Renaissance: Brand-Name Dropping

In her new album, Beyoncé won’t miss letting us know she’s rich and wears major luxury brands

In the “official lyric video” of Beyoncé’s latest song, her fave brands are made known to viewers. Screen shot: Beyoncé/YouTube

Beyoncé may wear near-nothing on the cover of her latest album Renaissance, but she does let us know in her thumping songs that she has a closet full of expensive stuff. And it isn’t just “this haute couture I’m flaunting”, as she sings/admits in Summer Renaissance. In the “official lyric video” of the song launched on YouTube and Vevo yesterday, she includes a textual list (in full caps) of the brands that she is partial to: Versace, Bottega, Prada, Balenciaga, Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, and the sole American brand, and the only one with a Black (Liberian-American) designer, Telfar. Token?

We note that she places Versace at the top of the list, Prada above Balenciaga, and is careful to organise LVMH brands in a group and on a single screen. No Gucci! But two ’B’ Kering brands get the nod. Strangely, the two bags mentioned are Telfar (which she tells us is “imported”—made in China) and Birkin, both in the same line, but since she did not mention Hermès, could she be singing about the “Bushwick Birkin” that the Telfar bag, as we know, is dubbed in the US? There is no citing of her own fashion line Ivy Park, although she did consider her other name Bey a ”category”. Not really a song about fashion, Summer Renaissance samples Donna Summer’s I Feel Love from 1977, but her ”it’s so good” chorus is not nearly as orgasmic, even when she sings, “I just wanna touch you; I can feel it through those jeans.”

Her dance-leaning seventh studio album—surprisingly no vocal histrionics—mentions other luxury brands too. In Alien Superstar, she sings about “Tiffany Blue billboards on the ceiling” (obligatory inclusion since she and husband Jay Z are Tiffany models?). And Heated lets us know, “I’ve got a lot of bands (wristbands?), got a lot of Chanel on me (in the chorus, we also heard “like stolen Chanel, put me up in a jail”). She brings up Tiffany again, after reminding us, ”I got a lot of style”. It is possible that Beyoncé is being ironic although it is also likely that she is adopting the tendencies of other rap/R&B artistes: boasting about their possessions and acquisitions—most recently Kanye West telling us via Instagram that he racked up at Balenciaga an attention-worthy total of USD4,032,260 in 2022, so far. It’s so good?!