A symbol that continues to hold the test of time, music and culture. What seems to be an everyday fashion trend for others is something so significant for our black and brown communities alike. There’s one person who’s been looking to put the focus back on the importance of what some may see as just another earring.

Devon Nicole Blow

Devon Nicole Blow, aka @devthepineapple, she’s the owner and operator of  LA based company, My Purple Pineapple Co. There she provides services based on being a skilled graphic illustrator and designer creating products ranging from stationary to blankets with designs paying homage to your everyday homegirl. There’s one project she has that truly spoke to me, and well, many others too. She calls it #HoopsGang, and it’s caused quite a stir online. Receiving hundreds of submissions of one thing, and guess what it was…women rocking their favorite pair of hoops. Now what she’s doing with these pictures and the overall stance behind this project, that’s the amazing part. Once she receives your photo and reviews it to be sure it follows the guidelines of submission she will then take it and turn it into a digital photo, done in her style of art of course. She’ll then email you a copy of the digital art she’s created with a short message of  thanks. Once she has all the submissions she needs she will then take each digital drawing to create  a poster for all to see and purchase. And there it is, I make it sound simple but so much has been put into this project that I can’t possibly sum up all the hard work and love that continues to go into it.

#HoopsGang Project Illustrations

In today’s world where singling out a certain demographic of people can sometimes be a bit testy, she’s proven that having the courage in taking that kind of risk can bring about something quite beautiful. In her quest for submissions the key intent is to recieve photos that “represent women, femme, non binary, and non men identified people”, as stated on her submissions post. Why, you ask. Well, the full purpose of this project is to inspire and empower vulnerable, marginalized, neglected and disenfranchised communities of women around us. With a stance like this in today’s world she’s truly found a way to be a spokeswoman for such a special portion of  girl and womanhood. Now, as the audience grows so will #hoopsgang, and with growth will come many more opportunities to be a part of it. Devon has already alluded to another round of garnering new submissions for a second poster. Make sure you’re keeping up  with her via instagram so YOU can be a part of something so big too!

Simply a project with a purpose. Celebrating communities around the nation and bringing attention to something so close to Devon and many others. Hoops have been a part of her cultural expression for so long now. Who could have possibly known something as intricate and ornate as hoops, door knockers and bamboo earrings could have so much power.

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All images courtesy of My Purple Pineapple Co