Posted on: August 9, 2023 Posted by: Dr. Courtney A Hammonds Comments: 0
Mary J. Blige and Simone I. Smith Photo credit@ sisterlovemjb.com

Hip-hop was born at a humble party that transformed into a definitive movement. On Aug. 11, 1973, Cindy Campbell asked her brother Clive (known by his stage name DJ Kool Herc) to DJ at a school fundraiser she organized. That event, held in a Bronx apartment building community room, gave way to not only a genre but a movement. Today, hip-hop has influenced politics, education, technology pop culture and fashion worldwide.

In celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, prominent figures reflect on how the genre has impacted the past, present and future of fashion. Mary J. Blige and business partner Simone I. Smith are unveiling accessories ahead of National Hip Hop Day on August 11. In a capsule collection from their collaborative jewelry brand, Sister Love, the owners will release an assortment of bling inspired by what’s been seen in classic hip-hop shoots and videos for the genre’s 50th anniversary.

BEHIND SISTER LOVE: Sister love is a partnership inspired by the friendship of Simone I. Smith and Mary J. Blige. It’s a collection of designs that symbolizes strength, edge, style, sassiness, and made in their support for each other and their love of statement pieces. Sister Love is based on the notion that Queens Rek-A-Nize Queens- because we are stronger together. Simone and Mary believe working together shows other women the importance of supporting each other. The line was designed to inspire women to be strong, fearless, empowered, and to “wear what you want…because you CAN!”

There would be no hip-hop without women. From the start, women scratched the vinyl, grabbed the mic, and pressed record on what would become one of the most dynamic and influential genres in African American culture. Furthermore, women, like Mary J. Blige and Simone I. Smith are using their platforms  influencing one of the main pillars of hip-hop culture: fashion and style.  said Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, senior fashion editor at Upscale.

Sister Love is geared toward women by uplifting and supporting their ideas and goals. According to Upscale Magazine, the statement pieces will include triangle hoops and name-plated additions for the earrings.

Smith, whose is married to legendary rapper and actor LL Cool J, also revealed a collection for men that pays homage to her husband. The “bodega vibe” of necklaces and pendants in the collection cater precisely to those who want a rapper’s bling-like flair at an affordable price-point.

What’s the 411: How Mary J. Blige Influenced Hip-Hop And R&B Fashion. Here are some of our favorite style moments from the music Icon.

Blige performs on stage at Madison Square Garden, circa 1995, wearing Fendi pants and a striped fur coat.PHOTO BY DAVID CORIO/REDFERNS
Blige performs on stage at Madison Square Garden, circa 1995, wearing Fendi pants and a striped fur coat.
PHOTO BY DAVID CORIO/REDFERNS
Blige hit the red carpet for the 1999 Billboard Music Awards with a two-piece leather suit with a fur bomber jacket.PHOTO BY RON GALELLA/RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES
Blige hit the red carpet for the 1999 Billboard Music Awards with a two-piece leather suit with a fur bomber jacket.
PHOTO BY RON GALELLA/RON GALELLA COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES

Blige wanted to curate a collection that paid tribute to the genre that inspired her upbringing and identity, reflecting the style of the community that built it.

Mary J. BligePhoto credit: Getty Images
Mary J. Blige
Photo credit: Getty Images

Hip-hop is so important to me because it gave me my identity growing up in the inner city and the projects,” the songstress shared. “It was and still is a powerful way for us to express ourselves and understand other artists and rappers who MC through their experience. Years ago, people thought this genre would be extinct, but 50 years later it is still here and just as big as rock and roll.

The ’90s-inspired jewelry is available now at https://www.sisterlovemjb.com/

yours in fashion,

Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds

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