Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, have been designing together for more than five years. As the fall collections of their sophisticated House of Deréon line and edgier Deréon label hit stores, they sat down with PEOPLE to talk about their powerful partnership.
Did you think your mom was stylish when you were growing up?
Beyoncé: I absolutely did. And still do. Her hair, her makeup, the house: Everything she touched became glamorous. She designed all of my friends’ prom dresses. Still, sometimes our fans will call, and my mom will go and design their prom dresses, which I think is the sweetest thing ever.
Tina: As a child Beyoncé was very quiet and unassuming. I remember her seeing Whitney Houston singing the national anthem and saying, “I’m going to do that one day.” And I was like, “Okay. That sounds good.” But she wound up singing at the Superbowl [in 2004] and I mean, God, I just bawled. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would come true.
Tina, Deréon is your mother’s maiden name.
Tina: Yes. My mom was a seamstress and a designer, and she was way ahead of her time. The main thing I learned from her is that you don’t have to have a lot of money to have style.
She taught you to sew. Have you taught Beyoncé?
Beyoncé: I’m actually pretty good!
Tina: Beyoncé can do a mean dart!
Beyoncé: Just last week I was sitting here, taking up my jeans. I don’t like it when they flare out; I like them really tailored at the bottom.
Tina, you famously designed the clothes for Destiny’s Child.
Beyoncé: Now that we both look back, some of the stuff is outrageous, but it was amazing at the time. We took risks. And some stuff I look at, and I’m like, “Oooh, Lord!”
Tina: Me too. We look at the pictures, and we’re like, “What were we thinking?” But it’s the same as looking back at the Jacksons with their crazy colors and mismatched pants. One thing about it, people were entertained, and they couldn’t wait to see what the Jacksons would have on next time.
Beyoncé, which of your mother’s qualities do you wish you had?
Beyoncé There’s one thing she can do that I’m working on, and that’s cooking. I’ve had some time off and I’m getting better. But I hope to be a chef like her one day.
You set the kitchen on fire in your Why Don’t You Love Me video.
Beyoncé I came up with the concept for that video because lately I decided to take a break, and I’ve been home, being a wife. I figured it could be nice to give a little wink toward the things that I’ve been doing, so that’s why I’m a housewife in the video. It’s an exaggerated, over-the-top version of what I’m doing right now, which is just living my life and being a woman at home, relaxing and trying to enjoy my life other than performing and music.
What do you two argue about?
Beyoncé: Not much. We have the same taste in fashion, videos, advice and morals. My mother taught me everything I know. She sets a wonderful example, always speaks to everyone and is so humble. She makes everyone around her want to be a better person.
Tina: Aww. At the end of the day, Beyoncé is the boss. I trust her completely. She’s the style icon.
Beyoncé, how did you like rocking fake tattoos for the Deréon ads?
Beyoncé I had so much fun. They were so addictive, we just kept putting them on. One spelled out the name of this ’40s gang called the Brooklyn Foxes. A lot of my friends are from Brooklyn [as is her husband, Jay-Z], so I wore it home to try to play a joke on them. But the crazy thing is, the paparazzi took a picture, and it ended up making the papers and blogs that I got this big “Brooklyn” tattoo on my hand. It was hilarious.
Tina, would you ever allow Beyoncé to get a real tattoo?
Tina: When she was younger?
Tina: Well she’s a grown woman now! I can’t tell her what to do.
Beyoncé: When I was 21, I actually did get a tattoo of an angel that I had painted. It was very, very beautiful. But the next day I woke up, and I was like, “Oh my God! What did I do?” So literally the next week, I started getting it removed. It’s gone now. I went through so many years of pain. I wish I’d taped it for young people to see.
So never again?
I’m a person who is constantly evolving. So now that I’ve learned that about myself, it doesn’t make sense for me to get a tattoo. When I’m older, or have children, or something more permanent-something that’s going to be forever-then maybe.
Beyoncé, what’s the most important lesson your mother ever taught you?
Beyoncé The importance of maintaining your inner beauty. I don’t keep my awards in my house. All of the things that I have accomplished, I don’t really think about them. I respect my mother so much, and I want her to be proud of me as a human being. That’s my biggest priority.
Tina, what has Beyoncé taught you?
Tina: She’s taught me that it’s not about falling, but it’s how you get up.