Ivy Park out — Beyoncé x Balmain in

Beyoncé ends her longtime Ivy Park partnership with Adidas as she debuts a new Vogue cover and collection with Balmain.

You lose some — and, as is ever the case with Beyoncé, you win some. 

On Thursday, news broke that the 32-time Grammy-winning singer was departing her partnership with Adidas and taking Ivy Park with her, amid claims of creative differences and low sales. As previously reported by theGrio, the brand had been struggling in recent years, falling severely short of Adidas’ projections. But despite the lagging sales, sources say the dissolution of the five-year partnership doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Ivy Park. 

Beyoncé x Balmain Beyoncé departing Adidas Black fashion Black style theGrio.com
Beyoncé arrives for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Dolby Theatre on July 9, 2019, in Hollywood. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

On Friday, however, Beyoncé was announced as Vogue France’s April cover star, where she debuted a new couture collaboration with legacy French luxury brand Balmain, based on her seventh studio album, “Renaissance.” 

The cover, featuring a black and white image of Beyoncé standing stoically dressed in one of the new designs, a crystal-encrusted black velvet longsleeved and hooded gown with a matching hat, is staggering. The other pieces from the collection readers get to preview in the cover story are equally commanding, with a campy futuristic style harkening back to the overexaggerated haute couture of the early 2000s. 

Each piece in the line was inspired by a song or lyric from the album, Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing told Vogue. He said he was inspired to create the collection while sketching and listening to “Renaissance” one afternoon during the summer of 2022. 

“I started to imagine the sketches inside her album, how they would relate to the songs and the lyrics—it wasn’t something I was supposed to be doing, but I was just inspired by the music to do it. And that’s how this started,” Rousteing said. 

Not long after, Rousteing called up Beyoncé, for whom he designed the looks for her history-making Coachella appearance in 2018, and pitched the idea of co-designing a collection based on her album. The call, which reportedly came as a surprise to the megastar, was the beginning of a five-month-long collaborative process between the two. The final output consists of 17 distinct looks, including a pair of shoes made from Beyoncé’s signature, that honor both the history of the house and the musical heritage of the performer, according to Vogue.  

Rousteing said he was “thrilled” by how historic the collaboration truly is.

“This appears to be the first time that a Black woman has overseen the couture offering from [a] historic Parisian house. And those designs were created in partnership with the first Black man to ever oversee all the collections at [a] historic Parisian house. Let’s hope those two firsts help inspire plenty of others,” he said. 

Fans on social media did not hesitate to praise the announcement. Taking the Ivy Park news into consideration, many who lauded the Balmain collaboration said its glamorous and otherworldly aesthetic was a more authentic fit for Beyoncé than athleisure ever was. Some poked fun at the “creative differences” behind her split from Adidas being an understatement. Other fans agreed that the timing of the news, coming less than 24 hours after the Adidas announcement, is right on brand for Queen Bey, who has a penchant for regularly surprising her fans. 

This collection may not have been the visuals fans have been expecting, but for those with the budget, a “wearable album” just might be the thing to hold them over until Beyoncé kicks off her Renaissance World Tour in May in Stockholm.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black’ with Maiysha Kai.