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Beyonce and Adidas to end partnership on Ivy Park clothing line

A woman holding an umbrella walks past an Adidas store that's advertising Beyonce's Ivy Park line in the window.
A woman holding an umbrella walks past an Adidas store that's advertising Beyonce's Ivy Park line in the window. Copyright AFP / Timothy A. Clary
Copyright AFP / Timothy A. Clary
By Anca Ulea
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After persistent slumping sales, Adidas and Beyonce are ending their partnership on Ivy Park, according to reports. What's next for them both?

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Beyonce and Adidas are reportedly pulling the plug on their fashion partnership, after years of slumping sales for the Ivy Park athleticwear line.

According to US media reports, the partnership will end after this year’s collection. The contract between the Grammy winner and the German sportswear giant was set to end at the end of the year if it wasn’t renewed.

Adidas brought Beyonce on board in 2019, hoping to follow up its then-successful (now-defunct) Yeezy collaboration with Kanye West, now known as Ye. Previously, Ivy Park had been a joint venture between Beyonce and Topshop.

With Adidas, the unisex line branched out to include activewear, footwear and swimwear for men and women.

But Ivy Park didn’t deliver like Adidas had hoped.

The line had been losing the company money in recent years. Sales had dropped 50% over the last year – Ivy Park brought in only $40 million (€36.8 million) in sales in 2022, far below Adidas’ internal projections of $250 million (€230 million), according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal.

There were also creative differences between the partners, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Beyonce was promised full creative control and guaranteed annual fees when the deal was first signed.

Seeing other people

It’s safe to say that Beyonce won the breakup.

News of the split broke just as the star was unveiling a new haute couture collaboration with French fashion house Balmain, inspired by her latest album Renaissance. The collection includes 16 unique pieces, each representing a track on her album.

“Thank you Olivier Rousteing (Balmain’s Creative Director) and Balmain for bringing RENAISSANCE to life in couture,” Beyonce wrote in an Instagram post. “Designing alongside you was freeing—thank you for allowing me to celebrate the human form, to take artistic risks, to push boundaries and to freely express myself.”

Adidas, meanwhile, faces an uphill battle after losing two major partnerships in the past six months. In October, the German apparel company ended its most lucrative partnership after it cut ties with Ye following a string of racist and anti-Semitic comments from the US rapper.

That left the company with half a billion euros worth of merchandise that it can’t sell. The German sportswear giant announced last month that it posted a net loss of €513 million in 2022, largely due to its inability to sell the former rapper's 'Yeezy' line of shoes.

“2023 will be a year of transition to set the base to again be a growing and profitable company,” Adidas’ CEO said in a statement in February.

Part of that transition inevitably still includes celebrity partnerships, which remain a cornerstone of Adidas’ strategy.

The company’s newest ambassador is Jenna Ortega, star of Netflix’s runaway hit Wednesday, who is the face of Adidas’ new athleisure line.

Additional sources • The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter

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