by Laura Lucivero / Garnet & Black

Heirlooms are items that connect us to our culture, our history and our family. This shoot was an opportunity for USC students to display, with pride, wearable heirlooms handed down to them by family members and tell their stories.

Xavier Sapp styled rings handed down to him from his late grandmother. His grandmother made jewelry, and he loves incorporating pieces she made to feel connected to her.

Mara Bean is wearing jewelry handed down by generations of the women in her family. She explains how having physical connections to them fills her with love and shares her dreams of continuing this tradition with her future daughters.

Kendra Wilcher is sporting her father’s U.S. Navy jacket. Wearing this jacket fills her with pride for her father’s service to our country.

Dejuan Carson shows us bracelets that were gifts from the women close to him. He explains how wearing them brings him a sense of closeness to these loved ones and that he feels naked without them.

While these students might not have much else in common, they all expressed how their heirlooms are a physical representation of love and pride for their family, culture and community. In a society overcome by microtrends and fast fashion, incorporating these meaningful pieces into one’s wardrobe is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Check out our YouTube page to see some behind-the-scenes content for this shoot!