Many of the things that are now part of our everyday fashion and pop-culture didn’t originate from a history of white girls. Black ladies have rocked some of these ‘modern’ trends long before they became mainstream, but now everyone wants to try them out! Timberlands with white T-shirts, nameplate necklaces, and pierced nails are only a few things that came to be because of black women. And everyone loved them for that! Here are 11 things we wouldn’t have without black women.
Now du-rags are simply an accessory many white people wear because it’s trendy or fashionable, but originally du-rags were popularized by black women and men. Basically, it’s a black variation of a satin scarf or bonnet that is used to cover hair for protection or fashion.
2. Gold hoops and bamboo earrings
All these accessories can easily get you followed around on the street, but some of the trendy white ladies out there can rock them without any stigma. In Taylor Swifts ‘Shake it Off’ video, she wears a look typical for any black girl – denim booty shorts, jumbo gold hoops, and knee pads. Black girls may get frowns for wearing things like that, but now that Taylor Swift has used them – they’re a trend!
3. The ‘All-American-Look’
It may come as a surprise to many of you, but the ‘classic’ Timberlands plus white tee and jeans look was originally created by black women. Yes, Karlie Kloss and Vogue might have popularized it in fashion mags nowadays, but long before Karlie Kloss became Karlie Kloss, black women have been rocking this carefree look that was saying ‘I don’t have time, but I’m still trying to look cute’. They’ve been wearing it for ages!
4. Nameplate necklaces
Long before Carrie Bradshaw revealed her nameplate in Sex and The City, black women were already wearing their names around their necks as a proclamation of individuality. The TV show’s stylist admitted that she got the necklace idea by watching the ‘kids in the hood’ who had accessories like that. One more thing we owe to black women!
Sasha Obama was the one who attracted a lot of attention to her ‘parallel plaits’ as the New York Times called her cornrow hairstyle. Cornrows have existed for centuries in the African culture and are a staple hairstyle for any Afro-American girl or woman. Of course, guys wear them as well!
6. The ‘new’ pierced nail trend
Many believe that Kim K started the pierced nail trend, but they are wrong. Black women have been experimenting with nails and nail art since the early 90s. You can see Janet Jackson in the “What’s It Gonna Be” single rocking purple pierced nails. It wasn’t such a new trend back then and it certainly isn’t now!
7. Extra-long stiletto nails
Yep, celebs have really taken a liking to those almond shapes and super long stiletto nails. But where did these trends come from? Back in the 90s, the lead singer of the SWV girl group named Coko experimented with her nails as much as possible. Since then it has become a trend in black households to have embroidered, pointed, rounded or pierced nails.
8. Tribal fashion
Valentino is one of the many designers that have incorporated African tribal motifs in their fashion looks. “Primitive, tribal, spiritual, yet regal” – that’s what he called his models wearing tribal markings and prints with leopards and giraffes. Nevertheless, despite the obviously African inspiration, the majority of the models he sent down the runway were white.
9. Fancy black hair extensions
This is not an attack on Kylie – she was just the one who made this old-new trend so obvious. When black women saw her rocking a ponytail with sleek black extensions, they only rolled their eyes. Yaki hair is made specifically to match the texture of black women’s hair and is a go-to thing when they want a fancier look with some added length. Yep, black women were first there, too!
10. Afros on white models
The fashion industry has gone somewhat crazy with styling white models in black hairstyles. Gigi Hadid wasn’t the only one and certainly won’t be the last. Why don’t they just hire black models instead? They would look more natural rocking this hairstyle. But maybe that’s the whole point? Who knows. But what we do know is that for black women, a perfectly round Afro has always been a sign of protest and a beauty statement that was solely African-American.