5 Trends Started by People of Color


By: Hina Haider and Samantha White

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1. Bucket hats


Although taking origin among fisherman, bucket hats were popularized in the 1980’s by the hip hop community. Big Bank Hank is believed to be one of the first individuals to wear a bucket hat, where soon after many other notable black artists such as LL Cool J and Jay Z began to hop on the trend. Now making a comeback, bucket hats are just one of the many trends started by the African-American community.

2. Hoop earrings


Hoop earrings date further back than when they were first popularized in the 1900s. Ancient Sumerian women in 2500 B.C are responsible for this invention, however, since then different variations of the earrings have been constructed. Also worn in 4th century Nubia which is an African civilization around Egypt and Sudan, hoop earrings have made their way throughout history. In terms of modern times, however, hoop earrings were made trendy again in the 1960s by Black women as an attempt to take pride in their afro-centric beauty and utilized as an example of Black power. It is difficult to speak on the subject of hoop earrings without giving credit to Latin women as well who began to wear hoop earrings in the 1980s again when the trend began to dwell. Black and Latin women have been pioneers of this trend- defying social norms and wearing hoops despite being called “ghetto” or “unprofessional.” These two communities of women played a crucial role in popularizing this jewelry piece and should be given ample credit.

3. Bandana tops


Bandana tops take origin in Chicana culture. Chicanos consists of those whose family originates from Mexico but were raised in America with strong cultural ties to their heritage. Made popular now, the bandana top trend was first created by Chicana women before this fashion choice was deemed socially acceptable by white women.

4. Nameplate necklaces

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The origins of nameplate necklaces trace back to black and Hispanic communities in New York. The nameplate necklace was used in urban fashion as a proclamation of identity and self-expression. Personalized jewelry was a staple of hip hop and became a statement piece in many communities. 

5. Sneaker Culture


Sneaker culture has many ties to the rise of basketball and sports, as well as the hip hop movement. The complex social and cultural history of sneaker culture displays the influence of Black-Americans in popularizing sneaker brands. Nike’s deal with Michael Jordan was one major catalyst in the market.