By Rowan Davies
In the decorative village of Crenshaw, Los Angeles; an indestructible Beyoncé cascades from a crystal blue Californian sky in the fresh ad campaign for her collaboration with Adidas. It is on a very rare occasion that we as a society are presented with such a singular influential force that has the ability to capture our immediate attention and pause every moment in our lives. In this case, Beyoncé is that singular, influential force.
It has been almost four years since Beyoncé expanded her celebrity repertoire as she announced her partnership with TopShop and brought Ivy Park to the high street, a modern concept on athleisure wear, with a distinct aim to empower and embrace womankind. Though a fashion success, it was the surfacing of the sexual assault allegations made against TopShop CEO Phillip Green that drove Beyoncé’s decision to cut ties with the retailer. Since splitting from her partnership, Beyoncé has done anything but remain sheltered from the spotlight. Her historic Coachella performance, an appearance in the revival of The Lion Kingand the release of her Homecomingdocumentary on Netflix, placed Beyoncé at the forefront of every popular culture news story.
The rebranding of her Ivy Park label is a beautiful urban celebration of diversity and a visual art form that captures the essence of Beyoncé’s creative mindset and articulates the brand’s message; Power, Freedom, Individuality. This opportunity has paved the way for Beyoncé to broaden her immense sphere of talent as she takes back 100% control over her brand, becoming the first African American woman to have full command over an athleisure line. Each individual piece within the collection has been designed with deep thought on its practical uses and target audience. The simplicity of the collection’s maroon, orange and cream colour scheme collapses the restrictive gender boundaries that exist within fashion, and allows consumers of all gender identities to engage with the brand and explore their individuality. Its message of inclusivity goes beyond accommodating to various gender identities, as it also showcases how each piece can be worn as casual wear alongside active attire and lounge wear.
A fresh revival of the Ivy Park label reflects how Beyoncé’s creativity has smoothly adapted to the innovative mindsets of 21stCentury society. On a surface level, the brand’s presentation perfectly summarises futurism in the most simplistic approach as the collection is not overwhelmingly busy. It possesses a wide range of pieces that constitute its unity without it appearing restrictive and underwhelming. If statement pieces do not appeal to consumers then there is an assortment of accompanying pieces from belts, beanies and sports socks to browse among. Innovation is a predominant element featured in the campaign and is further translated through each individual product with the design of the track jacket especially. Its detachable sleeves and waste zipper add another element of experimentation for consumers, encouraging them to sport the piece in a variety of ways.
Yet again, Beyoncé shows us that she is not a timid individual in the slightest. Her strategic reinvention of Ivy Park illustrates her as the ultimate remarkable powerhouse within popular culture, adding to her continuous creative repertoire of singing, performing, directing and producing. But most significantly, she continues to offer room for voices of black women and men and consistently promotes inclusivity among race, gender and culture through her art.