2000’s Fashion Trends Made Popular By Black Culture
Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstoc

Paris Hilton’s 21st birthday dress may be the blueprint for fast fashion retailers everywhere, but two years prior to the “original” making its debut, style maven and actress LisaRaye McCoy wore a similar chainmail look to the 2000 Video Music Awards (micro bag, in tow). Before model Bella Hadid deemed oversized cargos and gradient sunglasses a must, famed R&B singer Aaliyah had already made them her signature look. And though Juicy Couture has certainly become a household name for velour tracksuits, the plush set was preceded by styles conjured up by none other than Kimora Lee Simons’s Baby Phat empire.

Sisqo with actress LisaRaye arriving at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 9/7/2000 Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

With the aforementioned early 2000s fashion trends making a splash in 2020, it feels necessary to give credit where credit is due, which is black culture.

Unable to fully partake in the trends the first time around, I took this comeback in adulthood as a chance to divulge, completely. Rounding up every tube top, Kangol hat, and jersey dress that I never had the pleasure of owning, I soon realized that discussing the resurgence of trends from the early aughts without acknowledging the influence by Black culture was nearly impossible. Growing up, I remember video vixens being laced out in full denim looks that can now be seen on Instagram models, everywhere. Closely relating to the archetype of Lauren London’s character “New New” in the classic film, ATL who convinced me to invest in the pair of oversized name earrings that every Black girl owned. Long before Carrie Bradshaw popularized her beloved monogram necklace that she referenced as “ghetto gold” jewelry.

“I soon realized that discussing the resurgence of trends from the early aughts without acknowledging the influence by Black culture was nearly impossible.”

But, we all know that “Ghetto is nothing but creativity that hasn’t been stolen, yet”, a phrase coined by Ohio-based designer and philanthropist, Ron Blassingame. Of course, now, you’d be hard-pressed to scroll through your timeline and find an influencer or celebrity without their own moniker hanging proudly around their necks. Proving that trends that were considered controversial twenty years ago, are now hot commodities.

Scroll through a list of trends from the early 2000s that were undeniably made popular through its rise in the Black community.

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