Tina Knowles Lawson is Beyoncé and Solange Knowles’ mother. She is an entrepreneur who founded successful clothing brands such as the House of Deréon, Deréon, and Miss Tina, in addition to being the mother of this celebrity duet.
Lawson, affectionately known as “Miss Tina,” grew up in “a real small town” in Galveston, Texas, during the 1950s. She was the youngest of seven siblings and grew up in a business family; her father was a longshoreman and her mother was a seamstress.
According to the New York Times, Lawson began dressmaking at an early age, crafting dazzling stage dresses for her Supremes-inspired singing ensemble while in high school. When she traveled to California at the age of 19, she reinvented herself as a cosmetics artist for Shiseido Cosmetics.
She returned to Texas after a year at Shiseido Cosmetics when her parents became unwell. According to the Times, her then-husband, Matthew Knowles, a former Xerox executive, helped her launch Headliners, a 12-seat hair salon in Houston. The salon would later assist the Knowles family in affording an upper-class lifestyle.
Following the founding of Destiny Child, which rocketed her daughter Beyoncé to prominence, Lawson returned to dressmaking. She created cutaway Boy Scout uniforms, barely-there camouflage hot pants, and Tarzan-like fur sheaths for the ensemble to wear onstage, according to the Times.
She quickly became a fashion sensation in the United States, prompting her to start House of Deréon, a stylish, low-cost clothing line named after her mother (Beyonce’s grandmother).
Even after becoming a solo artist, she continued to write show-stopping songs for Beyoncé. She designed Beyoncé’s black brocade ball gown for the 2005 Academy Awards in 2005.
Lawson, however, shut down all of her fashion businesses in 2009 after filing for divorce from Mr. Knowles after 33 years of marriage.
“I kind of lost myself,” she told the Times, “All these things that I love — going to art shows, reading art books, going out dancing — I had stopped. That’s not really loving yourself, if you’re not taking care of yourself in terms of your needs and what makes you happy.”
Despite her expectations, she met Richard Lawson, an actor who has acted in films such as For Colored Girls, Poltergeist, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. According to Oprah Daily, they later married in 2013.
She also returned to fashion after taking a self-imposed hiatus to design the outfit Solange wore in her music video, “Cranes in the Sky,” as well as the one she wore to former President Barack Obama’s goodbye celebration at the White House.