Working with Beyoncé is any designer’s dream and this dream actually came true for Sara Al Saud and her LA-based label “Death By Dolls.”
But what’s going on in these pictures, you might ask? Well, back in the 80s, there was an American track and field athlete named Florence Griffith Joyner. She dominated the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea and set world records for both the 100m and 200m dash, records that still stand today, 30 years later. This is all amazing to know, but why is her name suddenly back in the news again?
#Repost @zerinaakers ・・・ Let me teach you something about FLO-JO! The Olympian brought the most amazing style to the track. Jay as Tommie Smith! #Beyonce #Flojo #florencegriffithjoyner #Halloween #TommieSmith (@deathbydollsofficial @kimblehaircare @rokaelbeauty @nakiarachon
It’s all thanks to Beyoncé – and thanks to Saudi designer Sara Al Saud with her LA-based label “Death By Dolls.”
But let’s recap because Beyoncé was taking this one back by a few decades… So, long before Jennifer Lopez was J-Lo, and years before Kristen Stewart was K-Stew, athlete Florence Griffith Joyner was known as “Flo-Jo.”
Aside from her amazing feats as an athlete, Flo-Jo was actually and perhaps best known for her flamboyant style. Think the 1980s on steroids! Her tracksuits were always very colorful and full of patterns and she was the queen of radically asymmetrically cut clothes (especially her one-legged tracksuit). Flo-Jo also loved to paint her long fingernails in bright colors. She was fearless in her sense of style and self-expression.
So this year, and thanks to Sara Al Saud, Beyoncé was able to pay tribute to Flo-Jo for Halloween and show her love and admiration for the athlete. The singer would have been around six or seven years old when Flo-Jo’s career peaked, so it’s definitely possible that little Beyoncé was watching TV when the runner made sports history.
Sara Al Saud’s brand posted to its official Instagram account “Thanks to everyone that worked so tirelessly to make it happen,” and Griffith–Joyner’s daughter, Mary Joyner, also posted on Instagram, thanking Beyoncé for the tribute. She said “Thank you for giving my mom the recognition, paying the homage and keeping my mother’s memory alive.”
When Sara Al Saud spoke to Vogue Arabia in 2017 she said that her Saudi roots are a source of inspiration. “Growing up in London — one of the fashion capitals of the world — and being of Saudi origin, where fashion has always been the staple of any social gathering or event, have definitely inspired my aesthetic,” Al-Saud said.
It’s also beautifully poetic the way Sara Al Saud was able to work with Beyoncé to create an outfit that references different parts of the singer’s roots – and since she has always made a point of paying tribute to the woman trailblazers in all parts of society.