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A look into the history of jewelry and how Black people pioneered the drip

“Drip” is a vast but powerful concept. Just as hip-hop has permeated almost every dimension of popular culture, it has also had an enduring impact on jewelry drip all over the world.

The resurgence of “The Drip” (use of the phrase in hip-hop shot up 195 percent in 2017), places the contemporary scene in a particular moment in drip history.

Megan Thee Stallion in her iced out custom ring set, proving that jewelry drip exists, image courtesy of Urban Islandz.

Hip-hop in the 80s and 90s

Rappers and athletes of the 80’s/90’s famously pioneered the concept of bling. The first man to popularize hip-hop in the 70’s, DJ Kool Herc also introduced the culture to the power of a few gold chains on an album cover.

In other words, he pioneered what we now call jewelry drip.

Hip-hop originated from the experience of being Black in America. A concept that it has never ceased to reflect.

LL Cool J brought us four-finger rings, Lil Wayne bought the most expensive set of Grillz in hip-hop ($150,000!). Then, T-Pain came down the red carpet in his Big Ass Chain.

However, the jewelry drip goes deeper than that. Jewelry is, as Meek Mill puts it, a “trap trophy.” 

T-Pain in his “Big Ass Chain,” showing of his jewelry drip. Image courtesy of Zumic

Nonetheless, critics are quick to write off these displays of wealth as unsophisticated.

But, when Notorious B.I.G. wore the massive Jesus piece for the last time ever. And, never forget when Lil Yachty designs a Bart Simpson necklace modeled after himself, it framed the success of Black artists in a culture that seeks to put them down. 

Cuban chains, heavy gold hoops, rainbow diamond-encrusted everything defines the jewelry drip in the world today.

These pieces sit in the display case of every major jewelry brand worldwide without ever prompting a nod of acknowledgment towards Black culture jewelry drip from its designers. 

Jewelry drip throughout history

Even before hip-hop, Black culture has had deep cultural ties to jewelry that signifies glamour and luxury.

Mansa Musa was the King of Mali in West Africa, considered the wealthiest human being of all time. (Image courtesy of Money Inc.)

The song “Putting on the Ritz” by Irving Berlin from 1929, makes racist remarks about the glamour of Harlem.

Flo-Milli dazzles in flapper style bling for “Roaring 20’s”

Lines like “Come with me and we’ll attend their jubilee, And see them spend their last two bits, Puttin’ on the Ritz, ” is steeped in racial prejudice. The lyrics reflect the timely sentiment that Black communities were impoverished due to their inability to spend money responsibly.

The insinuation that jewelry drip reflects the fiscal incompetency of Black people continues to pop up in discourse today. Such criticism ignores the historical significance of jewelry co-opted as a symbol of financial success against insurmountable odds. 

Diamond mines in South Africa

Jewelry drip also has the political undertone of reclaiming an industry built on Black labor and resources.

15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs discovered a transparent rock on his father’s farm in December of 1866, and within three years mines along the south bank of the Orange River were producing 95 percent of the world’s diamonds.

The Cullinan Diamond is the worlds biggest diamond, discovered in South Africa. It is part of the Royal Sceptre, belonging to the British Crown. Image courtesy of GIA.

All of the mines were controlled by European men. This list includes Johannes De Beers, whose company invented the marketing phrase “diamonds are forever,” and controls virtually all diamonds on Earth today.

A De Beers Company advertisement from 1977.

The workforce behind this production consisted mainly of Black migrant workers, as did the gold industry in Johannesburg. The gold mining operation in South Africa employed more than 100,000 people, most of whom were Black.

Black designers at the cutting edge of jewelry drip

Black jewelry designers today are working in an industry that has been inaccessible to Black craftsmen for centuries.

One of the first people to crack the industry was Arthur George “Art” Smith, a designer and one of few black students in the 1920s to graduate from Cooper Union.

jewelry drip
Winifred Mason and her Haitian inspired work, 1946. (Image courtesy of pics+brushes).

Art formed a network of mentors that included the legendary Winifred Mason. Mason is considered the first commercial African-American jeweler in the United States. 

In an industry that typically requires immense wealth to access training as well as material, the relationship between academic opportunity and Black jewelry designers is immensely important.

Thus, jeweler Melanie Eddy pointed out that not one Black student has graduated from Central Saint Martins with a jewelry design MA in the six years she has taught there. 

Today a scholarship exists in Art’s name at the Fashion Institute of Technology for Black students in the school’s Jewelry Design program.

jewelry drip
Rick Ross’s jewelry drip designed by Rick Ross (chain), estimated at $1,500,000. (Image courtesy of Getty Images).

And, despite the appropriation of culture and resources in a predominantly white industry, Black designers persevere and they will keep on contributing to the jewelry drip.

The revolution

Jameel Mohammed, the founder of the world-famous Khiry, continues to revolutionize what high fashion jewelry means and looks like.

Adorning celebrities and politicians alike are Mohammed’s highly curated pieces celebrating symbols of diaspora – from hoop earrings to silhouettes of Black historical figures.

It’s about creating cultural change through the creation of tangible, desirable objects.

Mohammed for i-D magazine, 2020
jewelry drip
Indya Moore in custom Areeayl Goodwin jewelry drip on the Fashion Media Awards carpet, 2019. (Image courtesy of Paper Magazine.)

Areeayl Goodwin made a name for her brand Beads Byaree, when Indya Moore wore waist-skimming earrings framing 17 Black trans women murdered in the US in 2019 alone.

Goodwin’s work is a testament to art that has the agency to take on radical storytelling. Hip-hop drip mainstays like Jacob the Jeweler and Ben Baller continue to shape jewelry on the East and West coast. 

The history of drip tells the story of perseverance and vision. With talented Black designers taking center stage in the jewelry game, the future looks bright and shiny for drip in jewelry.

The coolest winter coats to invest in for 2020 and seasons to follow

It’s time to re-up on your winter coat collection.

The holiday season is approaching, and this will be about buying efficiently. Winter is coming regardless of climate change, it’s only right to have a stylish coat that you don’t have to layer unless necessary.

A good quality winter coat can last you about three-five years and you should consider rocking it longer since winter may be light where you are. And guessing the effects of winter like previous seasons can be costly on its own.

Getting a sturdy winter shows maturity and certainty about what the future brings – like, winter. A good winter coat is about being prepared for crazy wind and temp drops, as well as looking good no matter how cold the weather is.

Pharrell in puffer, DailyMail UK
Pharrell in puffer, DailyMail UK

It’s a wise display of self-investment, leveling-up your wardrobe, and having season-appropriate core closet pieces.

Purchasing a quality winter is an investment and should be approached in the same fashion you would a car. Although it may be expensive, it is something that will maintain its worth if kept over time.

Ultimately you want to get the most out of your dollar. You want to get a coat that is designed to fit your style, keep you warm, and have you looking cool even on the coldest of days.

Sacai Green Ten C Edition Down Jacket

Sacai Green Ten C Edition Down Jacket
Sacai Green Ten C Edition Down Jacket

This long sleeve down-filled satin winter jacket has incomparable taste. The green layer was constructed with a kimono aesthetic and is part of the sacai x Ten c collaboration.

Nobis Black Down Kalvin Jacket

Nobis Black Down Kalvin Jacket
Nobis Black Down Kalvin Jacket

With inset rib-knit cuffs. Press-stud fastening at vented side-seams. Zippered pockets and integrated elasticized waistband with Velcro fastening at interior. Fully lined. 

Bogner Aaron Down Coat In Black

Bogner Aaron Down winter Coat In Black
Bogner Aaron Down Coat In Black

With innovative two-way stretch fabric, a layered design comfort is a base for this functional coat. Using recycled duck down guarantees optimum thermal insulation.

This winter coat has a clean and distinct design with a stand-up collar and ruthenium zippers.

Moncler Maures Padded Jacket

Moncler Maures Padded winter Jacket
Moncler Maures Padded Jacket

Moncler Maures padded winter jacket comes with a detachable drawstring hood, a front zip opening, a funnel neck, side zipped pockets, logo print design, a flap pocket on one arm, and a tricolor ribbon detail located at the back of the puffer coat. 

Craig Green Pocket Detail Trench Coat

Craig Green Pocket Detail Trench Coat
Craig Green Pocket Detail Trench Coat

Craig Green pocket detail trench winter coat features a drawstring folded collar and an adjustable belted waist. At the rear is a split hem and includes a front button fastening.

Jacquemus La Doudoune Puffer Jacket

Jacquemus La Doudoune Puffer Jacket
Jacquemus La Doudoune Puffer Jacket

Jacquemus La Doudoune puffer winter jacket is made in Italy with a short and oversized silhouette.

Designed with zipped pocket details at the front and side seams, the stand-up collar, and adjustable drawstring hem. Look out for the engraved snap button front closure as well.

By Walid Rico Patchwork Coat

By Walid Rico Patchwork Coat
By Walid Rico Patchwork Coat

By Walid Rico patchwork coat comes from repurposed cotton and linen fabrics found in the UK.

It features floral and striped motifs with a point collar. The single-breasted front with button fastenings contrasts topstitching located at the seams.

A-COLD-WALL* Camouflage Print Coat

A-COLD-WALL* Camouflage Print Coat
A-COLD-WALL* Camouflage Print Coat

A-COLD-WALL* Terrain camouflage parka coat has a large hood that has an adjustable visor, a high neck, front zip, and Velcro fastening. It has multiple utility pockets, long sleeves, and a drawstring fishtail hem. 

Endless Joy Jauk Printed Single-Breasted Coat

Endless Joy Jauk Printed Single-Breasted Coat
Endless Joy Jauk Printed Single-Breasted Coat

Endless Joy Jauk presents a printed single-breasted winter coat in a wool and cotton blend. Demonic masked dancer inspires the decorative design of Balinese culture.

A point collar, front button fastenings, and frayed edges at the cuffs and hem add even more flair to the coats aesthetic.

Ahluwalia Panelled Quilted Coat

Ahluwalia Panelled Quilted winter Coat
Ahluwalia Panelled Quilted Coat

Ahluwalia paneled quilted winter coat is a mid-length design with a jersey lining. Standing collar with ribbed detailing, and a hood with dual string pulleys at the base with elasticated cuffs structure the coat for the cold months.

A press-button fastening concealing the front zip closure is detailed in contrasting blue, orange, and teal padded panels.

ts(s) Khaki Dotera Collarless Coat

ts(s) Khaki Dotera Collarless winter Coat
ts(s) Khaki Dotera Collarless Coat

The ts(s) Wool-blend tweed winter coat in khaki comes in velvet trim at the shawl collar. Button closure at front and welt pockets at the waist are excellent on windier days. The coat is fully lined.

Comme Des Garçons Shirt Patchwork Wool Coat

Comme Des Garçons Shirt Patchwork Wool winter Coat
Comme Des Garçons Shirt Patchwork Wool Coat

This CDG shirt-coat is composed of 100% Wool with a patchwork design and notched lapels. Made with designed buckle details and front-button fastening.

Marine Serre Regenerated Military Coat

Marine Serre Regenerated Military winter Coat
Marine Serre Regenerated Military Coat

Marine Serre regenerated military winter coat has a bold camouflage pattern and long length. Lined with 100% Cupro, the exterior is made from 100% Cotton.

Rossignol Long-sleeved Oversize Jacket

Rossignol Long-sleeved Oversize winter Jacket
Rossignol Long-sleeved Oversize Jacket

Rossignol’s over-sized winter jacket is made with 100% polyamide and had 90% and 10% duck fill to keep you warm.

Rick Owens Geometric Quilted Padded Coat

Rick Owens Geometric Quilted Padded winter Coat
Rick Owens Geometric Quilted Padded Coat

This cotton blend quilted padded winter coat features a round neck with elasticated cuffs and a press stud fastening.

Thom Browne Classic Chesterfield Tonal 4-bar overcoat

Thom Browne Classic Chesterfield Tonal 4-bar winter overcoat
Thom Browne Classic Chesterfield Tonal 4-bar overcoat

This tailored winter overcoat from Thom Browne is made from soft wool and cashmere blend. Features notched lapels, a concealed front fastening, a chest pocket, front flap pockets, a double vent to the rear, and includes the 4-bar detail on the sleeve.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.

Team Liquid keeps it drippy with Marvel to celebrate a year of collabs

Professional esports squad Team Liquid is releasing some sick new Marvel gear.

In celebration of its one-year partnership deal with Marvel Entertainment, the esports squad is launching an exclusive collection today at 12pm PST.

Team Liquid x Marvel Collab

The collection will include customizable Marvel-themed hoodies, jerseys, and zip-up jackets. Character designs will include several X-Men and Avengers such as Black Widow, Iron Man, and of course your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Captain America, Thor, and Hulk round out the rest of the slick apparel.

Team Liquid Hulk
Team Liquid

Team Liquid is on the rise

Speaking of drip… Team Liquid is one of the most successful esports organizations in the world and has garnered nearly $34 million in earnings.

The team’s Counter-Strike Global Offensive squad won the prestigious Intel Grand Slam prize in 2019, doing so in only 63 days.

“Team Liquid’s achievement has made what is supposed to be Counter-Strike’s most prestigious award look easy,” Esports Insider said.

“Given the speed in which it was achieved, speculation around Intel and ESL rethinking requisites of the Intel Grand Slam for the following season seems warranted.”

The $1 million prize added on to the squad’s four LCS titles, The International 2017 win, and numerous other victories.

The website was originally released in May 2001 by Victor “Nazgul” Goossens, and Joy “Meat” Hoogeveen, under the domain The website was first best known as a Starcraft news site, but expanded to include Dota 2 and other games in August 2012.

In December 2012, the team expanded its esports franchise into multiple games starting with a North American Dota 2 squad.

Following many ownership changes, Victor Goossens and Steve Arhancet announced that they would continue their roles as co-CEOs.

Investors include Golden State Warriors executives Rick Welts and Kirk Lacob, Los Angeles Dodgers executives Lon Rosen and Tucker Cain, and Chicago Cubs President of Operations Crane Kenney.

The iconic Marvel characters collection will be priced at $84 for jerseys and $99 for hoodies.

Team Liquid Captain America
Team Liquid

The exclusive Marvel deal follows a successful year for both parties, as Marvel Entertainment recently helmed the highest-grossing film of all time in 2019, Avengers Endgame. The superhero flick took in $2.798 billion at the worldwide box office.

Marvel looks to continue their film success with Black Widow on November 6, and The Eternals on February 21, 2021.

To join us in grabbing this exclusive gear, visit the store here.


Trends today, gone tomorrow: How Gen-Z is investing in their wardrobes

What is a trend other than what everyone else is doing?

For those into fashion, it’s what’s being worn by the majority of those who know about fashion. It’s also what is being bought in stores and online at rapid rates.

Photo cred:

As the Generation Z and Millennial consumers become better-educated shoppers, learning through social media and the information they can easily obtain from the internet, they consume with intent to be thoughtful and conscientious.

“Nearly half (47%) of Gen Z-ers use their phones while in-store to price check and contact family and friends for advice.”

– National Retail Federation and IBM’s Institute for Business Value.

Media has been key to Gen Z as 90 percent of them are informed about the world they live in through social channels, especially on our smartphones.

Smartphones have broadened the outlook on fashion. Social media has changed the way it is marketed to the public. Thus, ultimately tailoring the content for any consumer in particular.

This is what influencers can be accredited for. In a way, they have made us more curious about the elitist fashion industry.

Photo & Art cred: Cassell Ferere

The Price Is Right, Right?!

Is it any coincidence that the price of Gen Z and Millenial’s favorite category of fashion is high? Price points of streetwear are at an all-time high, specifically the more popular, longer-lived brands. Brands that were conceived well before the thought of classes crossing paths.

The Simpson explored this idea of class in an episode focused on a Chanel dress. A dress constantly altered by Mrs. Marge Simpson into anything from a cocktail dress to activewear, as she was desperately seeking acceptance of a higher class of women.

It’s wise to encourage Marge’s creativity, but not her aspirations.

As informed shoppers, 72 percent of Gen Z consume with cost in mind when purchasing. From $25 to $40 for Stussy or Lamar & Dauley tees to $100 Bape or Billionaire Boys Club tees following that era. Our most desired brands are reaching $100 to $300 plus. That includes t-shirts from brands like Off-White or Vetements.

The rise in price convolutes this notion of streetwear.


None the less, Gen Zers are still concerned with price. Roughly 89 percent of them refer to themselves as price-conscious shoppers, according to MNI Targeted Media’s research report. Additionally, the research found that they make up almost half of all consumers at 40 percent.

Staring In The (Rearview) Mirror

As shoppers are putting their money toward socially driven, conscious fashion labels, fast-fashion has the vintage, thrift and resale markets have been encroaching on its coattails.

Consumers are opening up to a new idea of fashion that is essential to recycled, upcycled and circular processes. Making it a trend, 50 percent of Gen Z shoppers are attracted to socially conscious brands when deciding on a purchase.


Trends like this are ideal in the argument of climate change. The very thing Gen Z is most attentive to will be at the forefront of fashion for generations to come.

This mentality is stitched into the DNA of those who are at peak learning periods in their lives. Gen-Z seeks solutions to climate change and resolving the problems facing the second most carbon-emitting industry, fashion.

the trendspotter

As fashion start-ups enter the fashion industry they usually have fewer resources to manifest ideas. What streetwear has provided is the common ground between the designer’s immediate resources and their aspirations for fashion grandeur.

The process, albeit autonomous, is creating fashion from availed material. For instance, Greg Lauren repurposes men and women’s clothing to create his line, and brands like Alyx Studios, uses 100 percent upcycled fabric to make their graphic tees.

Digital Shift

Photo cred:

The RealReal, Poshmark, Depop, thredUp, and Grailed, are some of the online fashion outlets that are receiving the benefits of these consumer trends. CNBC stated that by 2028 the used-fashion market will surpass the fast-fashion industry by $20 billion; $64 million to $44 million.

You can expect closets to be stacked with enough recycled, upcycled and circulated garments by then. In the same report, CNBC concluded, 13 percent of clothes in your girlfriend’s closet will likely be second-hand.

GlobalData analyzed with data from online startup thredUP, reports that the United States second-hand apparel market is estimated at $24 billion compared to the fast-fashion market which was valued at $35 billion. Trends happen overnight in theory, but in reality, can be seen just over the horizon.

Climate Change vs Cancel Culture

With climate change being more evident in different areas of the world, the only thing fashion can do is be less impactful to the environment. It’s becoming more evident that Gen Z and Millennials are responding to these changes with their attention and buying power.

A brand disconnected from the street culture of fashion, removed from the issues and ignorant to the sensitivities of “cancel-culture” isn’t going to be viable in the years to come. It’s best to make an effort as a fashion brand and follow the trend.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine

Fashion Week

Is my drip enough? How to stay stylishly confident during Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is still here and the streets are littered with influencers and fashion’s elite, as well as fashion enthusiast from all over the world. And if you’re a bit intimidated – it’s ok!

Admit it, you want to go to the shows and wear the clothes from the runway or if you’re bold enough, show off your style. But if you’re not into it – Fashion Week – chances are you’re still into fashion.

So is your drip enough? Do you think you need to be the most fly and the freshest?

Image result for westbrook fashion gif

I can attest to the feeling of inadequacy in a room of people who are woke when it comes to fashion and always dress with impeccable style. Sometimes standing next to certain individuals will cause insecurities of your own.

But what you should understand is that your anxiety is normal and there is still a human being under all those layers of fashion perceived elitism.

For the average person, fashion is an afterthought, if that. Getting dressed in the morning is normal for most cultures around the world. In New York City, though, it may be structured a bit differently.

Roots in Fashion

Growing up in Brooklyn, my mom would always tell me to “hurry up and get dressed before you’re late; you’re going to school, not a fashion show.”

Little did she know, fashion was the main reason for a lot of us to go to school each day. I completely understand if high school wasn’t as fashionable due to studies, athletics, or economic situations. When we care about something more than fashion that can play into our insecurities and anxieties when it comes to testing our drip.

Coming up a new pair of Jordans came out each week, while premium Japanese denim and Prada sneakers were at the peak of our classmates’ attention. The auditorium was the runway, where everyone hung out, complementing the styles of friends and rivals. It was always a competition amongst our friend groups to be the most stylish.

Fantasy Fashion League

Image result for squirtle squad gif

The fashion world is something fantastic, isn’t it? Whether you think it’s attainable or not, it allows for allure and an aura that is empowering.

In a way it enriches one’s character. Your drip makes you feel smarter, stronger, and plain old better. If you’re older, it makes you feel younger, if your younger – more mature.

Plus, most of the time, if you feel insecure then fashion is your armor. Fashion can be and is your daily amour. As we see the runway shows from afar, it tantalizes our senses and we yearn to be there and to wear those clothes.

To be invited to a show is the ultimate acceptance into the fashion industry – celebs, athletes, and important people in businesses related to fashion are some who tend to be invited. Yet, as Social Media grew, so did the number of invites.

Shows are more open and inclusive today then they were in, say, the 90s. Shows in New York City, are tending to cater to the masses who flock the city in search of Fashion shows to get content for their social media pages.

As with the traditional media, social influencers present opportunities for brands to broaden their visibility to niche markets. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement. But it remains a question — “this is what you want?”

Influencers are enthusiast just like most people who enjoy shopping. For the average social media user, to be at a fashion show during fashion week would essentially be something you would have to want to attend. Whether you spend tons of money on one brand or have a friend in fashion who can offer a +1.

More Than Enough

Image result for devil wears prada gif

As fashion adjusts to the influx and opportunity for new costumers, they have adapted through collective efforts by venues, brands, showrooms, and agencies to make shows more friendly to public viewing. Offering standing room at most shows allows for more exposures for brands directly to consumers.

The amount of brands as well as the amount of shows has grown. So to attend a show is more of a possibility. Keep in mind there are shows all over New York. Also, let’s recall the infamous Fashion’s Night Out – which has been “canceled” – where fashion lovers, who were encouraged to shop during an economic recession, would roam the streets of NYC in search of fashion parties.

Know Yourself

Image result for asap rocky gif

Attending the shows and interacting with your surroundings, at the point in which you are exposed to Fashion Week, can afford you great understanding in the nuances of the industry. It’s intimidating for anyone to find their own style, and finding your way around the room would help.

As some may be wearing more elaborate and expensive clothes, it’d be better, not to compete unless your goal is to be the loudest dresser in the room. Then, yes, you are subject to critique as an adornment of the event.

The main takeaway is to be smart about your kit, and about how it fits. Stay true to what you feel is comfortable on you and always know that evolution is something your style can go through overtime by elevating your drip and defining your style.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get noticed for just being you and get invited to a show.