Zerina Akers is an Emmy Award-winning leader in fashion's racial revolution as a personal stylist for Beyonce, costume designer for "Black Is King" and founder of the Black Owned Everything marketplace.
One of the most vibrant and visible artists in the fashion world is Zerina Akers. Sewing lessons from her Panamanian grandmother sparked a passion for fashion that took her from being a W Magazine intern to having Beyonce as her first client. The Maryland native is the brilliant mind behind Queen Bey's most iconic fashion statements in the past seven years, particularly the cultural and artistic feasts of "Lemonade" and "Black Is King." She evolved from stylist to costume designer to create and coordinate dozens of looks, hundreds of custom garments, thousands of accessories, and countless cultural references for last year's visual album. In August, Akers won an Emmy for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program for what Vogue described as the "Afrocentric fashion moment we've been waiting for" with "Black Is King." As a firm believer in lifting as she climbs, she tapped into an immensely talented pool of Black designers from across the world for the sprawling project. Shining a spotlight on independent Black creators was as important as starting a global conversation centered on love for Blackness and the diaspora. Between the momentum of the film and renewed interest in all things Black-owned, Akers was inspired to start Black Owned Everything "for when the trend is over." When she's not collaborating with brands like Macy's and Zales, she's working to evolve her curated marketplace into a cultural hub that celebrates Black innovation and entrepreneurs.