Fashion

02.03.13

Beyoncé's Super Bowl Dress Shocker

The leather and lace dress she wore during the Halftime Show was designed by a little-known designer named Rubin Singer.
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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Beyoncé stunned audiences and fashion fans in a Superbowl half-time performance that included pyrotechnics and appearances from her former Destiny's Child bandmates. But her revealing leather and lace mini-dress also came as a surprise. Many expected that she’d wear a big-name designer like Givenchy (at one point the French house was considered a shoo-in)—but it was the work of a relatively unknown designer named Rubin Singer, who’s operated his own label in New York since 2007. And in addition to designing Knowles’s ensemble, Singer also created costumes for her Destiny’s Child bandmate Michelle Williams, as well as the performance’s 120 backup dancers (Kelly Rowland wore Pucci). “I have to tell you, this is a moment,” Singer told The New York Times' Cathy Horyn. “It’s the biggest moment of my career.”

But this isn’t the first time that Knowles has sprung for Singer’s work. She’s consistently worn his designs since 2010. And the Knowles affection has even spread to Beyoncé’s younger sister Solange, who wore a white gown by Singer to a gala in September 2012. His work has previously been spotted on Rowland too, in addition to other stars like Alicia Keys and Heidi Klum. In a press release detailing his Super Bowl creations, Singer announced that all of the costumes associated with Sunday’s performance took over two months of planning, more than 200 man hours, and a team of 14 to pull off. The designer was also present during last-minute fittings at the Superdome to make sure that “everything was perfect for the big night.” 

But like most designers, Singer came from humble beginnings. Born into a family of couturiers (his father created costumes for the Bolshoi Ballet), Singer began his career as an associate designer at Oscar de la Renta, later becoming a head designer for licensed goods at Bill Blass. His last stop before starting his own label was as head designer at Kai Milla—a label owned and operated by Stevie Wonder’s wife, Kai. Since starting his own line, Singer has repeatedly been featured in publications like WWD and Elle; his eveningwear and cocktail attire retails in the United States at Neiman Marcus stores nation-wide. “Everyone’s expecting Beyoncé to go with a major designer. She knows it’s a game-changer,” he told Horyn. “My business could have legs from this.”