“This is a time for us to educate,” he adds. “This is a time for us to embrace culture.” The release and promotion of Black Is King has him on cloud nine, he says. “I’m living my purpose. I always wanted to make a movie, and if I was to do a movie, I wanted to do a movie with Beyoncé in it. It’s a movie that inspires many cultures around the world. It’s for everyone because it’s so educational.”
As for those waterfall-length box braids that trailed the ground while Beyoncé stood atop a ladder during the song, “Water”? “Beyoncé had this idea for the longest time,” Farinah explains. With the help of lead hairstylists Kim Kimble and Kendra Harvey, a team of six worked on the 30-foot-long braids over the course of three days. “It was the heaviest piece on set,” Farinah says, and possibly the most dangerous. “We couldn’t make a mistake or accidentally let go of the braids,” while Beyoncé was walking up the ladder “because it could’ve really messed up her neck and truly hurt her.” But, he notes with relief, “at the end of the day, we made it work. We executed, and it’s a statement piece in the movie.”
Surprisingly, the hair was developed separately from the film’s fashion. “The hair connected with the fashion naturally and everything made love to one another on set,” Farinah says. “That was the most amazing moment. Everything was complementary with every outfit.” Farinah attributes this natural synergy to the film team’s longtime working relationships. He and stylist Zerina Akers, for example, worked together on the Formation music video, all the way back in 2016.
Farinah hopes that the intentional styling in Black Is King will inspire “Black women to feel free to wear their hair however they want to, and to not worry about being judged or what someone else would say,” Farinah says. “To be free, and set yourself free. To embrace your beauty, your texture, and to wear your crown proudly.”