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Beyoncé: portrait of the undisputed queen of our time

 

As the R'n'B star releases her newest album “Lemonade” and unveils Ivy Park, her own sportswear brand, Numéro takes another look at her main goal: to inspire women. An exclusive portrait by Peter Lindbergh.

Portrait: Peter Lindbergh.

 

Clothing lines launched by celebrities (singers or actresses) have long been aimed at a handful of hysterical fans desperate to pay inflated prices for a pale imitation of their idol’s wardrobe, and often represent a more or less upmarket complement to signature perfumes that are sold through all the mass retail circuits. But today, suddenly, we find planetary R&B megastars – first Kanye West, then Rihanna, and now Beyoncé – setting their sights on the summits of the fashion world and achieving unprecedented success. The explanation is simple: thanks to the internet, a whole generation that has been flooded with images and is surrounded by armies of stylists (a profession that didn’t even exist a few years back and which is now among the top-five favourite careers for teenagers) naturally “speaks” the language of fashion. Which is to say the mood-board idiom on Pinterest. And it’s a game for which, given the company they keep among the highest circles of cool the world has to offer, celebrities are uniquely equipped, with all the right cards to develop a personal image and a particular taste. 

Illustration: Golgotha, created from an Ivy Park photo.

But not all of them make it, many crashing lamentably on the lower slopes of good taste. And sometimes a voice cries out in the darkness, “What if our generation isn’t as good as what came before? Who is the new Alexander McQueen, the new Rem Koolhaas? Are we condemned to endless internet consumption? Unless we really push further and produce great works of art, the whole thing just leaves a feeling of false ‘genius.’” The voice in question is none other than Virgil Abloh, Kanye West’s best friend and also the founder of a fashion label (Off-White). When it comes to Beyoncé’s new Topshop sportswear brand, it is clearly not, thank goodness, a question of “genius.” But intelligence is most certainly present − the intelligence of adapting a garment to the practicalities of daily life with style and simplicity. “When I rehearse for my concerts, I live in sportswear, and up till now I hadn’t found a brand that really spoke to me. My goal with the Ivy Park collection was to push the boundaries of sports clothing. I’d like to inspire women who understand that real beauty lies beyond physical appearances. Real beauty is found in healthy minds, hearts and bodies. When I feel strong in my body, I also feel good in my head. I want to create a brand that allows women to feel the same way,” explains the diva.

Real beauty lies beyond one's physical appearance, within spirits, hearts, and healthy bodies.

Coming in the wake of Kate Moss’s many Topshop collections, the Ivy Park line (named in honour of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy) isn’t a capsule collection but a long-term partnership between the planetary megastar and the cult London chainstore. Bordered with wide elastic strips stamped with the logo “Ivy Park,” bras and leggings in grey, black or blue celebrate the athletic body while adopting a subtly 90s feel, with long sweatshirts and leotards that complete the graphic style of the first collection. It’s pitched just right, a line of clothing conceived for the real needs of women, and which contrasts singularly with the stylistic pretensions of Rihanna and Kanye. After singing at Barack Obama’s investiture, and at the high mass that is the Superbowl, Queen B seems set on proving that, actually, she has nothing left to prove, which when you think about it is really quite refreshing.

 

Ivy Park, on sale from late April, exclusively via www.zalando.fr

 

 

By Carmen Kapheim.

Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2019 fashion show
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