Sunday 23 October 2016

Everything you need to know about Beyonce's 'athleisure' brand with Topshop

Bibby Sowray

Published 27/11/2015 | 08:02

Beyoncé fans have been given a very big reason to look forward to 2016: it has been confirmed that the superstar’s ‘athleisure’ brand created in partnership with Topshop - Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd. - will land in stores in April.

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The joint venture was announced in October 2014 but since then all has been quiet – not even a tiny teaser has been released. So, what do we know so far?

Beyonce Instagram
Beyonce Instagram

Don’t call it a collaboration

Erase any thoughts of an H&M-style tie-up from your minds. "This not a collaboration,” confirmed Topshop boss Sir Phillip Green when it was first announced, poo-pooing ideas that it would follow a similar track to Kate Moss’s collections for the high street giant. “This is about building a brand and building a business - a separate, proper business, with separate overheads and a separate office."

What can we expect?

This is a brand that’s all about functionality. Indeed, the launch has been delayed by a few months (it had originally been slated for an autumn 2015 debut) because the team behind the brand want to ensure the technical aspects of the clothing has been fully tested. The collection will encompass clothing, footwear and accessories across dance, fitness and sports categories, with a "technical performance characteristics as well as an athleisure side, targeting women who go to yoga or the health club, as well as those who just want to look as if they do,” according to WWD.

What the heck is 'athleisure'?

It’s a lifestyle. You won't have failed to notice the rise of workout gear as a legitimate outfit. Put simply, looking like we care about our fitness (even if, in reality, we don’t) is very much ‘in’ right now.

Be it the resurgence of Calvin Klein’s classic sports bra, Adidas’s Stan Smiths or the rise of stylish neoprene-formed, performance-grade swimwear by Lisa Marie Fernandez, we’re buying into athleisure in our droves – and that’s exactly why Beyoncé is tapping into the market.

She may find a little competition though; since the venture was announced, fellow pop princess Rihanna has taken on the role of creative director at Puma and released her first shoe collection for the brand, Kanye West has released his own stab at athleisure with his Yeezy range, which consists mainly of leggings and oversized hoodies, with some sell-out footwear created in collaboration with Adidas thrown in for good measure.  So Bey is a little late to the party, but we don’t for a minute think that’s going to stand in the way of her success.

Where will we be able to buy it?

Sir Philip Green is hoping to launch the brand in Topshop stores in as many as 25 countries, including Australia, Canada, the US and mainland Europe in April 2016.

Will it be expensive?

No prices have been released as yet, but the fact that Topshop is involved suggests that high street-level pricing can be expected. We can also be pretty certain it will sell like proverbial hot cakes.

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