Friday 26 May 2017

'Beyonce's a perfectionist': Topshop boss opens up about working with the star ahead of Ivy Park launch

Beyonce/Instagram
Beyonce/Instagram
Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
WeAreIvyPark/Instagram
Beyoncé Knowles and Sir Philip Green. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Meadhbh McGrath

Beyonce is set to launch the debut collection from her new athleisure brand Ivy Park at Topshop on Thursday, and the high street hero’s boss has opened up about his working relationship with the “perfectionist” pop star.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Sir Philip Green looked back on when Beyonce’s team first approached him about a possible project.

When asked about what appealed to him about working with the Grammy-winning singer, the mogul responded with a withering stare, before stating plainly: “Well, you wouldn’t not be interested, would you?”

“If you like cakes and someone turned up with a big tray of cakes, it would be difficult to say, ‘I don’t want one.’ You’re not going to get anyone better,” he said.

Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Green has known Beyonce for more than 10 years. As well as being a frequent customer, she has become a friend, and she even performed at his son Brandon’s Bar Mitzvah.

This is only the brand’s second celebrity partnership, the first being with supermodel Kate Moss, who worked with the brand between 2007 and 2014.

“Kate’s unique. It was at a time that was good for her and good for us. It worked,” he said of their Topshop collaboration, before dismissing the suggestion that she might reprise her role as designer.

Ivy Park is an entirely different beast, as Green was keen to emphasise. Unlike Kate Moss for Topshop, Green hopes Ivy Park will become a stand-alone brand that can be sold in stores other than Topshop.

WeAreIvyPark/Instagram
WeAreIvyPark/Instagram

“Beyonce is our partner. I’m personally a bit negative on collaborations. I’m not interested in a hit and run. It’s too much work for 10 minutes in the sun,” he said.

“She’s super cool. When you get rid of all the people she comes in with, she says hi to everyone, and sits down, and off you go.

"You’re told you only have 40 minutes, and then three hours later, I’m like, ‘Try that on, try that on…’ We laugh and joke and it’s easy. No stress.”

Green travelled to meet the Crazy in Love singer in LA or New York, wherever she was performing at the time. However, despite her own hectic schedule, Green said she was heavily involved in the process.

Beyoncé Knowles and Sir Philip Green. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Beyoncé Knowles and Sir Philip Green. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

“She’s debating, like: ‘I want to see that again, I think we should change the strap.’”

He continued: “Beyonce’s a perfectionist. Last time we did LA, we had to fly overnight and do the product review in the rehearsal space. She came out all hot and bothered.”

Although Green is confident the collection will sell well come Thursday, he is aware of the pressures surrounding a collaboration with one of the world’s biggest celebrities.

“It’s not easy to partner Beyonce. Her brand is on the line; our brand is on the line. It’s very big stakes. We wouldn’t let one another down.

“She’s about to embark on a global tour. Imagine if we screw that up?”

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