Artist Behind Bamboo Tokyo 2020 Design Talks Influence of Black Women

By: Christina Santi

Donald Prophete Jr. is the Haitian-American mastermind behind the incredible image that represented Black women at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The artist speaks to BNC about the inspiration of the design which was sparked by the women in his life, as well as track stars Sha’Carri Richardson and Flo Jo.

He says the idea for the design, which went viral just ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, came to him while he was driving. He wanted to highlight the Bamboo earring trend of hip hop culture.

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Don credits Black cultural icons like stylist Misa Hylton and designer Virgil Abloh who have impacted the storytelling of his art.

“A logo I created inspired by the recent events of our beautiful black female athletes qualifying for the Olympics,” Prophete wrote on Instagram.”I decided to replace the signature Olympic Rings with bamboo earrings. A choice of jewelry popularized by Black and Brown girls during the ’80s and ’90s.”


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A post shared by Don Prophete Jr ?? (@don_prophete)

The former photographer-turned-illustrator creates images that spark social commentary on issues that impact his community and that highlight the everyday life of Black people. Prophete also shares his career trajectory, including illustrating for Wale and what he hopes to accomplish with his company PRPHT WRLDWD in the future. 


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