Rihanna’s $18,000 ODB-Inspired Grills Were Made in Less Than A Week

We spoke with Elan Pinhasov of Gabby Elan about the process behind recreating one of Ol' Dirty Bastard's grills for Rihanna.

Wu-Tang’s influence in Rihanna and ASAP Rocky’s household continues to be front and center.

On Sunday evening, just days after his name was finally revealed to the world, the couple held a first birthday party for their son RZA Athelston Mayers. Fittingly, the party’s themed after the iconic rap group from Staten Island. They dressed RZA in an outfit matching his namesake (a stocking cap, red flannel wrapped around his waist, and a miniature black and yellow Wu-Tang hockey jersey). After all, Wu-Tang is for the children. 

And it wasn’t just baby RZA who played dress up. The whole family participated. Rocky donned a long pink fur coat, a crispy pair of Timbs, and a slouchy beanie like Ghostface Killah, while Rihanna opted for a vintage Wu Wear leather jacket and styled her hair similar to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s signature wild braids. 

But Rihanna didn’t just stop at her clothing and hair. She took her ODB cosplay to another level by tapping Gabby Elan to make a grill matching one of the late rapper’s custom sets from the ‘90s. She flashed her custom grill with a big smile in the various video clips that have surfaced online from the event.

Rihanna and A$AP at RZA’s birthday party pic.twitter.com/SuusH1pcVF

— Rihanna Facts (@Nevernyny) May 14, 2023

Gabby Elan, a family business run by father Gabby and son Elan Pinhasov, had to work fast after they received a request from her stylist Jahleel Weaver’s assistant earlier this month. They took Rihanna’s molds on May 5 and delivered the final product on May 11. A turnaround time in such a tight window is uncommon for the family. Ironically, Gabby, who founded Gabby Elan back in the ‘90s, constructed the original grill for ODB roughly three decades ago. 

The new grill features tops and bottoms made of 18-karat gold. 425 diamonds are used to spell out “DIRT” across the four top teeth and cover the entirety of the bottom row. According to Elan, the grill costs $18,000.

“She told us this was the best fitting grill she's ever had,” says Elan. “So, I was very happy with that. It just gives me a bright future with her. Hopefully, we get to do a lot more exciting projects together.”

We hopped on the phone with Elan to get some more details on how this special project came together in mere days.

When exactly did Rihanna reach out about the project?
I didn't really get much of a heads up. I was on my way back from vacation actually. I got a text or an email from her stylist Jahleel Weaver’s assistant saying, ‘Hey, we need to do a grill for Rihanna.’ He just asked when was the earliest availability we could do a mold because she was in New York for the Met Gala. So it was only a week before. I took the mold on May 5. 

So, we finished it on Thursday night actually and we delivered it to her stylist’s assistant. She wore it for the party on Sunday night. It was literally less than a week turnaround. We started on Monday, finished on Thursday night.

That's not common, right?
We try to make it uncommon. We don't like to do rush orders. But sometimes we've just gotta make it happen. 

I saw on your Instagram post you tagged her stylist Jahleel Weaver. What was his role in everything?
So his assistant reached out to us on his behalf for her. He was styling her whole fit for the party. I just wanted to give him the credit because I'm pretty sure he came up with the whole idea and  the whole mood for it.

You have a prior relationship with ASAP Rocky. Was he involved at all?
I don't think he was involved, but when I met Rihanna I asked her like, “How'd you find out about us,” and she said Rocky put her on over a year ago. He mentioned we were where he used to get stuff from. She was like, “I've been a fan since. I just never had the opportunity to order anything.” But here we are.

I know she usually worked with Dolly Cohen on her grills in the past. How was it to complete your first project with her?
It was nice and exciting. This was kind of like an entry level grill for Rihanna when it comes to the creativity factor. She told us this was the best fitting grill she's ever had. So, I was very happy with that. It just gives me a bright future with her. Hopefully, we get to do a lot more exciting projects together.

Can you talk about some of the specific details that went into this particular grill that you made?
We made it in 18 karat yellow, so it looks super yellow goldish. The diamonds were all VS plus on the bottom. She had 425 stones altogether. It was meant to mimic the Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s grills that he had back in the day. It was funny. When she mentioned that she wanted that look, I was like, “Oh my God, my father did those grills like 30 years ago.” She was like, “Wow.” She was blown away with that. She didn't know the connection, but she sent us the photo [of ODB] and was like, “This is the look I'm going for.”

Did you get to personally deliver them and see her reaction when she first saw them?
No, her assistant actually came to pick it up here. So he waited for us in the office while we polished it and put our finishing touches. He took it and we prayed for the best. [Laughs.]

Are you able to say what it costs?
She paid $18,000 for it. 

How does this remake differ from the original one your father made years ago? Or is it a one-to-one recreation?
It’s like the OG vibe, but with a new modern touch. The setting is way, way, way better than it used to be. Everything's on a microscope rather than just with a hammer and a chisel. It's just a modern take on a classic look. The concept was the same. It’s just made with present day technology. There’s much better attention to detail. 

Is this the first time that you guys have recreated a design from the past like that?
No, we've done a lot.

Oh, okay. I was curious if your father was hesitant about remaking his old grills or not?
No, he loves that kind of stuff. There’s the nostalgia.

How does it feel to be asked to help her celebrate her son’s first birthday in your own way and also be able to honor ODB’s legacy at the same time?
It feels great because Rihanna's such a big name and ODB is such a legendary icon for rap and for New York. For such a big name to try and relive that moment, that look, that iconic era that they had, it's great to be a part of. It’s a beautiful full circle moment. 

🎥: Rihanna at RZA’s birthday party. pic.twitter.com/0TKijRflqn

— 𝖌𝖆𝖇𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖑 (@gabgonebad) May 14, 2023

Are there plans for any future projects with Rihanna and Rocky?
They haven't reached out since, but I still have their molds. The future's bright. Hopefully, they both hit us up with some more creative, fun orders.

Are there any other projects you’ve done in 2023 that you’re especially excited about?
Honestly, there's been a lot of projects that we've been doing and there's a lot of projects that we still have to complete. 2023 is a very steady year for us.

Is there one that stands out?
We’re honoring Pharrell's position as creative director for LV. We're almost done with that. It's gonna be a crazy set of every color grills basically. It’s an LV-themed grill. 

And then last thing I just wanted to ask, what's coming up with Gabby Elan?
Basically, I'm looking to expand my other jewelry collection. We have another Instagram page called Gabby Elan Co. where I post our non-grills stuff: new designs, rings, bracelets, chains, all that kind of stuff. We're just trying to expand slowly but surely into a household brand in the jewelry industry.

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