What’s the perfect name for a pair of bold hoop earrings codesigned by Mary J. Blige? Queen Hoops, naturally.
The R&B royal is the codesigner of a new jewelry capsule collection, Sister Love, that released the chunky gold-plated hoops this week (its first design), and plans to debut a selection of styles in the near future.
Blige’s partner in Sister Love is jewelry designer—and wife of LL Cool J—Simone I. Smith, who owns her own eponymously named hip hop–inspired jewelry brand (Sister Love is part of the larger Simone I. Smith collection).
Blige said in a company statement that she wanted to work with Smith because, “she’s already created an amazingly successful jewelry line and all the pieces are things that I love, and she also has an amazing fashion sense.”
Smith launched her namesake collection in 2011, after being diagnosed with stage III chondrosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, in 2004.
At the time, the designer had already had a lollipop tattoo on her leg (for LL Cool J’s famous song “Candy Girl”), and after undergoing surgery for her illness, the lollipop looked like “a bite had been taken out it,” according to the statement.
It inspired Smith’s first piece of jewelry, the Sweet Touch of Hope lollipop pendant, which she created specifically for individuals and families affected by cancer.
The Simone I. Smith collection has spun off several capsule and limited-edition collections in its seven years since, including SIS by Simone I. Smith, a line exclusively for Macy’s, and Amore by Simone I. Smith, made for Kohl’s.
Regarding her collaboration with Blige, Smith said, “It’s an exhilarating and proud feeling to partner with my girl—a divine woman full of black girl magic. As women working together, it’s important to be able to adjust each other’s crowns, instead of tearing each other down. We are working together…to celebrate our friendship and successes and empower others.”
Top: Mary J. Blige and Simone I. Smith wearing their Sister Love hoops.