The internet has been in a frenzy since the release of “Black Is King”, the visual accompaniment to her 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift. The full-length film is a love letter to people of the African diaspora celebrating “the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry.”
Beyoncé says in the film: “Let black be synonymous with glory,” and we are here for all the black and brown representation from different countries around the world. The film is a fashion stylist’s dream with too many amazing looks to count. With the help of her long-time stylist, Zerina Akers, Beyoncé’s wardrobe packs a punch with a mix of big fashion houses like Balmain, Valentino, and Burberry and a talented pool of black designers that really made us gag.
South African designers featured prominently in "Black is King". Some notable names include Floyd Avenue, Rich Mnisi, Nao Serati, Thebe Magugu, Maxhosa Africa, Franc Elis, Hamethop, Ifele, Katekani Moreku, Orapeleng Modutle, Ntando XV Ngwenya, Otsile Sefolo, Reign SA, Rich Factory, Selfi, Sindiso Khumalo, Sober Design House, Sun Goddess and Thabo Makhetha.
Here are some of the black designers behind some of Queen B’s sickening looks.
One of the most gag-worthy moments in “Black Is King” is when we see Beyonce in a diamond-encrusted jumpsuit with a beaded diamond fringe skirt. This look was created by D.Bleu.Dazzled who specializes in custom crystallized hosiery, lingerie, and performance-wear. The founder Destiney Bleu worked with Beyoncé for The Formation Tour and has also worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, Cardi B, Dapper Dan, and Gucci.
West African designer, Loza Maléombho, who is based in Côte d’Ivoire, created that graphic, structured jacket with gold hardware and accessories in “Black Is King”. B’s bestie Kelly Rowland has been seen previously wearing Maléombho’s designs. Loza Maléombho really captures the spirit of royalty and African tailoring.
Lace by Tanaya
The Bee-Hive knows how much Beyoncé loves a fringe moment. Lace by Tanaya specializes in this aesthetic. The crystal fringe dress that glitters in “Black is King”, is all the work of Tanaya and we are truly gagged by the movement and glittery detail. According to Twitter she made this fashion moment a year ago and we finally get to see it in all its glory.
New Yorker Jerome Lamaar, born in the Bronx, launched 5:31 Jérôme in 2013 after working with designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Ralph Rucci. He was responsible for the mind-blowing Nigerian inspired hybrid silk trench dress and headpiece. Lamaar is known for his mix of street style, high fashion, glamour, and afro-centric embellishments.
Duckie Confetti has worked with musicians like Cardi B and Teyana Taylor so naturally, Beyonce had to put her own spin on these decadent designs. The money-printed pajamas Beyonce wears in “Mood 4Eva” is the perfect match up between Duckie Confetti and the Queen B. The pajama set was actually made available to purchase on Beyoncé’s website, it quickly sold out.
Déviant La Vie
If you are wondering who made those bondage-type dresses in “Black Is King” its none other than Déviant La Vie. The fashion house was founded by Brittany Duet and her partner, Murph. They’re known for their bondage-inspired avant-garde looks as seen in Beyoncé’s white and red dresses in the film.
Project Runway season 17 contestant Venny Etienne and designer of Levenity was responsible for the floral beauty and other gorgeous pieces that Beyoncé wore in “Black Is King”. Etienne influences come from growing up in Brooklyn, his Haitian culture, and Dallas, where he currently resides.
All those beautiful shell pieces seen in “Black is King” were made by Lafalaise Dion. Dion is inspired by African spirituality and the roots of the cowry shell. “It is time for us Black Africans to reconcile with our heritage and reclaim our culture; our spirituality, our gods and embrace it,” says Dion’s Instagram bio. “Our history, we must write it for ourselves. Therefore, I write mine, that of my people through my creations.”
Identical-twin designers Dynasty and Soull Ogun from ’Enchanteur wanted to communicate “timeless inspirations of spirituality” through their grand jewelry pieces that can be seen throughout the film. The Galactica Armlets and custom Butterfly Wing Earrings in the ‘Already’ video is proof that this design duo means business.
South African designer Mmuso Maxwell also made the cut in “Black is King”. While it was not Beyonce who wore the designs, one of the models was spotted wearing the collective’s SS20 collection in the film trailer. Queen B clearly loves this designer because she wore a Mmuso Maxwell SS16 suit at the Global Citizen Festival in 2018.
Many South African creatives appeared in the film in their full glory including Busiswa, Moonchild, Trevor Stuurman, Nandi Madida amongst many others.
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