In an article titled, “Beyonce: A Legend in Rock, but Not Fashion,” writer Vanessa Friedman questions why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would include 7 of Mrs. Carter’s video, red carpet, and tour outfits in an exhibit.
She writes, “Despite all the accolades that Beyoncé has garnered — most powerful celebrity in the world, according to Forbes; No. 1 on People’s Most Beautiful list; the artist behind the fastest selling iTunes album ever; a global juggernaut; subject of her own documentary — the one she does not seem to actually merit is “fashion icon.” I know, I know: blasphemy. One does not criticize the most feted woman on the planet. But think about it.”
“Beyoncé hasn’t moved, or influenced, the direction of fashion writ large in the way that, say, Rihanna, the winner of this year’s CFDA Fashion Icon award, has. (See, for example, the luxe athletic pieces peppering collections like Pucci, Balmain and Tom Ford.) She doesn’t wear things and spark a million trends, like Madonna once did with her jeweled crosses and lace minis, not to mention her bullet bra corsets. She doesn’t cause items to sell out overnight, like wee Prince George.”
” She doesn’t worm her way into designers’ imaginations, the way Patti Smith and Courtney Love did. Her stylist has not become a well-known name in his own right, the way Nicola Formichetti has moved from working with Lady Gaga (who also won the CFDA Fashion Icon award in 2011) to becoming the creative director and frontman of Diesel.”
Then she really goes in, saying, “Her megafame could not even sustain her own fashion brand, House of Deréon, which appears to have been suspended (the Facebook page links to a website, houseofdereon.com, which the Internet says “cannot be found,” though some jeans and shoes are still sold on third-party sites), unlike, say, that of Jessica Simpson, which has revenues of about $1 billion, according to Forbes. Li & Fung, which owns House of Deréon, did not respond to requests to clarify the situation.” Shots fired.
Bey, indeed, does jumpstart trends, most notably making Isabel Marant wedge sneakers and all their iterations de rigeur. We’ve all seen items Beyonce has worn sell out almost immediately, and our inbox certainly floods over with requests for her latest looks.
Her personal style can be hit or miss, but her tour and video costumes are pretty iconic.
What do you think? Do you agree with Friedman’s hypothesis?
Read the rest on NYTimes.com.