4 Returning Fashion Trends Made Popular by Black PeopleDec 02, 2020 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
It’s no secret that many fashion trends throughout the years have originated from Black people. The relationship between the fashion industry and Black culture is complicated as there is still a lack of inclusion in the fashion world and major brands like Gucci and Prada still make racist blunders.
Fashion trends are often repeated from decades gone by, usually reappearing 10 to 20 years later. Some of the trends we’re seeing today made popular by celebrities and influencers have their roots in Black culture. These are just four of the hundreds of fashion trends started by Black people around the world that are now making a comeback.
Bucket hats were invented for function, worn often by fishermen and then adopted by military troops in the 1940s. This item transitioned from function to fashion in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the late 1980s and early 1990s when rappers like LL Cool J and rap group RUN DMC sported bucket hats from Kangol did bucket hats become a popular fashion accessory. This fashion item’s popularity has returned with high-end fashion brands like Fendi and Atelier Versace making their own bucket hats, which are in turn worn by celebrities like Rihanna.
Hoop earrings, particularly gold, have a longer history than many think. Archaeologists found the oldest gold hoops from Sumerian women in 2500 BC. Hoop earrings’ popularity grew in the 1960s when Black women, particularly influential Black women like Angela Davis and Nina Simone, wore them in a self-love movement for afrocentric beauty. A negative stigma has followed hoop earrings, as Black and Latina women are often berated for wearing them, and thicker and bigger hoop earrings are often referred to as ‘ghetto.’ Hoop earrings are now considered an essential fashion accessory, coming in all colours and high-end brands like Louis Vuitton.
Monogram print, aka Logomania
The monogram print’s origin is often debated with many claiming it came from Georges Vuitton in 1892 with the iconic Louis Vuitton logos and others saying Gucci did it first in the 1960s. However, monogram print, sometimes known as logomania, didn’t make it into mainstream fashion trends until the 1980s when African American fashion designer Dapper Dan began illegal screenprinting of designer logos like Fendi and Gucci. By the time he was shut down by the police, he had dressed rappers like Jay Z and P Diddy, and logomania was born. Many commercial fashion brands began to do the same thing. Logomania has made a comeback in recent years with many celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Rihanna wearing monogram print designer outfits.
Tracksuits, particularly velour tracksuits, shot to major popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to urban fashion brand Baby Phat--worn by celebrities like Destiny’s Child, Brittney Spears and Alicia Keys. But tracksuits had long been a big part of streetwear with rap group RUN DMC making a black Adidas tracksuit one of the most popular trends. The tracksuit has had a strong comeback with Beyonce launching her own brand, Ivy Park, alongside Adidas with each collection selling out within a matter of days. Tracksuits aren’t only a part streetwear, but also loungewear that has been a major trend with the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian are designing their own line of loungewear that is bringing back the velour tracksuit to wear inside the house or on a grocery run.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.