The Amazing Designers Behind Beyonce's Black is King
If you are part of the happy bunch with a Disney+ subscription, then you’ve greatly enjoyed the masterpiece that is Black Is King, created by one of the greatest artists of our time, Beyoncé. Black Is King is a pan-African collage, a love letter to Africa expressed through ornamental, almost afro-futuristic aesthetic and design. There is a powerful message throughout the imagery deconstructing black masculinity and more, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Instead, we’re here to talk about the glorious African fashion beautifully worn from beginning to end. Let’s start by celebrating the excellent designer that directed Black Is King’s entire fashion lineup, Zerina Akers.
Akers started her career as an intern at W Magazine, working with talents like Alex White, Karl Temper, and Camilla Nickerson. Moving through the ranks, she began working for Beyonce starting almost seven years ago. For Akers, fashion is not only about luxury; it’s about inspiring her clients to express their authentic selves.
In 2020, she received widespread praise, and critical acclaim for her work on Black Is King, positioning her designs to celebrate black people’s culture, traditions, and history, both in Africa and the diaspora. In order to style Beyoncé in 75+ costumes, Akers gladly worked with young black designers, many of them fantastic African designers.
L’Enchanteur is a set of twins, Dynasty & Soul Ogun, Nigerian’s born in Brooklyn. L'Enchanteur seeks to communicate timeless inspirations of spirituality behind each piece, creating clothing, jewelry, and lifestyle items that redefine the meaning of an heirloom.
Zerina Akers personally chose them for the project, saying, “They interpret their jewelry with a traditional African artistry approach, but a little bit ghetto. They take a [hair] track or a hair roller and dip it in gold. To me, that is the epitome of exactly what this visual album called for. It's highlighting and celebrating Africa and the African diaspora.”
Born in Brazil and raised between Côte d’Ivoire and the United States, Loza interned with New York City’s top fashion designers before starting her own brand. Loza Maléombho is best described as a bridge between traditional African aesthetics and contemporary fashion. Loza Maléombho silhouettes celebrate the paradox of the old and new, cultural and futuristic.
For Black Is King, Loza Maléombho created a structured, geometric jacket with gold hardware and a plunging neckline.
Zerina Akers told Jérôme, “I was inspired by women at Nigerian weddings and the power, the strength, and the essence of these matriarchal Nigerian women and, you know, how not to mess with them.” With that, he created the blue Nigerian lace look that we see in Already, dressing Beyoncé in a custom hand beaded Nigerian lace and silk trench/jumper hybrid in turquoise color palette complete with Mother of Pearl details.