In line with the historic milestone of National Hip-Hop Day, Aug. 11, designed to commemorate 50 years since the inception of the genre, Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige celebrated the launch day of a limited-edition earring collection. The launching was in collaboration with Simone I. Smith Jewelry, a jewelry company founded by Blige’s longtime friend and business partner Simone I. Smith.
It’s All About the Hoop
This collection, born from the duo’s shared passion for fashion and hip-hop, features a pair of hoop earrings that capture the essence of New York women’s hip-hop style.
The “Fly Girl” and “Hip-Hop” Nameplate Hoops earrings, retailing at $400 each, are a shoutout to the hip-hop culture and the legacy of the former Bad Boy Records artist.
Smith is an entrepreneur and fashionista who, in 2011, founded Simone I. Smith Jewelry. She also is the wife of rapper LL Cool J, from Queens, New York.
As a cancer survivor, her inspiration for her jewelry line was to bring awareness to cancer. In dedication, a portion of the proceeds from Smith’s jewelry line goes to the American Cancer Society.
With the support of her husband, who reportedly appeared on the shopping network HSN to promote her jewelry line, Smith has created a series of products, including hoop earrings, bangles, necklaces and rings.
In 2018, she and Blige joined forces to create their line, Sister Love.
Both the “Fly Girl” and “Hip-Hop” nameplate hoops are part of the Sister Love collection. They are crafted by hand with enamel and infused with patented diamond resin for dent resistance. The earrings are made of 18 karat yellow gold over sterling silver.
“Simone is my sister, so creating Sister Love just felt like us having an opportunity to create something that celebrates our sisterhood, and the sisterhood of women around the world,” Blige told People magazine. “When the idea came up for a collection celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, it was another chance to create a collection that marked an important milestone in my life and in our culture.”
In the 1970s and 1980s, many female artists were wearing hoop earrings, especially in the world of hip-hop.
“Hip-hop culture influences the designs for Sister Love — these are the earrings we wore growing up and are still wearing today,” Blige told People. “They are designs that every fly girl from my neighborhood, and most stylish female rappers wore!”