Beyoncé clearly rates talent from our region. The superstar has a well-documented track record of favoring looks by Arab designers, spanning from Tunisia to Kuwait, having worn creations by Egyptian accessories label and 2016 Fashion Prize winners Okhtein, Tunisian turban milliner Donia Allegue, Algerian-French abaya label Bouguessa, and Kuwaiti couturier Yousef Al Jasmi, to name but a few. Sunday’s Grammy Awards further proved her penchant for Arab talent, as Queen B chose not one, but two statement designs by Middle Eastern couturiers to wear to the pre-Grammys gala and the awards ceremony.
The pop star had a Bonnie and Clyde moment with her husband, Jay-Z, who received the 2018 Salute To Industry Icons award, wearing a custom-made, asymmetrical gown by Beirut-based label Azzi & Osta. Hours later, she changed into a custom black Nicolas Jebran design to attend the ceremony with Jay-Z and their daughter Blue Ivy. The gown featured thigh-high slits and crystal embellishments “This dress pays homage to the black panthers 1960’s movement, shedding light on the importance of women empowerment; We loved the whole concept, and we wanted to make it happen,” Jebran explains to Vogue.me. Beyoncé accessorized the look with Lorraine Schwartz jewels and a pair of cat-eye shades from Alain Mikli (who, coincidentally, has Lebanese roots). Jebran has worked with Beyoncé in the past, creating all kinds of avant-garde looks for her. Remember the sheer black body-hugging gown she wore to the 2014 Video Music Awards? “It’s always an honor to work with Beyoncé,” Jebran says. “The touch she adds to her dresses, with all the elegance, the power and attitude makes the all time experience worth it. Working with Queen B has always been different in its own sense, the fact that her outfits tend to always tell a story and behold a discrete intention makes the job demanding yet thrilling at the same time.”
Echoing on his statements, the couturiers behind Azzi & Osta tell Vogue.me, “We felt so many emotions seeing Beyoncé wearing our creation. But most importantly, we felt honored, proud, happy, and thrilled beyond imagination.”
A Timeline of Beyoncé’s Best Outfits by Arab Designers: