, collaborated with, or talked about Chrome Hearts.