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Beyoncé’s country era inspires new wave of inclusivity at Calgary Stampede

Click to play video: 'Beyonce’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ spurs fashion inclusivity at Calgary Stampede'
Beyonce’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ spurs fashion inclusivity at Calgary Stampede
Queen Bey’s latest album is bringing a wave of representation and cultural fusion to western fashion. As Joelle Tomlinson reports, one local influencer is calling it the reclamation of Black country identity – Jul 2, 2024

Beyoncé’s latest album, Cowboy Carter, has sparked a country era that shatters stereotypes, redefining what Western culture can look, feel and sound like.

The impact of her music is palpable even ahead of the Calgary Stampede, where it’s igniting excitement and drawing a more diverse crowd.

Maria José, a local fan, rediscovered her connection to the Calgary Stampede after listening to Beyoncé’s 2024 album and seeing the superstar embrace western fashion. She’s already set her iconic looks for the 10-day festival, showing off outfits from various local businesses.

“What’s so special about Cowboy Carter is that Beyoncé is changing the narrative of what Western can feel and look like,” José said.

Click to play video: 'The concert boost: How top acts like Taylor Swift, Beyonce are driving economic growth'
The concert boost: How top acts like Taylor Swift, Beyonce are driving economic growth

Jose, who is bi-racial with Angolan and Belarusian heritage, resonated deeply with the album.

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“I saw myself represented in Western culture, which historically I haven’t been,” she said.

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“Representation is such a beautiful and powerful tool to make people feel welcomed.”

José’s experience is not unique.

Connie Polancec, manager of the local store Cody & Sioux, noted: “I’ve had groups of girls come in here, stand there and start doing Beyoncé and start twirling their hats. Yeah, it’s great fun.”

Click to play video: 'Western fashion: From corporate to cowgirl'
Western fashion: From corporate to cowgirl

Local stores observe that pop culture icons like Beyoncé can expand a consumer base that has historically excluded certain demographics.

Dana Patraschuk, owner of Girl + Friends Collective, highlighted this shift.

“We have all the old-school country artists like Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson, but not everybody can relate to them. So when people like Beyoncé, Jelly Roll, Post Malone come in, people are like, ‘Hey! If they can do it, I can do it!’”

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According to the Instagram computer science account “Data, But Make It Fashion,” the popularity of Western attire, including boots, Levi jeans, denim-on-denim outfits, and rhinestone cowboy hats, has skyrocketed since the release of Cowboy Carter.

For many, representation in pop culture is helping to boost inclusivity and cultural unity at the Calgary Stampede.

“As an immigrant to Calgary, it’s very exciting to feel that you can be a part of the community,” José shared.

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