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Arab Super Talents Rise with Black Is King

Beyonce Ashi

Beyoncé wearing Ashi for Black Is King. Styled by Zerina Akers. Courtesy Ashi

You will have to read the fine print to know it. Ever humble, Beyoncé‘s Lebanese art director Andrew Makadsi offered all his praise and respect to his colleagues for the latest success of which he was very much a part of. Of his own role as art director in Beyoncé’s Black Is King, the Emmy award-nominated Makadsi would likely say he was simply “lucky to be a part of it,” if his past were to serve as any indication.

“Beyond proud of the talent and hard work all my sisters put in this important body of work – #blackisking DID THAT!” – Andrew Makadsi Black is King art director

Beyoncé has served what The New York Times hails as, “A grand statement of African-diaspora unity, pride, and creative power,” and she sourced creatives throughout the Arab world in her process. Along with Makadsi’s vital creative involvement, she harnessed the work of two Arab designers. Saudi couturier Mohammad Ashi again dressed Beyoncé; this time, for Black Is King, he created an exotic bird feather bodice look requiring 70 hours of work. Beyoncé, who was styled by Zerina Akers, curator and founder of the Black-founded business platform, Black Owned Everything, also shone the light on up-and-coming Bahraini brand Monsoori. Beyoncé appears in a deep plum-colored, one-shoulder gown alongside Naomi Campbell who was dressed in mustard-yellow Schiaparelli couture. Mansoori is founded by Bahraini designer Shaima Al Mansoori, who reveals that the dress took 81 hours to drape and make. Her dress signatures incorporate volume, ruffles, and draping.

Black is King Monsoori

Beyoncé wears Bahraini label Monsoori alongside Naomi Campbell in Black Is King.

Beyoncé has always gone beyond wearing internationally-acclaimed designer names. Though her Black Is King fashion lineup features the likes of Burberry, Erdem, and Mugler, it also spotlights Ivorian-American designer Loza Maleombho, French designer Marine Serre, British designer Molly Goddard, among a bounty of others. For those who question why she did not exclusively wear Black designers, perhaps it is simply because, it is the woman who makes the dress.

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