The 2016 CFDA Fashion Icon Award winner proved just how powerful her brand is when the release of her visual album “Lemonade” stopped the Internet for an entire weekend. The audiovisual spectacle was lauded for sparking conversations surrounding the injustice and inequality rife in contemporary American society through its uncompromising and evocative aesthetics. Clips of her high fashion takes on the music video genre, featuring looks by Gucci, Cavalli and many more, quickly went viral and its release broke records when 12 songs from the album charted in the Billboard 100, the most by a single artist ever.
“Queen Bey”, as Knowles is now ubiquitously dubbed, has become a global emblem of female empowerment, and expanded her sphere of influence to include fashion, women’s rights, minority empowerment and positive body image. Knowles first shot to fame as the lead singer in the chart-topping girl group Destiny’s Child. Her first solo recording was in 2002, a collaboration with Jay-Z — who she married in 2008 — on his track “03 Bonnie and Clyde.” The following year she released her first solo album “Dangerously in Love.” Acting roles in Pink Panther and Dreamgirls followed in 2006, as well as her second studio album “B’Day.” In 2005, she and her mother Tina Knowles (who designed all of Destiny’s Child’s stage costumes) launched House of Déreon, an accessible fashion label named for Knowles’ grandmother who made her living as a seamstress.
In December 2013, she released her fifth record on iTunes, with no advertising, defying music promotion and advertising conventions. One year later, she appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine. Knowles also performed during the halftime show at the Super Bowl — the most-viewed television event in America — in both 2015 and 2016.
2016 Knowles launched her largest fashion venture yet: an activewear line named “Ivy Park” in partnership with Arcadia Group's Sir Philip Green . Created as a lifestyle brand mixing casual and activewear, the label is sold at Topshop, Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter.