Hoop Earring is not a trend, it's history and culture.
A Rite of PassageFor centuries, hoop earrings have played a pivotal role in the rites of passage within these communities. They symbolize the transition from adolescence to adulthood, marking significant milestones in a person's life. As we uncover their history, we will see how these elegant circles of gold have been passed down from one generation to the next, carrying with them the weight of tradition and cultural heritage.
Let’s take a step back into history. In the 1700’s During Virgina enslavement , John Davis, a professor who taught on a plantation, noticed that when enslaved women went to see their neighbors they wore their best and joyful clothes, bracelets, chains, rings, and earrings.
@hosanna // source: tiktokThis cultural tradition still endures in 2023, as seen by a recent TikTok video. The video had a point of view that said, "POV: 'you grew up with a woman who never let you leave the house without jewelry… type of Mother'". Many women of color resonated with this sentiment and took to the comments, expressing agreement that their mothers also had this practice while sharing their favorite jewelry pieces.
This idea goes back to the days when African people were captured by slave owners and they had nothing but their jewelry. They used jewelry to express their culture, choosing materials based on what was available and what meant something to them. This could be things like shells, glass beads, and sometimes even precious metals and gemstones if they could get their hands on them.
A Mainstream TrendHoop earrings, originally a cherished accessory in Black, Latinx, and Caribbean communities have evolved into a mainstream trend without the recognition of history and culture.
Many women of color grew up on seeing celebrities and actresses flaunting their hair and hoops
Such as 90’s group like Salt n Pepa who had a huge impact on hip hop culture, to Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez who was seen as an icon for latinx in 2000s; Many latinx have had found memories of getting their ears pierced as a baby and wearing their gold bracelets and bangles to represent their identity.
But with rapid growth of social media with influencers showing off style tips, tutorials, and outfit ideas. and fashion designers incorporating hoops on runway models, it was no longer depicted as ghetto but seen as cultural “appreciation” without the credit.
While many brands has failed to represent the trend setter of gold hoops, we are making sure our voice is being heard and honored ,through our businesses and partnerships.
In Honor of recognizing our trend setters here is a list of our favorite brands, stylist and creators.
Black owned Jewelry Shops we love.
YAM NYCYam designs whimsical and lighthearted jewelry that serves as a delightful reminder of your past knowledge and experiences. Their creations incorporate elements of nostalgia, industrial metals, natural themes, and the elegance of pearls. --> See More
BEST GIRL STORE
Best Girl Store meticulously designs and thoughtfully curates a collection of contemporary, minimalist, and timeless gold jewelry. This selection includes empowering statement pieces that celebrate self-love, aiming to inspire women of color by acknowledging their beauty and intrinsic value. --> See more
OMA THE LABEL
Oma The Label has a lovely collection of gold-plated fashion jewelry. They're made with high-quality materials that will last for ages, and Oma stands by them with a lifetime guarantee. They've got all sorts of stylish options, from complete jewelry sets to individual pieces that go perfectly with lots of different outfits. See More
Humans Before Handle
The brand's mission is to shed light on our true selves beyond our ubiquitous social media profiles and to encourage acts of kindness both in real life and in the online world. Sims explains, "I aimed to emphasize the importance of consistently embracing your genuine self." Whether in person or on social media, Sims' statement pieces serve as ideal accessories for this purpose. --> See More
Black creators & stylist we love
A Dominican creator from Nyc who shares her love for Hair/ Makeup and fashion and we can see her mixing metal with her streetwear looks with her signature bob Hairstyle.
Interested in shopping for the latest jewelry trend? Well she has you covered with trendy and affordable jewelry pieces haul style videos.
A jet setter creator who loves sharing stories and visuals with intricate and bold jewelry by her favorite black designers and brands.
hoop earrings are not just a fleeting trend; they are an integral part of history and culture, deeply intertwined with the Black, Latinx, and Caribbean communities. These elegant circles of gold have transcended generations, symbolizing rites of passage, identity, and resilience. From their origins in Ancient Egypt to their role in the history of Black communities, hoop earrings have carried the weight of tradition and cultural heritage.
While hoop earrings have gained mainstream popularity, it is crucial to recognize and respect their cultural roots. Many women of color have grown up cherishing these accessories as symbols of their heritage. The appropriation of these cultural icons without due credit has blurred the line between appreciation and appropriation.
Yet, as this article has shown, there are Black-owned jewelry shops, creators, and stylists who are actively contributing to and honoring the legacy of hoop earrings. These individuals and brands are not only preserving the cultural significance of this accessory but also allowing it to evolve with the times.
In a world where trends come and go, hoop earrings remain a steadfast symbol of history and culture. As we continue to celebrate and support those who are working to keep the spirit of these beautiful accessories alive, we acknowledge that hoop earrings are more than just fashion—they are a testament to the enduring power of heritage and identity.
1. "Hip-Hop Meets History at the Grammy Museum." Spectrum News 1, 19 Oct. 2023, https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/entertainment/2023/10/19/hip-hop-grammy-museum.
2. "Slave Clothing and Adornment in Virginia." Encyclopedia Virginia, https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/slave-clothing-and-adornment-in-virginia/.
3. "Ashley Sims: Humans Before Handles Is Your Next Jewelry Destination." Jezebel Magazine, https://jezebelmagazine.com/ashley-sims-humans-before-handles-is-your-next-jewelry-destination.
4. "About Yamnyc." Yamnyc, https://www.yamnyc.com/about.