The women of hip-hop had their door knockers; the beatnik babes wore Lucite discs; and the ladies of the minimalist movement preferred pin-thin silver eclipsing their lobes. The hoop earring has been reinvented time and time again, considered to be as much a wardrobe staple as the turtleneck or denim. This year, the transformative accessory wound up on the models at Balenciaga and Loewe for Fall 2016, repurposed into something supersized or sculptural, or worn, surprisingly well, only in one ear. Off the runway, jewelry-makers such as Sophie Buhai and Kathleen Whitaker added their own modernist touches to thick, shiny hoops, while others, like Ana Ifould of Double Disco, hooked geometric embellishments onto the classic circular accessory.
Even in their most imaginative reworkings of the ubiquitous adornment, these inventive designers still look to the hoop stars of the past (recent and not so) for style guidance. Be it a photo of their mom from the ’80s, a casual shot of Jennifer Aniston, or a profile of Lauryn Hill onstage, there are certain muses who have greatly influenced the way we want to wear our own versions of those old-school earrings today.
Below, nine bold designers sound off on their favorite hoop-wearing women.
Lauryn HillPhoto: REX
“So many boss female musicians artfully don the hoop earring, like Sade, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson, but for me, Lauryn Hill owned the look with the same self-possession that personifies her sound and her style. She is the muse that comes to mind every time I think of the attitude a hoop should evoke.”
Uma ThurmanPhoto: Getty Images
Ana Ifould, Double Disco
“I have a friend who likes to describe people as dangerous, but in this wonderfully seductive way: It is an amazing description for this ’90s image of Uma Thurman. She has the perfect amount of unwashed-off makeup and thin hoops. She’s like the girl in the back of the school bus that was probably only 17 but you were in absolute awe of her—you and every other kid on that bus.”
Sophie Buhai’s MotherPhoto: Courtesy of Sophie Buhai
“Here is my mom circa 1988. She always wore Mexican silver hoops, and here she’s wearing some ’80s variation. She is my forever muse, always sporting some elegant black ensemble and silver statement jewelry. Some women go to celebrities for inspiration, but to me, my mother, who is a psychologist in Los Angeles, has always been the chicest person.”
Jennifer AnistonPhoto: Getty Images
“My gorgeous friend Jen Aniston is so effortlessly stylish and has such a classic look. I love how she pairs jeans and a tee, a little black dress, or a chic suit with a great pair of hoops—they add a special touch to any outfit!”
Jaclyn Solomon, AGMES
“When it comes to hoop muses, I’ve always loved Sade’s understated simplicity. Her pairings of bold, clean earrings with minimal turtlenecks and button-downs perfectly exemplify the AGMES look.”
Audrey HepburnPhoto: Getty Images
Morgan Solomon, AGMES
“Audrey Hepburn has always been a muse for me. Her chic, paired-down style was impeccable and she always exuded a sense of elegance and timelessness. I specifically love the hoops she wore throughout Sabrina.”
Catherine DeneuvePhoto: Getty Images
“Catherine Deneuve is my favorite when it comes to women wearing hoop earrings. She looks absolutely perfect with her hair down, her turtleneck on, and her hoops in her ears. She was an icon at that time and still is today.”