When Beyonce concluded her 49-date “Formation” stadium tour, Billboard wrote that her career has been characterized by “challenging herself with Olympic feats of talent, skill, creative direction and endurance.” That couldn’t be summed up better in her latest tour, which saw her literally dancing on water in heels for some shows.
She’s been known to flip through the air, drop into a sickening twerk and perform otherwise strenuous dance choreography while consistently singing as close to studio perfect as possible. Hers is a brand built on athleticism, so it’s little wonder that when Beyonce made her latest bid for a fashion empire — and undoubtedly her most successful to date — it was in the athleisure category.
Let’s be clear: Beyonce hasn’t had the most seamless relationship in the fashion industry. Just this year she picked up a Fashion Icon recognition from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which itself was a decision that came with quite a bit of debate. Acceptance for her nomination of the award wasn’t as widespread as the acceptance of fashion darling Rihanna’s 2014’s win in a nearly nude dress.
But Bey ascended the stage, rocking a Givenchy suit, the oversized wide brimmed hat that has become synonymous with her Formation era, and $9 million in Lorraine Schwartz jewels and reminded us of the important role fashion played in her career.
“As long as I can remember, fashion has been a part of my life,” she began, eventually citing how her grandmother was a seamstress who used her work to fund Mama Tina’s Catholic schooling. “When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high end labels, they didn’t really want to dress four black country, curvy girls and we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every show room in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.”