Beyoncé’s Country Style Seen Spurring Sales of Western Wear

Beyoncé has gone country — again.

Although she has become a superstar in the pop realm, this is hardly the first time the Houston native has embraced her Southern roots. As far back as 2004, she rode in on horseback to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo show to perform for her hometown crowd decked out in a glittery tank top and miniskirt from Dolce & Gabbana. She has also performed over the years with country stars such as Jennifer Nettles and The Chicks, and in 2021, her Ivy Park Rodeo collection for Adidas was inspired by Black cowboys and cowgirls and featured reimagined and modern takes on classic Western wear. Country legend Reba McEntire has even covered Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.”

More recently, she went full-on cowboy core by attending the Grammys in a custom Louis Vuitton ensemble with the brand’s signature Damier check rendered in crystals and a matching skirt, from the brand’s fall 2024 line designed by Pharrell Williams. She topped it off with a white Stetson. Williams and the singer have worked together in the past, when he designed looks for her “Renaissance” world tour.

Beyoncé’s embrace of cowboy core comes in tandem with her reveal during the Super Bowl that her next album, “Renaissance: Act II,” will presumably be country inspired. She has teased the album, which will be released on March 29, by dropping two songs, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” The first single, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” was released last week to country radio, debuted at number 50 on Billboard’s country charts and is getting airplay on stations including The Highway on Sirius XM.

But her move into country music is also polarizing. Last week, a station in Oklahoma, KYKC, initially declined to play the song because “we are a country station,” it said. But a national uproar made the station change its tune, and it’s now playing the single.

While some artists, such as the red-hot Lainey Wilson, are welcoming her with open arms — Wilson told Billboard that it was “awesome” that Beyoncé was embracing country music — others are not so crazy about the idea.

In an interview with One American News, John Schneider, the “Dukes of Hazzard” actor who had success in country music back in the ’80s, likened her move into country as a dog marking a tree in a park. No surprise, the Beyhive, Beyoncé’s fan base, struck back immediately on social media, suggesting Schneider’s remarks were racist, and telling him the singer doesn’t need his permission to sing country music.

Critics aside, it’s obvious that Beyoncé, who has more than 300 million followers on Instagram alone, is committed to the country music genre. Not only did she cowrite the first single, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” but she brought Rhiannon Giddens, an Americana singer and picker, to play banjo and viola on the song. And steel guitarists Robert Randolph and Justin Schipper are featured on “16 Carriages,” which she also cowrote.

Despite the banjos and steel guitars, neither single is traditionally country — but that’s no surprise since Beyoncé has always charted her own course. That holds true for her Western-inspired wardrobe as well.

“Like many of us, celebrities who don Western-inspired pieces are pulling influence from the iconic American cowboy that is so deeply rooted within our culture. The cowboy’s distinct style is emulated across all genres of fashion as a celebration of our shared history. While the cowboy is so inherently American, there is a mystery about the cowboy, a novelty engrained in our culture that has left a global imprint,” said Isha Nicole, creative director and senior vice president of marketing for Boot Barn, a Western retailer with nearly 400 stores.

“We have seen the American cowboy romanticized throughout movies and television as early as the silent movie era to the golden age of 20th-century Westerns. From Gene Autry to Dolly Parton to Orville Peck to the newest presentation of Western motifs seen in Louis Vuitton by Williams, American pop-culture figures are embracing a theatrical interpretation of Western — which is a true tribute to Americana,” Nicole said.

With Beyoncé and other celebrities embracing this movement, it will “catapult Western influence into the limelight,” she predicted, “inviting the masses to participate in the romanticism of the American spirit. With this, we’ll see a spike in traditional felt cowboy hats in colors such as stark white or red, donned recently by the queen herself. Western is not a trend. Western is an iconic American culture.”

In addition to hats, she predicted that bolo ties, Kentucky ties, oversize Western belt buckles and other iconic Western motifs styled with sleek silhouettes will also get a sales boost.

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