We wish Zerina a huge congratulations.
By Taya Coates|Contributing Writer
Zerina Akers found herself growing up enamored with fashion, so much so that she orchestrated an impressive 70 piece fashion show while still in high school. After landing an opportunity to intern at W Magazine, assisting stylists freelance, and working in PR, she soon had a star-dazzled portfolio leading to her newest client, Megan Thee Stallion.
Akers has earned one of the most coveted titles in the celebrity styling game as the mind behind almost every one of Queen Bey’s head-turning looks. Her close work relationship with Beyonce granted her the role of costume designer for Beyonce’s stunning visual album, Black Is King.
This past Wednesday, Akers won the “Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program” for her work in the film. Akers humbly took to Twitter after the monumental announcement sharing, “The word is out” with a few blushing emojis.
The “self-proclaimed “you-only-live-oncer” is “always willing to go against the grain, she loves experimenting with ‘70s disco and ‘80s style, drawing inspirations from nature, history and mixing low-end with high-end brands” according to her site. The risks she took with Black Is King certainly proved to be a hit with fans who raved over the styling of the movie when it first premiered in July 2020. Social media couldn’t get enough of Beyonce’s looks, most notably the coordinating head-to-toe leopard look and the various intricate homages to traditional African wear sprinkled throughout the designs.
When speaking to Harper’s Bazaar about her design process, Akers emphasized how important highlighting Black fashion was to her stating, “For every project, we’re on to just consistently amplify the voices and the visibility of Black designers. I specifically wanted to work with L’Enchanteur. They’re twin sisters; they’re Nigerian, born and raised in Brooklyn. They interpret their jewelry with a traditional African artistry approach, but a little bit ghetto. They take a [hair] track or a hair roller and dip it in gold. To me, that is the epitome of exactly what this visual album called for. It’s highlighting and celebrating Africa and the African diaspora. I also love including just a little bit of the street, a little bit of what we grew up with here in America in the inner city, from hair rollers to long fingernails to gold earrings. It’s important. That’s a part of our culture too. Those are pillars in my memory as a young Black girl.”
Aside from her styling, Akers created the Black Owned Everything directory in June 2020. The company’s bio reads, “For When The Trend Is Over” hinting at Aker’s mission to amplify Black fashion business beyond the often unfortunately allotted five minutes of fame on social media. With nearly 280,000 followers on the Black Owned Everything page, Akers has worked to create a space of consistent support for Black creatives in the industry.