When this year's nominees and honorees were first announced for the 2016 CFDA Fashion Awards two months ago, the most popular (not to mention, most attention-garnering) mention was noticeably absent—the recipient for the Fashion Icon Award. With previous winners that include Pharrell and Rihanna (who can forget her nearly nude Swarovski-encrusted Adam Selman gown?!), we knew that whomever it was, it was going to be good. And we were right! Surprise, it's Beyoncé.
Rumors had been swirling in the social media-sphere, but it was her place setting at Monday night's CFDA Fashion Awards that confirmed it.
She accepted her win from CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg, who introduced her as "today's biggest superstar," in a sparkle-encrusted pinstriped Givenchy suit that she expertly styled with a black top, Lorraine Schwartz diamonds, a black wide-brim hat (a more dramatic version of the one she wore in her "Formation" music video), and black peep-toe platforms. What we weren't expecting was the heartfelt acceptance speech that followed.
"As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Most of you guys don’t know this but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money and could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition, so my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns, and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift down to my mother and taught her how to sew," she started.
"When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black, country, curvy girls. And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and creativity to give her children their dreams. 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, putting so much passion and love into ever small detail. When I wore these clothes on stage I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name."
Beyoncé then went on to explain how her mother Tina designed many of her milestone dresses throughout her career. "So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me to never take no for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life on my own terms."
Watch her full acceptance speech above. It's official: Beyoncé is truly the baddest woman in the game. K, boy bye.