Beyoncé releases Ivy Park collection
The athleisure-wear market is big business at the moment. If you were a high-profile celebrity five years ago, you would launch a perfume – if you are a high-profile celebrity today, you launch a fitness line. Having your own collection of sportswear not only cements your own status as a role model, it’s a great money-spinner for collaborating sports or high-street brands. With the rise of social media, celebrities have become living, breathing advertising machines, and brands don’t need to pay high-profile sports stars to advertise their products anymore.
As if she needed another venture to add to her impressive resume, Beyoncé has become the latest celebrity to jump on the athleisure-wear bandwagon. Created in collaboration with Topshop, Ivy Park consists of a 228-piece range that includes bodysuits, sweatpants, leggings, shorts, tank tops and much more. The star has allegedly tested every piece of the collection, which (according to Topshop’s website) has been designed to inspire women to stay “strong, healthy and happy”.
Topshop’s website goes on to state “this isn’t just a sports kit – it’s a whole lifestyle, with clothes that perform both on and off the field”. This idea of luxe sportswear taps into a desire for clothes that are easy and comfortable, but which also promises to keep you on the cutting edge of style – clothes like those in the Ivy Park collection appeal to those who don’t work out (but want to look like they do), and also to those who do work out and want to look good whilst they’re doing it.
The aim of the range is to promote a message of health, confidence and self-assurance, encouraging people to feel better about their bodies with flattering lines and supportive fabrics. In the stylised promotional trailer released two weeks before the launch itself, the star appears in her hometown of Houston and asks “Where is your park?” – the “park” here being a metaphor for a safe place that one can go to improve on oneself, physically and emotionally. It’s a message of motivation – of inclusivity.
It’s perhaps odd, then, that Beyoncé’s range has not been made in sizes above a 16. Indeed, the lack of plus sizes has become the source of a widespread controversy surrounding Ivy Park as many women ask why they have been excluded.
Despite the debate, however, Ivy Park has already proved to be a lucrative move for Beyoncé, with sales sky-rocketing and Topshop’s website crashing on the day that the collection launched.