Culture | January 27th, 2020

The Plus-Size Beyhive Isn’t Happy With Ivy Park x Adidas

By: Mia Uzzell
The Plus-Size Beyhive Isn’t Happy With Ivy Park x Adidas

 “While you’re at the table, don’t forget about those that were with you in the kitchen”

The Beyhive raved worldwide over the debut of the latest Ivy Park collaboration with Adidas. However, the “All Hail Queen Bey” rejoice over the global partnership didn’t ring true for the plus-size community upon the line’s release.

Before the drop of the capsule collection, Beyoncé deviated from her normal cryptic, captionless posts and alluded to the launch date in a series of photos on the gram’, along with the caption “IVY PARK January 18”. The posts attracted a growing excitement, but the anticipation began to boil over as every celebrity A-lister from Reese Witherspoon to Lizzo released unboxing videos of the massive maroon and solar orange “PR closets”.

The limited release of the apparel on Friday, January 17, ahead of its previously scheduled date, caused a social media frenzy. As the gender-neutral athleisure brand immediately sold off the digital and physical shelves, frustrations quickly arose over the out-of-stock inventory– including the socks. But for the plus-size community, in particular, their visible upset stemmed not only from the sold-out products but their exclusion from the line altogether. 

According to a press release, Parkwood Entertainment, Ivy Park’s parent company, states that the items are currently available in straight sizes, which is the basic XS-XL range. For Adidas clothing, an XL translates to a women’s size 16-18; the average size of an American woman is between 16 to 18.

“We can love her and still say Bey is wrong for Ivy Park’s exclusion,” says Candice Marie Benbow In a viral tweet that received acclaim from the plus-size community. The essayist goes on to say “The exclusion is intentional and I’m tired.”

In rebuttal to Benbow’s statement on Beyoncé’s intentional exclusion, users brought up how the retail stores that carry Ivy Park x Adidas, particularly Adidas and ASOS, have size ranges that extend up to 4XL. Yet, after much research from the resident Twitter sleuths, it became clear that although these retailers had sizes up to 4XL as an option online, they were never made available.

This discovery, however, was no surprise to Aiyana Ishmael. The avid plus-size fashion enthusiast says, “I wasn’t expecting her to have a plus-size section if I’m being quite honest. I never expect any celebrity line to have a plus-size section if they’re not plus-size [themselves].” Ishmael’s sentiments resonated with many plus-size women who frequently encounter rejection from the modern, hip sector of fashion. 

For Beyoncé’s supporters, especially the conventionally figured ones, who have proudly sung the artist’s feminist-infused songs- like her anthemic “Run The World (Girls)”- over the past decades, this news came as a shock. 

Most recently, her historic 2018 Coachella performance as the first African-American woman to headline the festival was an epic moment as she incorporated plus-size dancers into her set. With this narrative of inclusivity surrounding her endeavors, Beyoncé’s exclusion of the community she seems to uplift was seen by beloved fans as a letdown.

“Prior to her release of this line, I believe that she stood on inclusion because of what she stood for as an artist,” says Ly’kimbria Jackson alluding to Beyoncé’s lyrical support of women empowerment. 

In a message to the singer, Jackson says “While you’re at the table, don’t forget about those who were with you in the kitchen.” The third-year Public Relations student wants the Grammy-decorated singer to remember that the ride-or-die plus-size Beyhive were with her from her Destiny’s Child exit, so they too want to join her in the fashion industry.