— CFDA (@CFDA) June 7, 2016
Prior to the Twitter rumors swirling moments before the news was unveiled, the award was kept closely under wraps. Unlike the Founder’s Award, in honor of Eleanor Lambert, which was presented to Donna Karan or the International Award going to Alessandro Michele of Gucci, there was no prior announcement of the Fashion Icon Award recipient, not from the CFDA or anyone else.
But it didn’t take much for those savvy Beyoncé fans to clue on. Social media soon went into overdrive, and while Mrs. Carter herself managed to avoid those paparazzi lenses, video footage of Jay Z and Blue Ivy heading to the awards in New York City promptly hit the web.
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) June 7, 2016
Beyoncé accepted her award wearing Givenchy. The singer recounted how fashion affected her from a young age, and the clothes and costumes she wore during key milestones were a part of her identity even more because her family made them.
“When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels, they didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls. And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture,” Beyoncé said. “My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York, but like my grandmother she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.”
She added, “My mother and my Uncle Johnny — God bless his soul — designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, and putting so much passion and love into every small detail. When I wore these clothes onstage, I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name.”
You can see the entire speech below.
— Swarovski (@swarovski) June 7, 2016
In addition to Queen Bey, a host of big names took home awards this year. Footwear designer Paul Andrew was the recipient of the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, nominated with Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Gigi Burris.
Thom Browne was awarded Menswear Designer of the Year, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel of Mansur Gavriel took home the Accessory Designer of the Year Award, while Brandon Maxwell was crowned the Swarovski Award for Womenswear.
For a complete list of the all the winners, click here.
And to see all the fashion moments from the red carpet, explore the gallery below.