Beyonce’s “Black is King” visual album featured multiple fashion ensembles by international designers including Burberry, Valentino, and Saudi Arabian designer Mohammed Ashi, who spent 70 hours creating a hand-made embroidered piece that fit the “woman’s empowerment” vision.
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The star’s styling team approached Ashi last year, before the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum in 2020, with the vision of “going back to [Beyonce’s] roots and her black culture and nature.”
Beyonce “also wanted to show her body figure and show woman’s empowerment via the styling of this look,” Ashi told Al Arabiya English.
Ashi created the “daring and fierce” piece, placing exotic bird feathers “one by one on the bodice for this film that has a powerful impact in the world.”
This was not the first time Ashi dressed “Queen Bey,” as fans of the singer-actress call her. Beyonce previously wore a custom Ashi gown to the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa in 2018.
The designer has dressed several other top celebrities including Christina Aguilera and Ellie Goulding. The brand has also been featured in fashion magazines like Vogue and Tatler, among others.
The Saudi Arabian designer’s look was one of many showcased in the project that has been in the works for a year.
“Black is King” was originally intended as a companion piece to The Lion King soundtrack and “meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry,” Beyonce wrote in an Instagram post.
The visual album was released this year following racial justice awareness and demonstrations that erupted as part of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and that subsequently spread worldwide.
“I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose… I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy,” said Beyoncé.
The star’s latest 80-minute project was released on July 31 on the Disney+ streaming platform and the Middle East streaming service OSN.