Marni Senofonte has been outfitting Beyoncé on and off for nearly a decade, and now she has full rein of Queen Bey’s fashions, including her Emmy-nominated “Lemonade” HBO special and Formation World Tour.
Here, Senofonte gives Footwear News an inside look at how the ultimate showgirl gets into Formation on the road.
FN: How did you and Beyoncé meet?
MS: My first job was her American Express commercial in 2007. I did a couple of videos — “Feeling Myself” and “7-11,” so for the past few years I’ve done a lot of work for her. But the scale of the tour was definitely new. Beyoncé is always available for creative, and she’s been doing this for a long time.
FN: What brands did you source for the tour?
MS: The thread is a Victorian antebellum streetwear vibe. When I spoke to designers and tried to get a consistent semblance, they all submitted sketches, and Beyoncé and I went through them and decided. We still have not even scratched the surface of the amount we’re using. Right now, it’s Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Olivier Rousteing, Riccardo Tisci for Givency, Ulyana Sergeenko, DSquared2 — they did some amazing pieces.
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FN: What do you look for in footwear for performances?
MS: She obviously needs ankle support, and a thicker heel always works for steadiness. Because she dances so much in every set, the shoes have to have enough ankle support and height. Beyoncé’s heels are around 2.5-to-3-inches. Same for the dancers. They dance a lot in a Guess bootie, and we found that it works really well. We have a couple different colors, and they also dance in a few over-the-knee boots by Pleaser — they sent us a lot of stuff, and they are great for shine. Anything over three inches isn’t viable for a tour like that.
FN: Do you have to customize any of the footwear?
MS: For the opening, Louboutin made this boot — the same one she had on at the Super Bowl. It was so comfortable that he customized a bunch of different colors for us. The problem with the boots is that we have to make a zipper, a full, complete zipper for fast changes — the boots have to come off easily. For over-the-knee styles, we add boning so they stay up.
FN: What’s the standout style moment of the show?
MS: There are so many! When Beyoncé first comes out and has this huge hat, this DSquared2 bodysuit, and then she comes out in Balmain — it has embroidery, lace and satin — just the way it moves. I also put the dancers in metal masks that have a beautiful African look. Then, in the third act, it’s Givenchy, almost a black-panther look. It’s amazing. The fourth act is red latex. At the end, it’s a beautiful stone masterpiece with an amazing train that blows in the wind until she finishes her performance in water. Everything is wow.