Beyoncé’s Adidas x IVY PARK collection ridiculed by Sainsbury’s and criticised for lack of size diversity

We never thought we would see the Beyhive fighting with a supermarket


by heatworld |
Updated on

When Beyoncé does something, it’s Major News™. This, after all, is the most-nominated woman in Grammy history, the first and only black woman to headline Coachella and Glastonbury, the woman who gifted us the masterpiece that is Lemonade and the woman who has landed a three-project deal with Netflix worth $60 million, including 2019’s epic Homecoming.

Beyoncé's controversial new Ivy Park range
Beyoncé's controversial new Ivy Park range ©Ivy Park

That’s why we were eagerly anticipating the release of the Adidas x IVY PARK athleisure collection. After all, she’s been teasing it all week – what with her own Instagram snaps modelling the pieces, an ELLE cover dedicated to the collection and the large orange crates filled with the collection turning up at numerous celebrity doorstops, such as Reese Witherspoon’s (who created a wonderfully playful TikTok video to celebrate), Zendaya’s and Cardi B’s.

We weren’t alone in our excitement. Since dropping Saturday 18 January, the Internet has been a frenzy and the Beyhive has been true to form, trending #IvyParkXAdidas on Twitter throughout the day and buying up much of the collection instantly.

Priced between $25 and $250 (around £19 and £190), the gender-neutral athleisure collection includes jumpsuits, asymmetric dresses, biker shorts and coats, as well as accessories and footwear; all in shades of maroon, orange and cream.

While IVY PARK’s celebrity fans, sell-out success and domination of social media is far from surprising, as ever with the Internet, there is plenty of ridicule and criticism…

The ridicule

The jokes began as soon as the first images of the collection dropped and comparisons between IVY PARK's colour scheme and Sainsbury's uniforms began. “I don't think this new IVY PARK range will fly in the UK. Every time you go to Sainsbury's someone will be tapping your shoulder asking for hummus,” one Tweeter quipped on Friday 17.

“I’m so jealous of people outside of Britain that have no idea what Sainsbury’s is because it’s fully ruined it for me,” another joked.

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Riffing off what has already become a running joke on British Twitter, Sainsbury’s took to their social media to poke fun at the comparison on January 18, IVY PARK’s release date. Sharing a photo of a model in one of their uniforms, they joked they were “the original” and had been “repping since 1869”, with the picture also featuring the hashtag #SainsBey.

The tweet has since garnered 15.8k likes and Beyhive fans quickly swarmed to Beyoncé’s defence, even going so far to fight the supermarket over its share prices and financial situation.

“Not y'all trying to drag when your sales been falling for three quarters straight. Let's talk about it,” one fan tweeted in response.

“Jokes on you because everyone would rather shop at Asda and Tesco’s OR EVEN MORRISONS before Sainsbury’s,” another replied.

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The criticism

On the other hand, many fans have expressed their shock and dismay that the new IVY PARK collection – with sizes ranging from XS (approximately a UK 6) to XL (approximately a UK 20) – would not be completely size-inclusive.

“I stan Beyoncé, but it’s disappointing to see that this collection only goes up to an XL, especially because Adidas recently started selling size inclusive activewear as well,” ‘fat fashion’ writer Gianluca Russo commented.

“We can love her and still say Bey is wrong for Ivy Park’s size exclusion. You can’t celebrate the inclusivity of your other projects, having plus size dancers and background singers, but ignore us again when it comes to this. The exclusion is intentional and I’m tired,” essayist Candice Benbow tweeted.

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The criticism comes after Beyoncé herself stated that she designed the collection with everyone in mind. Talking to ELLEshe said that she “focused on designing a unisex collection of footwear and apparel because I saw so many men in Ivy Park. The way they have embraced the brand is an unexpected gift. I appreciate the beauty of gender-neutral clothing and breaking the so-called fashion rules.”

Likewise, Adidas pointedly mentioned inclusivity in the press release announcing the collection: “This unique relationship champions the values of inclusivity, community and diversity and will take consumers on an unconventional journey starting with this capsule collection for Spring '20.”

As noted by The Curvy Fashionista, Adidas are no strangers to plus size clothing. Prior to IVY PARK launch, Adidas launched a size inclusive collaboration with plus size brand Universal Standard in late 2019 wherein sizes went up to a US 4X (a UK 28/30).

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