Say Tina’s name, say Tina’s name! Newly crowned fashion icon honoree Kelly Rowland praised Tina Knowles for dressing her and Destiny’s Child in the R&B group’s early days – when no other designer would have.
The “Dilemma” and “Motivation” hitmaker paid tribute to Beyoncé and Solange’s mother on Tuesday for her editing skills and homemade costumes, which were a pioneer in the development of her personal style. Rowland received the fashion recognition accepted the Fashion Icon of the Year Award during New York Fashion Week at the Style and Awards Show at Harlem’s Fashion Row. (Rowland, who wore a plunging dress Dress from Ashi Studio On the occasion, the award was presented by her husband Tim Weatherspoon, who called the singer his “real chocolate Barbie.”)
“My story with fashion actually started – I’m sure many of you know – [with] Child of Destiny. [We were] four very rural girls, very country girl, “I’m from Texas and I talk really loud,” Rowland said onstage at the Apollo Theater, referencing the group’s past as a quartet. “It was just completely different [designers] were very hesitant to get dressed. To be honest, they don’t dress us at all.
“So, Tina [Knowles] took matters into her own hands and dressed us, and I learned what it was like to start a trend… I remember what it felt like, how proud it was. But I also know that we are part of it too. We start the trends. We make what is cool cool. So fashion should be grateful to us.”
The applause was not lost on Knowles, who joined in Instagram on Thursday to return Rowland’s love.
“My beautiful Kelly talks about the early days when designers didn’t 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 never said it, but I’m really grateful that these people didn’t allow us to have clothes because it made us more creative and that made them different from everyone else out there. I would sometimes tell them when I was mad that they wouldn’t give me clothes for the girls, or say something negative about the girls, like they were too fat and then too country, or that they dressed too much alike that they didn’t have them I would give clothes and as I walked I would say, “One day you will ask to wear them.”
In fact, “that happened,” Knowles said.
“I understand it much better now. And we love all designers. ❤️You’re so right Kelly, we’re making things cool!” she added. “@kellyrowland could wear a trash bag and look great. She is definitely one of the most beautiful women in the world. Also the kindest and sweetest person, I love you so much Kelly, my Kelly❤️❤️❤️ Congratulations on this prestigious award, you deserve it❤️”
“Thanks Ma!!!!❤️,” Rowland replied in the comments.
Knowles’ mother, seamstress Agnez Dereon, sparked her and Beyoncé’s interest in fashion and helped Knowles become the group’s celebrity customer. Before becoming a proud stay-at-home mom on her daughter’s star-studded Renaissance tour, the Louisiana native studied to be an esthetician and opened the Headliners beauty salon in Houston in 1990. The store served as a hangout for a young Beyoncé, who swept hair from the floor and helped out around the store, singing and dancing for customers under the hairdryers.
Knowles, whose last name was Beyoncé before marrying her ex-husband Mathew Knowles, also founded 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 to “wear your own name on your butt” and credited her with teaching her girls to “be our to have one’s own identity.”