Beyonce graces the cover of ELLE magazine and in a rare interview talks about her new athletic wear clothing line, Ivy Park, opes up on why she embraces feminism, and responds to the controversy over her Super Bowl 50 performance and allegations she is anti-police and more.
Yes, it’s a rare occasion that Beyonce gives an interview, but in ELLE magazine she has much to say as she launches a new activewear clothing line, Ivy Park, and is about to embark on her Formation World Tour, which she originally announced after that controversial Super Bowl 50 halftime performance.
While Beyonce has been in many endeavors, this Ivy Park athletic wear clothing line is her first, and she partnered with Topshop to create it. She told, ELLE of her own personal connection to Topshop noting she has been shopping at the retailer “for probably 10 years now.” She went on to explain, “It’s one of the only places where I can actually shop by myself. It makes me feel like a teenager. Whenever I was in London, it was like a ritual for me—I’d put my hat down low and have a good time getting lost in clothes.”
As for why now at this stage in her life and career she chose to do the clothing line, she said, “I think having a child and growing older made me get more into health and fitness. I realized that there wasn’t really an athletic brand for women like myself or my dancers or friends. Nothing aspirational for girls like my daughter.”
She went on to describe what she envisions for the brand, saying, “I thought of Ivy Park as an idyllic place for women like us.”
Beyonce spoke of how she reached out to Topshop and met with Sir Philip Green, the chief executive of its parent company, Arcadia. She said, “I presented him with the idea, the mission statement, the purpose, the marketing strategy—all in the first meeting. I think he was pretty blown away, and he agreed to the 50-50 partnership.”
Speaking of the work that went in to the creation of the clothing, she spoke of the “countless meetings” and of the search for designers and of her intention to “focus on pushing athleticwear further.”
As for what distinguishes it from other brands, she said, “Everything lifts and sucks in your waist and enhances the female form. We mixed in some features found in men’s sportswear that I wished were interpreted into girls’ clothes.”
Beyonce also turned to that other topic that’s given her quite a bit of publicity, the fallout after her ‘Formation’ performance at Super Bowl 50, and the perception that it was an anti-police protest.
Noting that she considers herself an “artist” and that “the most powerful art is usually misunderstood” she then asserted that “anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken.” Expressing “admiration and respect” for the police she went on to say, “But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
Continuing, she added, “If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”
Beyonce also opened up on that other hot-button topic. Feminism. In the second decade of the 21st century, when women have risen to fame with the kind of objectification of their bodies that the original architects of feminism were so quick to decry, it’s always the topic that performers have to weigh in on. The old can we be sexy-and-still feminist dichotomy.
The music superstar that gave us that term ‘bootylicious’ said, “Choosing to be a feminist has nothing to do with your femininity—or, for that matter, your masculinity. We’re not all just one thing. Everyone who believes in equal rights for men and women doesn’t speak the same, or dress the same, or think the same. If a man can do it, a woman should be able to. It’s that simple.”
She also spoke of her definition of ‘feminism’ saying, “It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist.”
It was quite a lengthy interview, and those are just a few of the highlights. As Beyonce’s Ivy Park hits stores and the commercial hit the airwaves, and as she embarks on her Formation World Tour, we can safely say she’ll be much in the news again. And in the meantime, you can see more of the interview here and check out the Beyonce ELLE magazine cover and inside photos below!
Pictures: PR Photos