African Fashion Culture

Stunning Facts About Famed Tyla Met Gala Sand Dress

tyla met gala sand dress
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

South African sensation Tyla Met Gala sand dress is not one of those fashion statements that you would forget. She elevated African fashion to another level. The ‘Water’ hitmaker added another page in celebrity history this time around and it had nothing to do with music.

Tyla exchanged sand for water during the 2024 Met Gala. Balmain helped her bring her fanciful outfit to reality for her first Met. The Balmain team created Tyla a dress made of sand as a reference to the sands of time, using the word “time” as the key phrase from the evening’s Garden of Time dress code.

Her stunning look took the world by surprise and she lived the moment with zeal and a deep appreciation for a fantastic fashion hack.

Who Wore a Sand Dress to the Met Gala?

Tyla Met Gala sand dress is an incomprehensible fashion stir and a big statement to the global world of fashion design. The 2024 Met Gala took place on May 7 and the world laid its eyes on 250 never-see-before designs. ‘Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion’ it was dubbed and showcased at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there were a dozen other celebrities; Tyla was the eye candy being an African in an exuberant dress.

tyla met gala sand dress

South African sensation Tyla at the 2024 Met Gala. Photo/Yahoo

Tyla Met Gala Sand Dress

French luxury fashion house, Balmain fanned more fame for the South African music goddess. Balmain designed the stunning dress welcoming the 22-year-old Grammy Award-winning artist to her inaugural Met Gala.  The Balmain team created Tyla a dress made of sand as a reference to the sands of time. “Time” was the key phrase from the evening’s Garden of Time dress code.

Founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945, the French brand is renowned for its distinctive style, which combines traditional elegance with a contemporary edge. Think of well-crafted needlework, well-defined lines, and classic outfits designed around confidence. In addition, Balmain has a rich history in Haute Couture. This design niche emphasizes on exquisite craftsmanship and sumptuous design specifically for the affluent.

Beyond this, Balmain influences modern fashion trends with a focus on empowerment and vibrant colour schemes.

How Was Tyla’s Sand Dress Made?

Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s creative director had a deep inspiration for Tyla Met Gala sand dress. He wanted to create a stunning momentary design as a way to redefine boundaries.

“The inspiration behind this creation stemmed from a desire to redefine boundaries and transform a transient material into an everlasting masterpiece. The idea of sculpting a garment from something as ephemeral as sand ignited my imagination, and I could not be happier with the end result,” he told Vogue.

Rousteing designed the sand dress as long, hugging and strapless and mimicked a mermaid shape at the bottom. This garment glistened with every step Tyla took and each of its three shades of sand combined with tiny crystal studs shone conspicuously. She also carried the Balmain hourglass clutch, which was another nod to the evening’s theme.

While also speaking to Vogue about the dress, Tyla said that she set her mind on having a unique outfit for the Met Gala. Balmain shared with her a sketch of the dress and she loved it, but not without nervousness. Still, she looked forward to wearing it on the night of the event and it was fantastic.

tyla met gala sand dress

South African sensation Tyla at the 2024 Met Gala. Photo/Vanity Fair/Today Show

The “On My Body’ singer is establishing herself as a major player in the African and global fashion industry. Just before stepping into New York for the Gala night; she made fashion waves at the 2024 Grammy Awards. She donned a pistachio-colored Atelier Versace gown sewn to Swarovski crystal fishnet. Rousteing has since named her the biggest upcoming African fashion icon.

What is a Sand Dress?

A sand dress is a custom creation designed entirely from sand and created by French luxury fashion design house Balmain. It was featured at the 2024 Met Gala among the 250 rare custom designs in the fashion industry. Subsequently, Rousteing – Balmain’s lead designer – picked Tyla to represent the brand that’s yet to be commercially available.

Rousteing assertively said that Tyla was the perfect brand ambassador because she is overzealous in her creative art. Being that this is a shared trait – he pushes his fashion boundaries far and wide – Tyla was a match.


Africa never falls short of epic fashion trends and Tyla just took it a notch higher. Consequently, African designers are taking notes, thus expect more mind-blowing designs in future.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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