Adidas has reportedly ended its fashion partnership with pop star icon Beyoncé, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. The deal, which had been signed in April 2019, was intended to relaunch the pop star’s brand Ivy Park. The German sportswear giant declined to comment on the matter.
High profile split
This marks the second high-profile split between Adidas and a celebrity partner, following the end of the company’s collaboration with Kanye West due to the rapper’s antisemitic comments. News of the separation was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter last Thursday, with the outlet citing “major creative differences” as the reason for the split.
The Wall Street Journal report indicates that sales of Ivy Park have been underperforming expectations for some time. It remains to be seen how this development will impact the brand going forward. However, the collaboration had been lauded as a significant partnership for both Beyoncé and Adidas, with the sportswear brand hoping to tap into the artist’s popularity among younger demographics.
The split comes amid ongoing questions over the role of celebrity collaborations in driving sales for fashion brands. While partnerships with high-profile figures can generate buzz and interest, the actual impact on sales figures can be more difficult to quantify.
In the case of Ivy Park, the collaboration was launched with considerable fanfare, and the brand has since been heavily promoted by Beyoncé on social media. However, it appears that these efforts may not have translated into the kind of sales numbers that Adidas had hoped for.
Despite the high-profile nature of the partnership, Beyoncé has faced criticism over the brand’s ethical practices. Ivy Park has been accused of exploiting low-wage workers in Sri Lanka, with some critics calling for a boycott of the brand. The pop star has yet to respond to these accusations.
Adidas has had a mixed track record with celebrity partnerships in recent years. While collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé have generated significant attention, the company’s partnership with Kanye West proved controversial. The rapper’s public support of Donald Trump, along with a series of antisemitic comments, led to widespread criticism of the collaboration.
It remains to be seen whether Adidas will seek to form new partnerships with celebrities going forward. While collaborations with high-profile figures can generate significant buzz, they also come with significant risks. As such, it is likely that the company will be more cautious in its approach to such partnerships in the future.