“No idol talk,” warned Randy Jackson’s pretty publicist as guests entered Hakkasan, the swanky Manhattan eatery, to join the last sitting American Idol judge (Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits from the show last week) at an intimate luncheon on Wednesday. The gathering was a celebration of Jackson’s new collection, “Timepieces by Randy Jackson,” which will launch on HSN and hsn.com on July 20.
If mum was the word on Idol at lunch, everything else was fair game including kids…“the best thing I ever did,” said Jackson (he has three) -- to cologne -- “a lot of mens’ scents are ‘woodsy,’ I don’t like that,” said Jackson who wore a yummy one-of-a-kind fragrance he created. “I’m so much of a man myself, I don’t think I need a manly smell.” Even Justin Bieber came into play. “It’s hard growing up like that, but he’s a good kid, I like him.”
And of course, there was a lot of talk about music and watches, both Jackson’s passions. “You always want to be on time,” quipped Jackson. “And for a musician you need to be in time.”
Jackson, who looked sharp in a white shirt and crisp blue blazer with pale blue flower boutonnière, is an admitted and ardent lover of watches. “My dad got me hooked on watches. He gave me this Hamilton that I loved, and he saw my fascination.” Today Jackson has more than 1,000 timepieces.
There are some 50 styles in his HSN collection that range from $99 to $499, with a few special edition exceptions that go to $3,500. Some include the collection logo “RJT” interwoven to look a bit like a lyre while others boast subtle piano keys. There are styles for women and men, and overall, they are gorgeous.
HSN’s chief executive Mindy Grossman, said, “He really knows what he’s doing. He’s passionate, has technical knowledge and a specific aesthetic. He’s truly a watch aficionado.”
As for Idol, well it did come up more than once. Jackson chuckled when someone suggested that each watch should have the face of an American Idol winner. “Oh no,” he said.
Did he think Adele could win it if she were a contestant before her fame? “Yes, definitely.”
And one guest broke the no-idol-will-you-stay rule, albeit quietly in the corner. “What’s your Idol schedule? he asked. “I don’t know what my schedule is or if I have one,” said Jackson. “You have one,” assured the guest. Hmmm. Sounds a little pitchy.