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When Beyonce Knowles first hit the mainstream, she was a member of an all-girl Houston-bred singing group. She and the other three members of Destiny’s Child were dressed, styled and managed by the Knowles-parent duo. Thanks to Knowles’ mommy, Tina Knowles, the group wore spandex, mid-rift tops and more sequins than a Bedazzler set.

Knowles told InStyle: “growing up, I was a tomboy.” “I refused to carry a purse and wouldn’t wear a dress. That was the eighties and it was all about the Hip-Hop influence—baggy jeans and big shirts. My mother hated it! But then I started singing and ended up watching all of the footage of the Supremes and Tina Turner. And I thought to myself, ‘They’re so beautiful. I want to be like them,’” she added.

It quickly became apparent, once she dropped the group members to go solo that Beyonce’s style had changed too. The edgy hood look was renewed with Hollywood glam that all the top designers were eager jump on. From Roland Mouret to Balmain, couture to prêt-a-porter, the girl has got it going on these days.

In a time when large words like “icon” are thrown around, one could say she’s a fashion icon. But if Knowles is a style icon, then wouldn’t be Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez be in the same pool as Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, and Lena Horne?! The debate is fueled further by the fact that while some celebrities are considered “fashionable” others are just edgy, which is not the same quality.

As stylish as all these younger mesdames are, what gives a fashion icon her essence is the grace with which she carries herself in any outfit—Roberto Cavalli or rags.

So Beyonce as a fashion icon is still up in the air. If she can continue to hold grace and a strong presence throughout the years to qualify as a bona fide fashion icon, then fine – she’ll get her chimerical trophy in the mail. Only time will tell.

Think there are other young fashion icons in the making? We do too. Click the next page to see who we think is making major fashion statements.

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