By Amanda Wicks
Beyoncé has long slayed with her fashion style, and last night (June 6) the Council of Fashion Designers Of America (CFDA) honored her with its Fashion Icon Award.
The event, held in New York City, saw Jay Z and the couple’s daughter Blue Ivy as well as her mother in attendance. They all looked on proudly as Beyoncé took the stage wearing a stunning Givenchy suit and shared the role fashion has played in her life.
“As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life,” she said. “It’s effect on me actually started before I was born. Most of you guys don’t know this but my grandmother was a seamstress.” She explained how her grandmother sewed clothes to pay for her daughter’s Catholic school tuition. Beyoncé’s mother went on to learn the same craft and used it to design Beyoncé’s prom dress, wedding dress and her first Grammy dress.
“When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels, they didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls,”Beyoncé explained. “And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture.” Her mother stepped into design the group’s costumes. “My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York,” she said. “But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.”
Beyoncé thanked her grandmother, uncle and mother, who all contributed to her fashion history. “Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you showing me to never take ‘no’ for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard and live life on my own terms.”
With her last words directed at the designers in attendance and around the world, she said, “I encourage you to not forget this power that you have, or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color, no shape, no form.”
Watch the full speech below.