Beyoncé and Adidas announced a new partnership that will make the iconic entertainer a creative partner for the shoe company. Beyoncé will design footwear and apparel for the Adidas brand but more importantly, relaunch her own Ivy Park brand. The new partnership “respects Beyoncé’s ownership of her company which continues her journey as one of the first black women to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand.”
Ivy Park was launched in 2016 as a joint venture between Beyoncé and Topshop, a London based fashion retailer. In 2018 Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment acquired total ownership of the company. With full ownership in the bag and the expertise and global infrastructure of Adidas behind her, the future of Ivy Park appears very, very bright. Black athletes and entertainers have received “endorsement” deals for a long time. Progressively, however, those deals are shifting — we are using the brands every bit as much as they are using us.
In the past shoe companies merely handed out a check in exchange for an endorsement. Magic Johnson often laments that he accepted money from Converse coming out of college, rather than accepting stock from Nike, a fledgling startup company. Oops. Michael Jordan took it another step with his Brand Jordan, which Nike ultimately owns. With this move, however, Beyoncé is pushing it to a different level. While she is still an ambassador and creator for a sneaker company, she is leveraging that to push her own brand, which she 100% owns.
Beyoncé is one of the first Black women to do what she’s doing. She is leveraging the power of another brand to help fulfill her ambitions. What she does with Adidas we should all applaud but Ivy Park is where we should keep our real focus.