Beyoncé Explains the Inspiration Behind Ivy Park (UPDATE)

The singer talks ethos and what it's like running her own company.

ivy park

Image via Ivy Park

ivy park

Update (4/5/16): Yesterday, Elle shared a preview of its anticipated May 2016 issue featuring Beyoncé on the cover. Today, we finally have a look at the full interview with the Queen, where she talks further about working on the athleisure brand, her love for Topshop, and what excites her most about the collection.

It's no secret that Beyoncé has been a big fan of Topshop. The singer has been spotted sporting pieces from the UK retailer for years (she once even took a private jet just to shop there), so it makes sense that she would reach out to its parent company Arcadia to partner with for her new venture. In the interview, Beyoncé talks about why she loves shopping at Topshop and how she teamed up with Sir Philip Green to make Ivy Park happen.

"I've been shopping at Topshop for probably 10 years now. 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 the clothes," she said.

"I think having a child and growing older made me get more into health and fitness. I realized that there wasn't an athletic brand for women like myself, or my dancers, or my friends," she explains."Nothing aspirational for girls like my daughter. I thought of Ivy Park as an idyllic place for women like us." 

"I reached out to Topshop and met with Sir Philip Green [Chief Executive of its parent company, Arcadia]. I think he was originally thinking I wanted to do an endorsement deal like they'd done with other celebrities, but I wanted a joint venture," she said about her ideas for Ivy Park. "I presented him with the idea, the mission statement, the purpose, the marketing startegy—all in the first meeting. I think he was pretty blown away and he agreed to the 50-50 partnership."

Bey also offers some insight into what women can expect from the activewear line and what elements of the collection she is most excited about. "There's an invisible underlining in our garments that sucks you in and lifts your bottom so that when you're on a bike, or when you're running or jumping, you don't feel that extra reverb. And there are little things like where a top hits under your arms and all of the areas on a woman's body we're constantly working on. I was so specific about the things I feel I need in a garment as a curvy woman and just as a woman in general," she said.

"So you feel safe and covered but also sexy. 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," she said. "We worked on the straps, making them more durable for maximum support. But the foundation for me is the fit and the engineering of technically advanced, breathable fabrics."

Beyoncé goes on to explain how this clothing line is different from the other projects she has worked on and what she has learned from it. "I've learned that you have to be prepared. And when you visualize something, you have to commit and pit in the work. We had countless meetings; we searched for and auditioned designers for months. I knew the engineering of the fabric and the fit had to be the first priority," she explained. "We really took our time, developed custom technical fabrics and tried to focus on pushing athletic wear further. And because I've spent my life training and rehearsing, I was very particular about what I wanted. I'm sweating, I'm doing flips—so we designed a high-waist legging that's flattering when you're really moving around and pushing yourself."

When asked what it's been like running her own company, Beyoncé shares that it isn't always easy.

"It's exciting, but having the power to make every final decision and being accountable for them is definitely a burden and a blessing," she said. "To me, power is making things happen without asking for permission. It's affecting the way people perceive themselves and the world around them. It's making people stand up with pride."

To read the full interview head over here.

See the original post from 4/4/16 below:

Last week, Beyoncé debuted her activewear brand Ivy Park with a promo video and a new website. On what may have as well been Bey Day, Elle also revealed the cover of its May 2016 issue, featuring none other than the Queen. Ditto Elle UK.

In the new cover story for the US edition, which Elle previewed today, Beyoncé talks about the inspiration for her new fashion line and the importance of self-love and women uniting together. "It's really the essence: to celebrate every woman and the body she's in while always striving to be better," she said. "I called it Ivy Park because a park is our commonality. We can all go there; we're all welcomed. It's anywhere we create for ourselves. For me, it's the place that my drive comes from. I think we all have that place we go to when we need to fight through something, set our goals and accomplish them."

Beyoncé, who's always championed natural beauty (remember when she flipped after finding out H&M Photoshopped her ads?), added that what she's trying to push here is purpose, not perfection. "We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them," she told Elle. "Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself."

Ivy Park will be available on April 14. 

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