The message from Beyoncé to several African designers whose work she wore in South Africa is a simple and yet potentially life-changing two sentences of measured praise. In an Instagram post, she said, "Thank you to the talented African designers who kept me feeling fresh. Y’all go so hard. 🐝" No names were dropped but the world has worked overtime to figure out who could have dressed "the Queen". The most iconic dress she wore is undoubtedly the onstage attire which paid tribute to all 54 countries of the African continent but throughout her South African visit for the Global Citizen fundraiser, she rocked some high African couture. 7.1 Billion dollars was raised and will be used to eradicate poverty. It is an unbelievable feat but equally surreal was how young African designers were thrown into the spotlight.
Beyoncé wore a MmusoMaxwell blue and green short behind the tents of the Global Citizen festival. She also wore a Yhebe asymmetrical skirt as well as two outfits by Tongoro Studio. Peulh Vagabond's high-waisted pants and crop top also made it while Rich Mnisi's bold, pattern-heavy look was given a new life by the superstar. The Beyoncé effect should not be understated as in 2014, a geometric coat by South Africa's Kisua sold out immediately.
African designers have, of late, gained international respect with Lupita Nyong'o and Michelle Obama's consistent love for Maki Oh a public secret. So impressed was Michelle Obama by the brand that she invited Amaka Osakwa, the brains behind Maki Oh, to the White House when she was the first lady. However, a worrying trend has been in the failure of designers to capitalise on the publicity they get from being noticed. This is the time to leverage on the recognition and make money out of it.
Header Image Credit: Kevin Mazur