13 Black Designers Featured in Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ That Everyone Should Know
Beyoncé’s new visual album Black Is King dropped on Disney+ just four days ago, and, as we could have guessed, it’s already causing major ripple effects in the fashion industry. There have been significant increases in the number of people searching for cow print pieces and Marine Serre’s crescent moon styles (thanks in part to the fact that Adele posted herself rocking the same top as Queen B). But the thing most people are talking about is the fact that there are so many incredible Black designers represented throughout the album, alongside high-fashion bigwigs like Valentino, Burberry and Balmain.
Here are 13 independent Black designers featured in Black Is King. (We suspect you’ll be seeing their names much more often in the future.)
Beyoncé has worn designer Destiney Bleu’s pieces before, most recently while on her Formation tour. The brand specializes in bedazzled lingerie, swimwear, hosiery and athleisure. You can spot her creations in the first few minutes of Black Is King, (a primetime spot if there ever was one) with Bey rocking a diamond-encrusted black bodysuit by Bleu.
2. Duckie Confetti
If you also can’t get Queen B’s money-print PJ set off your mind, we have some good news: it’s currently available for purchase on Duckie Confetti’s website and isn’t nearly as pricey as you might think. (Although we suggest you act fast given that they’ve already sold out on Beyoncé’s site.) Confetti is known best for his avant garde menswear and womenswear, all with a flair of theatricality perfect for performers like Bey, Cardi B and Teyona Taylor.
Fans of Project Runway will recognize the name behind this Dallas-based brand—Venny Etienne. He was a contestant on season 17, and although he didn’t win, we’d say he’s doing pretty darn well for himself regardless. His designs reflect his Haitian heritage, Brooklyn upbringing and the Southern roots of Black culture.
4. Lace by Tanaya
According to the designer’s Twitter, she actually made this custom crystal fringe set for Beyoncé over a year ago and wasn’t entirely sure whether or not her designs would appear in Black is King until the release of the teaser trailer in mid-July. It appears glitter is Tanaya’s forte, with crystal-adorned face masks, sparkly chain bodysuits and lots of gold jewelry currently available on her site.
5. Adama Paris
Designer Adama Amanda Ndiaye, the mind behind this stunning sunshine yellow ensemble, was born in Senegal but spent much of her youth bouncing between international big cities, a fact that has informed many her multi-cultural designs. She currently splits her time between Paris, France, and Dakar, Senegal, where she founded Dakar Fashion Week.
6. Déviant La Vie
Déviant La Vie looks actually appear multiple times throughout Black Is King. Founder Brittany Duet and her partner Murph specialize in bondage-inspired pieces with lots of intricate rope detailing. In addition to the white corset above, Déviant La Vie also created the red rope dresses worn by Bey and her backup dancers later in the album.
7. Loza Maléombho
Some fans suspect it was Kelly Rowland who introduced Bey to this African designer, as she’s been spotted wearing Loza Maléombho on more than one occasion. Maléombho is currently based in Côte d’Ivoire and took to Instagram to express not just how grateful she is that Beyoncé and her longtime stylist Zerina Akers chose to include Maléombho’s custom black-and-white jacket, but also to praise the singer for her representation of Afrobeats dances.
8. 5:31 Jérôme
Bronx-born Jerome Lamaar began his fashion career working for the likes of Kimora Lee Simmons and Ralph Rucci, before launching his own brand in 2013. His designs are all about glamour, drama and making a statement. The turquoise trench coat/dress her made for Queen B from hand-beaded Nigerian lace and inspired by a mix of street style and traditional Nigerian designs is a maximalist dream.
9. S. Garvey
Sam Garvey is a descendant of Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey and uses her Jamaican heritage and her family’s history to fuel her vibrant and daring designs. She handmade Queen B and her backup dancers’s velvet floral bodysuits from her studio in Brooklyn. (Psst, if you act fast and are willing to shell out $989, you can own a custom bodysuit exactly like Bey’s.)
10. Simon Hartman
Beyoncé as the regal Black queen on a life-size chess board is not an image anyone is likely to forget, and that is largely thanks to Melissa Simon-Hartman, the genius mind behind this incredible look. Simon-Hartman was born in London and uses her Trinidadian and Ghanaian heritage to inform her intricate avant garde pieces.
11. Selam Fessahaye
Similarly to the crystal fringe number from Lace by Tanaya, Selam Fessahaye did not know her designs would pop up in Black Is King. In fact, this dreamy citrus-hued frock is from Fessahaye’s very first collection back in 2018. She has presented collections at Copenhagen Fashion Week three times now (she is of Swedish and Eritrean descent) and we suspect after earning the public support of Beyoncé, she’ll continue showing again for years to come.
12. Lafalaise Dion
The self-proclaimed Queen of Cowries (a shell sometimes referred to as a puka shell), Lafalaise Dion designed a multitude of cowrie shell headpieces for both Beyoncé and her backup dancers. Dion’s niche focus links back to the roll of the cowrie shell in African history—before the 1500s they were used a currency throughout the continent after which point they became symbols of good luck and fertility. Today, they represent wealth, good fortune and womanhood.
Many of the larger jewelry pieces, like the earrings above, the earrings worn with Loza Maléombho’s black-and-white jacket and a black-and-gold ring worn by Jay-Z are the brainchildren of twins Dynasty and Soull Ogun. Their Brooklyn-based company is about more than gorgeous jewelry and accessories. They are also very involved with their community and a variety of causes, leading events to raise awareness for respiratory diseases, mental health workshops and supporting other local artists, as well.