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  • Nameplate necklaces

  • everyone wears one.

  • Isn't that the Carrie necklace from Sex and the City?

  • Yeah.

  • She wore one too,

  • but she wasn't the first.

  • It's not just a celebrity thing.

  • Chances are you own one or you've seen someone else wearing one.

  • They're fashionable now, but for decades

  • they've been a statement of girlhood

  • and coming of age for women of colour and ethnic minorities.

  • The first nameplate that I got was as a 10-year-old.

  • And I basically had to write my mom a letter explaining

  • why I was responsible enough

  • to have a pretty expensive piece of jewellery and I had the grades to back it up.

  • Unless you have a common name

  • Mary, Jennifer, Katie...

  • It's hard to find a bracelet or a keychain with your name on it.

  • Personalised nameplate jewellery became a way of making those names legitimate

  • and visible.

  • When I looked around in the 70s and 80s in Brooklyn,

  • there weren't that many representations of black girlhood in popular culture.

  • For me and for the girls that I knew,

  • there was something about wanting to assert one's sense of self

  • that was intentional.

  • At the same time in New York, hip hop was being born.

  • It was more than music, it was graffiti and break dancing,

  • it was a style and an attitude.

  • And jewellery was part of that.

  • Much like graffiti tagging, the nameplate became a way of saying,

  • 'I exist in this world.

  • I want you to know my name.'

  • And like everything in fashion, nameplates were influenced

  • by what had come be before.

  • These guys were wearing initial nameplates and initial pinkie rings.

  • There's a correlation with artists like Big Daddy Kane,

  • Slick Rick...

  • Their major influences from style was pimps

  • Those medallions and personal jewellery moved into the stripped-down styling

  • of the nameplate necklace.

  • And Brooklyn's Fulton Street soon became their mecca.

  • And then it just becomes an epidemic where it becomes a staple

  • in the ghetto communities.

  • Everyone has to have one.

  • We are one of the few stores that opened in the early 90s here

  • and we were the centre mecca of nameplates.

  • Your nameplate is done.

  • When Yo! MTV raps aired in 1988

  • it brought the fashion of New York's boroughs to a wider audience.

  • Nameplates included.

  • Yo! MTV Raps really helped kind of express that

  • you know, fuel that representation.

  • I mean, of course, anything that then becomes a kind of national situation,

  • right?

  • But that was nothing until Sex and the City came along.

  • It was a pear-shaped diamond with a gold band.

  • You wear gold jewellery?

  • Yeah, like ghetto gold for fun

  • but this is my engagement ring.

  • The show's costume designer spotted the jewellery

  • and the Carrie necklace was born.

  • That name necklace was something that black kids, Puerto Rican kids, borough kids,

  • had been wearing forever.

  • That was just a staple.

  • I have a one o'clock reservation - Bradshaw.

  • Soon the necklace became synonymous with the show.

  • She kind of becomes an universal signifier for a style

  • that many communities of people

  • have contributed aesthetic innovations to...

  • There is an ongoing legacy of appropriating the labour, the energy,

  • the time, the creative production,

  • of our society's most subjugated people.

  • From here it's a short step to commercialising

  • what is often a deeply personal item.

  • Supermarkets like Walmart started selling them,

  • often only with those common white American names.

  • Nameplates often relate to some type of immigration experience,

  • an experience of origin, some kind of identity whether that's holding on

  • to a perceived original identity or synthesising a new one.

  • Like having to change your name.

  • Names reflect identity.

  • Latin names like Camila, Valeria or Maritza

  • have continued to use Spanish spellings and pronunciations

  • which can be seen as a sign of heritage and pride.

  • Would you mind telling me what your father's last name was?

  • The last name of my forefathers was taken from them

  • when they were brought to America and made slaves.

  • African Americans also began to give their children unique names,

  • like Ashanti, Latisha, and Monique

  • to represent their individuality

  • and in some cases, solidarity with their African ancestry.

  • What I think it's a brilliant about the nameplate necklace

  • is that it shows up right in the black and Latino community

  • at a moment when the community is itself trying to figure out its very contemporary

  • and modern representation.

  • Label yourself but you choose that label and then you accessorise it and make it visible

  • just seems completely appropriate and brilliant.

  • So what was once perceived as ghetto became fashionable.

  • The trends that black youth have created have always been absorbed

  • by mainstream society

  • and the nameplate necklaces is no different.

  • So when mainstream society wants to cut loose and be wild,

  • that's when black culture can be absorbed.

  • In the present day, people with black, Latino

  • or ethnic sounding names

  • are still less likely to be called back for job interviews,

  • considered for housing,

  • and they are more likely to be labeled as troublemakers by teachers.

  • Facing these disadvantages because of your name

  • and still showing enough pride to wear it around your neck

  • can feel like a small but revolutionary act.

  • But some people just like the style.

  • Culture sharing is inevitable and can be a great thing.

  • But it helps to know the history behind what you're wearing.

  • Just think twice about calling it the Carrie necklace.

Nameplate necklaces

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B2 中高級 英國腔

慾望都市》如何挪用黑人文化 (How Sex and the City appropriated black culture)

  • 111 5
    Jessieeee 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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