Say Tina’s name, say Tina’s name! Freshly recognized fashion-icon award winner Kelly Rowland praised Tina Knowles for dressing her and Destiny’s Child in the R&B group’s early days — when no other designers would.
The “Dilemma” and “Motivation” hitmaker name-checked Beyoncé and Solange’s mom Tuesday for her pattern-making prowess and homemade costumes, which were a forerunner in developing her personal style. The sartorial recognition came as Rowland accepted the Fashion Icon of the Year Award during New York fashion week at the Harlem’s Fashion Row‘s Style and Awards show. (Rowland, who wore a plunging Ashi Studio gown for the occasion, was presented the award by her husband Tim Weatherspoon, who called the singer his “real-life chocolate Barbie.”)
“My history with fashion actually started — I’m sure a lot of you know — [with] Destiny’s Child. [We were] four very country girls, very country girls, from Texas, talking very loud,” Rowland said onstage in the Apollo Theater, referring to the group’s past as a quartet. “It was just very different so [designers] were very reluctant to dress us. They ain’t dress us at all, to be honest.
“So, Tina [Knowles] took matters into her own hands and she dressed us, and I learned then what it was like to start a trend… I remember what that felt like, the pride in it. But I also know that we are a part of that too. We start the trends. We make what’s cool cool. So, fashion should be grateful for us.”
The shout-out was not lost on Knowles, who took to Instagram on Thursday to reciprocate Rowland’s love.
“My beautiful Kelly is speaking about the early days when designers would not give us clothes and we had to turn lemons into lemonade,” the 69-year-old matriarch wrote, reposting a clip of Rowland’s speech.
“I’ve never said it but I’m actually grateful that these people would not allow us to have clothes because it made us more creative and it made them different from everyone out there. I would tell them sometimes when I was pissed off that they wouldn’t give me clothes for the girls, or say something negative about the girls, about them being too thick and then being too country or the fact that they dressed too much alike and that they wouldn’t give them clothes and I would, say as I was leaving ‘well one day you’re gonna be asking to dress them.’”
In fact, that has “come to pass,” Knowles said.
“I understand it a lot better now. And we love all the designers.❤️you are so right Kelly we make things cool!” she added. “@kellyrowland could wear a garbage bag and look amazing. She is definitely one of the most beautiful women in the world. Also the kindest and sweetest I love you so much Kelly my Kelly❤️❤️❤️ Congratulations on this prestigious Award you deserve it❤️”
“Thank You Ma!!!!❤️” Rowland replied in the comments.
Knowles’ mother, seamstress Agnez Dereon, inspired her and Beyoncé’s interest in fashion and helped Knowles become the group’s famous costumer. Before she became the resident proud mama on her daughter’s star-studded Renaissance tour, the Louisiana native studied as a beautician and opened Houston beauty salon Headliners in 1990. The shop served as a venue for a young Beyoncé, who swept hair off the floors and helped out around the shop, to sing and dance for customers under the hair dryers.
Knowles, whose surname was Beyoncé before she wed ex-husband Mathew Knowles, also launched the House of Dereon brand with her daughter in the early 2000s.
In a 2005 interview with The Times, the “Break My Soul” singer said that her mother told her “wear your own name on your butt” and credited her with teaching her girls “to have our own identity.”