Queen Praises Continent: Beyoncé Pays Tribute to African Designers

Beyoncé performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo: Kevin Mazur (Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100)

Beyoncé memorably managed to incorporate every country in Africa into her onstage attire while headlining the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa in early December, as well as commissioning a custom creation from the local luxury designers Quiteria & George.

But now that she’s momentarily finished running the world (which included a stop in India on the way home), Queen Bey took a moment to give credit to the series of African designers she wore offstage during her time on the mother continent.


For those of you who follow Bey, you know it’s a rarity for her to dish on designer details—resulting in a madcap search for those of us reporting on what she wears. And while she still didn’t name names this time, for those of you who want to support African designers while wearing your own Beyoncé-inspired wardrobe, we’ve got the goods, as usual.


Contemporary womenswear brand MmusoMaxwell graciously reached in their vault for the Spring-Summer 2016 blue and green short set Bey rocked behind the tents of the festival, pairing the look with green heels from Calvin Klein.


Yhebe Design & Afrikanista

We love affordable glamour, and apparently, being one of the richest women in the world doesn’t exempt you from enjoying it, too. Just check out this very accessible pairing of the Afrikanista “Union” tee with an asymmetrical skirt from Yhebe’s collaboration with Dutch wax fabric makers Vlisco.


Tongoro Studio

Tongoro Studio’s collection is so chic that they lucked out by getting not one, but two audiences with the Queen, in perhaps our favorite looks of the week. First, Bey rocked a graphic black-and-white power suit, then donned a gorgeous ‘70s-inspired pants set. Get on my body!


Peulh Vagabond

Next, Beyoncé made a dramatic statement in matching high-waisted pants and crop top by Peulh Vagabond, complete with provocative gold accents completing the bustier effect. In fact, the look is still available, as we speak. And doubling up on the label, Bey also got her twirl on in their “Tanzania” dress.


Rich Mnisi

Last but not least, Bey opted for a bold but ladylike look from Johannesburg designer Rich Mnisi, mixing pattern and separates for a look that evoked the vibrancy of South Africa.


But lest you think the Beyoncé appearance at Global Citizen was, well, all about appearances, she also gave us an update on the impact of the event. To date, 7.1 billion (yes, billion) dollars was raised in support of Global Citizen’s mission to end extreme poverty, provide education, healthcare, vocational opportunities, and more. Because humanitarianism is more than fashionable.


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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.