7 Major Fashion Moments From Beyonce’s New “Black is King”

The build up to Beyonce’s new “Black is King” visual album has been immense. Now that it’s finally here, fans and critics will no doubt dissect every moment of the 1-hour, 25-minute film, which is inspired by last year’s “Lion King: The Gift” (the star also curated that film’s soundtrack album).

There is plenty to analyze when it comes to the overall message — especially at a time when Black identity is at the forefront of the collective mindset. That can also be said of the film’s fashion. The industry is having its own reckoning with racism, both in the past few months and in past years, from Gucci’s and Prada’s blackface missteps in 2019 to the ongoing lack of diversity in the upper echelons of corporate structures.

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“Black is King” does not address or criticize these issues head-on. Instead, it is a bounty of

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10 Black Fashion Luminaries Who Made History

The Black community’s contributions to fashion have been chronically overlooked and under-reported throughout American history. From extraordinary figures like Elizabeth Keckley (a former slave who became First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal seamstress) to events like the “Battle of Versailles” (a fashion show walked by predominantly Black models that marked a turning point for American ready-to-wear), history is rife with ignored incidents of Black creativity. In an overdue effort to shed deserved light on these contributions, we’ve put together a list of books — memoirs, biographies, and historical accounts — that detail the lives and works of unsung Black visionaries who helped shape the fashion industry.

To help us build this reading list, we turned to Jasmine Helm and Joy Davis: two fashion historians who co-founded Unravel (along with Dana Thomas), a podcast that expounds on everything from Claire McCardell’s iconic ballet flat to the history

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