Although Beyoncé is currently jet setting across the United States on the first leg of her Formation World Tour, she managed to make time to receive the coveted Fashion Icon Award at the 2016 CFDA Awards.
Wearing a striped Givency Suit, Beyoncé thanked her mother, grandmother, and Uncle Johnny in an impactiful speech, for their roles in making her a superstar even before she knew she was.
However, Bey’s big fashion win came with a myriad of mixed reactions.
It appears that Twitter trolls, fashion experts, and Instagram models alike, believe the superstar's fashion choices are not the least bit deserving of such an honor.
But, in true Beyoncé fashion, she addressed her naysayers before the conversation could even begin.
'Cause she slay.
Fashion, as most people would like to describe it, is a free form of expression, one that combines effortless style, knowledge of designs, concepts and history. Many believe Beyoncé doesn't do for fashion what, say, Rihanna does, or even her sister, Solange — women who are undeniably chic, unapologetic in their sartorial choices and out-of-the-box creatives dipped in rogue nuances.
But guess what?
As Beyoncé so eloquently stated in her acceptance speech, fashion to her has nothing at all to do with clothes and everything to do with how it makes you feel. It’s no secret that Tina Knowles has been the mastermind behind plenty of Beyoncé's iconic looks. Why? Because Tina makes clothes that Beyoncé feels confident in, clothes that Beyoncé feels comfortable in, clothes that Beyoncé feels powerful in. Beyoncé has enough coin to easily afford to wear Givenchy gowns to every event if she pleases. Whether she is runway size or not is but a small hurdle, as any designer would sew through the night to have the biggest star in music adorned in their pieces.
But as she does with most things, Beyoncé sticks with what works best for her. A lesson more artists should take heed to.
So, why Beyoncé?
Well, the answer, in short, is because fashion surpasses what’s trendy. Fashion is what you interpret it to be. It’s how you feel. It’s how you walk. It's about making a statement. When all of that is taken into account, it's clear that Beyoncé is indeed a fashion icon. From her highly conceptualized tour costumes to her head-turning gowns at the Met Gala to just her presence, Beyoncé inspires other women to feel empowered in their skin. Whether she's conjuring up important cultural pillars like Michael Jackson and the Black Panthers in her controversial Super Bowl performance or paying homage to Diana Ross at the 2014 Met Gala, Beyoncé embodies fashion, even if you don’t think she’s great at it.
Working with her mom to create House of Deréon wasn’t about creating a line that would change fashion, it was about creating clothing that instead added variety, color and options that “full-figured women” could feel confident in. It was about making a line that would take what she learned from her mother, who is a designer, and her grandmother, who was a seamstress, to create a line that expanded the conversation on standards of beauty — much like she does with her art.
Beyoncé has always been consistent in drawing on the past to inspire the present, and the night of the CFDA Awards was no different. She urged designers to keep creating clothes that make people feel as if they can “tell their own stories.” A message that will hopefully echo long after the nights events.
'Cause she slay.
(Photo: Robert Kamau/GC Images)
(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
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