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Beyonce accepts CFDA Fashion Icon Award 2016

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“I feel so much love and I feel so proud,” she said as daughter Blue, 4, pointed at her mom and snapped pictures on an iPhone. “As long as I can remember, fashion has been part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Many of you guys don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money. They could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition. So my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made the 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.”

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Tina Knowles and Beyoncé | Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

She continued, “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, 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 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.”beyonce award

“My mother, who is so fabulous and beautiful and is here tonight, I love you. My mother, my grandmother and my uncle are always with me so I could not fail. My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress. And the list goes on and on and on. And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity, expression and strength. It transcends style and it’s a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having a presence is about 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.”

The “Crazy In Love” singer — who is in the midst of her Formation world tour — ended her heartfelt acceptance speech with a quick thank you to fashion designers across the globe.

“I want to say thank you to every designer that works tirelessly to make people think they can write their own story,” she said. “Y’all are fairy godmothers and magicians and sculptors, sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power that you have or to take it lightly. We have the opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower and to show people how to embrace their complications and see the flaws and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award. I’ll never forget this night. God bless y’all. Thank you.”