Let’s thank Black culture for our favourite fashion trends

Fashion looks that were made and popularized by the Black community

Image by: Amna Rafiq
Small tops and oversized pants were popularized by TLC.

Gold hoop earrings, small tops and baggy pants pairing, and sneaker culture, are only some of many fashion trends that have originated and popularized by Black culture.

Taking a step back to look at the influence of Black culture on fashion trends, the history behind the fashion statements, and how they are utilized by white influencers is the first step in making progress away from cultural erasure and towards celebrating the Black community’s creativity.

Gold hoop earrings

While white influencers like Hailey Bieber have adopted gold hoops in their looks, they’re not the first. Black female activists in the ‘60s and ‘70s wore hoops at a time they were considered ‘ghetto’ to stand together in unity and strength.

Celebrities like Nina Simone and Angela Davis aided in the popularization of these looks and are main contributors of the fashion staple today.

At the time this style came into being, Black individuals often lacked the resources that white individuals had. They couldn’t access the same high-class heirlooms, so they adopted gold jewellery pieces as an alternative. It became a cultural practice that symbolized a celebration of culture and identity.

Small top, oversized pants

I am forever grateful for this fashion style; it’s become one of my favourites.

The popularization and iconic fashion trend of wearing baggy pants and tight tops can be credited to female celebrities like Aaliyah and TLC, who utilized these fashion looks on stage and in photoshoots. These women utilized male-dominated trends of baggy clothing and glamourized them. Soon, it became an innovative trend in women’s fashion.

Thank you, TLC for letting me look fashionable in a bra top and sweatpants.

Sneaker culture

Sneaker culture emerged in the 1960s thanks to Black basketball players. In the 1970s, companies like Puma and Nike realized there was a demand in the Black community for the same shoes worn by professional basketball players.

Soon after—similar to the small top, baggy pants phenomena—R&B and rap artists began to adopt the sneaker culture as well, further popularizing the fashion look.

So, the trendiness of your cool Nike sneakers can be credited to the Black community.

Lots of logos

Louis Vuitton printed their logo everywhere they could—developing a brand that had clothing, bags, and accessories coated in LV. Soon, monogramming was glamorized.

In 1980s Harlem, Dapper Dan utilized monogramming and placed an array of luxury logos on any and every product. From shower curtains to jackets, Dapper Dan made a name for himself, and his success showed it.

Due to a lack of consent from the brands whose logos he used, in the 1990s, Dapper Dan was sued and his business shut down. While his work stopped, the fashion trend did not. Luxury brandstook note of how successful he was and the demand for monogrammed clothing.

Monogrammed objects extended from clothing to home goods—its popularity is extensive. Now, we see some of the most popular accessories or fashion looks being that of monogrammed trends, such as Gucci belts and Louis Vuitton bags.


The Black community deserves to be credited for the innovative and fashionable looks they developed. These fashion trends are some of the most popular and glamourized looks in mainstream culture, and they’re all thanks to Black history, excellence, and creativity.



Culture, Fashion, innovation

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