'Thank you for showing me to never take no for an answer' - Beyonce’s speech at the CFDAs will have you in tears
Published 07/06/2016 | 12:28
Never one to stay low-key, Beyonce stole the show at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards on Monday.
The Lemonade singer arrived late to the ceremony and received the surprise Fashion Icon Award, presented by designer Diane Von Furstenberg,
In a sparkling Givenchy suit and wide-brimmed hat from the Formation tour, Beyonce graciously received the award and gave a touching acceptance speech, honouring her mother and grandmother.
The 34-year-old superstar spoke about how fashion has always been a part of her life and revealed that her grandmother was a seamstress, who passed the trade down to Beyonce’s mother Tina Knowles.
“As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born.
"Most of you guys don’t know this but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money and could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition, so my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns, and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift down to my mother and taught her how to sew,” she said.
Both women used their talent to support their children, and Tina even went on to create some of Beyonce’s most iconic looks.
“When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels 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 showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and creativity to give her children their dreams.
"My mother and my Uncle Johnny, God bless his soul, designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into ever small detail.”
The Crazy in Love singer went on to show her love for fantasy drama series Game of Thrones: “When I wore these clothes on stage I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name.”
Beyonce reduced her mother to tears in the speech, thanking her for the power she’s given her through fashion.
“My mother — who’s so fabulous and beautiful and is here tonight, I love you — my grandmother, and my uncle were always with me so I could not fail. My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Awards dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on and this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity, expression, and strength. It transcends style and is a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones.”
“So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for 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.”
Tina has supported Beyonce through the speculation that her latest album points towards husband Jay Z cheating on her.
She finished by acknowledging the countless designers that inspire and empower people worldwide.
“I want to say thank you to every designer who works tirelessly to make people feel like they can write their own stories. Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, and sometimes even therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power 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 colour. No shape, no form.
"Just like all your work it goes so far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, to show people how to embrace their complications and flaws and see the true beauty that’s inside all of us.”
Her four-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, husband Jay-Z and mother Tina watched proudly in the audience.