BEYONCE IS AWESOME (BUT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY)
HOW TO USE STARDOM FOR GOOD? BEYONCE IS PUTTING HER CONSIDERABLE POWERS BEHIND BLACK-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES.
In July, Beyoncé and her foundation BeyGOOD partnered with the NAACP to launch the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, which will provide $10,000 grants to Black-owned companies to “help strengthen small businesses and to ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses,” as stated on the NAACP website.
Not content to stop there, her latest style move provides yet more evidence that she's determined to use fashion for good - and elevate smaller creatives while she's at it.
Designs by Andrea Iyamah
On June 19th, Juneteenth, she released the Black Parade Route with her stylist Zerina Akers. It is a directory of Black- and African-owned small businesses, across fashion to beauty, art, design, and even restaurants.
Designs by Chiip O Neal
Akers is also the founder the Black Owned Everything Instagram account - which has a particular emphasis on fashion. The announcement of the directory preceded Beyonce’s visual album “Black is King,” (Akers was the stylist), which features a panoply of outfits from African and Black American designers - as well as top European designers.
Designs by Anima Iris
The impact of these initiatives is clear: Kenyan designer Anyango Mpinga recalls how “thrilled” she was to find out her own label was listed on Black Parade Route.
We love seeing Beyonce use her cultural clout to elevate smaller businesses. Where some stars would elect to wear exclusive, couture pieces, Beyonce makes the effort to uplift smaller businesses that benefit from increased visibility.
By Claire Kalikman