Who Are You Calling "Not a Fashion Icon"? — Certainly Not Beyoncé
While we were excited to hear the news that Beyoncé's wardrobe will be on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, others were not so pleased. In a New York Times essay titled "Beyoncé, Superstar but Not a Fashion Icon," Vanessa Friedman has weighed in on Queen Bey's influence, arguing that unlike other artists like Rihanna and Madonna, the singer hasn't actually had any influence on style: "She doesn't wear things and spark a million trends, like Madonna once did with her jewelled crosses and lace minis . . . She doesn't cause items to sell out overnight, like wee Prince George . . . Her megafame could not even sustain her own fashion brand, House of Deréon . . . "
Of course this is not to take away from Mrs. Carter, who the journalist argues: "By opting to build her celebrity on a carefully chosen set of proprietary symbols — in this case, smile and hair and body (and voice, of course) — as opposed to a carefully constructed, apparel-related look, Beyoncé & Company have ensured that the only brand that really has any real staying power is brand Beyoncé."
Not to argue with a great mind like Friedman's, but we'd like to offer a counter argument on behalf of one of Time's 2014 influencers. To quote Sheryl Sandberg, who wrote Mrs. Carter's profile for the Time 100 issue, "Beyoncé doesn't just sit at the table. She builds a better one." And that applies to everything she does and wears. Be it for the red carpet, on stage, or in her personal life, Beyoncé has built an entire workshop of tables when it comes to influencing celebrity style. They don't call her an influencer for nothing!