African-American Style Icons & Fashion Stars Past and Present

From Diana Ross to Beyonce Knowles, this is our countdown of the top 20 black style icons who have been inspiring how America dresses for decades with their individual take on fashion (21 Photos)

Fiorella Valdesolo on Feb 1, 2013 at 12:23PM

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African-American Style Icons & Fashion Stars Past and Present

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Beyonce Knowles

The now one-name-only wonder may not have always hit style high notes—please recall some of the matching, garish ensembles of her girl-group days—but she has always managed to capture the public’s attention.

Beyonce has long strived for superstardom: She was already gaining local attention in Texas for her musical talents at age seven, and joined her first band, Girl’s Tyme, a year later. A few members would eventually form part of Destiny’s Child, the ensemble responsible for ‘90s girl anthems like “Bills Bills Bills” and “Say My Name,” which would launch Beyoncé’s career. Her first solo effort came in 2003 and since then her stardom has continued to grow: She has released four accolade-laden albums, earned 16 music awards (and 44 nominations), created three fragrances, a clothing line with her mother (House of Deréon), starred in a number of big-screen hits (including Austin Powers and Dreamgirls), and, oh right, married and had a baby with one of the biggest rap moguls ever. Phew!

Along the way she has also become a major league style star known for fashion choices that manage to be, no matter how much they highlight her famously “bootylicious” body, lovely and ladylike.

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