photo: Splash

Beyoncé rarely speaks about social issues publicly, but that doesn't mean she isn't always watching and ready to take action. Topshop got the wake-up call from the Queen after its owner, Sir Phillip Green, was accused of racial, physical, and sexual abuse in October 2018, as reported by The Telegraph

In November 2018,  Beyoncé swiftly ended her partnership with the brand on the Ivy Park athleisure label. Now, the singer has inked a deal with Adidas for a relaunch of the athleisure brand along with other new products. We stan a considerate boss of a queen.

Ariana Grande may have us all singing "Thank U, Next" now, but Beyoncé told us 13 years ago that nothing and no one is ever "Irreplaceable." Or did Topshop forget? 

Beyoncé first announced a partnership with Topshop for the Ivy Park brand in 2016. 

The athleisure brand was named after her daughter, Blue Ivy, and the childhood park where she grew up running and working out in her hometown, Houston. Its clothing options included items like leggings, crop tops, casual dresses, hoodies, bodysuits, and more. The clothes were also available at Topshop but also at places like ASOS and Nordstrom. The last collection under Topshop was available just a few months ago. 

"We have been looking at this category as fashion-inspired fitness develops, and know that this is right in our customers’ heartland," Green shared in a statement.

"Creating a partnership with Beyoncé, one of the most hardworking and talented people in the world, who spends many hours of her life dancing, rehearsing, and training is a unique opportunity to develop this category."

“I have always loved Topshop for their fashion credentials and forward thinking," Beyoncé said about the retailer at the time.

"Working with their development team to create and produce a technical and fashion-led collection is exciting, and I’m looking forward to participating in all aspects of this partnership.”

You might also remember Beyoncé artists and Grownish TV stars Chloe x Halle wearing Ivy Park pieces during June 2018 performances.

These sequin designs worn by sisters Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey seem to be part of one of the last Ivy Park collections released with the Topshop partnership. After this and a few more releases, finding Ivy Park pieces was pretty difficult to do. 

By October 2018, Topshop owner Sir Phillip Green was publicly accused of harassment and racism toward his employees in the UK.

Employees alleged that Green groped women and slapped them on the butt. He also allegedly called an employee a "naughty girl," kissed her in the mouth in front of her coworkers, and commented on her weight. The Telegraph also reported that other women came forward about being harassed, intimidated, and having their space invaded by Green. He allegedly paid her and several other employees off in exchange for their silence. 

Green also allegedly paid off a black male employee after making disgusting comments about his hair and his race. 

He allegedly spoke negatively about the man's dreadlocks and accused him of smoking weed (oh, where have we heard that racial stereotype before...). Additionally, Green allegedly accused the man of "throwing spears in the jungle." If that isn't disgusting enough, The Telegraph also reported that several employees revealed that Green shared his concerns about hiring "too many black people." 

Sir Phillip Green denied everything.

According to The Telegraph, Green's lawyers shared that he denies any unlawful "racist behavior" and "sexual behavior." Per the court documents obtained by the outlet, his lawyers do assert that Green's “style is predominately jovial in nature” and that he “has in a playful way poked and prodded individuals with whom he has worked closely." 

Lol. OK. What does that even mean?! Either he sexually, physically, and racially harassed people or he did not. Explaining away the harassment with a joke angle does not excuse the behavior, so why was this submitted as an excuse at all by lawyers? Sexual jokes in the workplace are considered to be sexual harassment. The same goes for racist jokes. 

Beyoncé obviously wasn't buying it either.

"After discussions of almost a year, [Beyoncé's] Parkwood has acquired 100% of the Ivy Park brand," Ivy Park said in a statement. "Topshop/Arcadia will fulfill the existing orders.”

The original split between Beyoncé and Topshop was 50-50, so she paid for Topshop's entire 50% share of the company. I'm sure that dollar amount is way higher than I can count. 

It's also interesting to see that the Ivy Park brand confirmed in November 2018 that it had been in talks to split (or at least rearrange ownership percentages?) with Topshop for over a year. That pushes the first inklings of a split back to November 2017, which was before the sexual assault and racism allegations were published. This means Beyoncé had concerns about Topshop after only one year in business with the brand! It's possible that the more recent allegations may have only furthered her decision to own Ivy Park fully.

On Thursday, Beyoncé's camp revealed that Ivy Park is coming back with another huge label behind it.

You're seeing that correctly. Ivy Park will return under the Adidas label. Sigh. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter may be routinely silent, but she's always making moves! The singer will be a creative partner with Adidas to release a series of products including sneakers and the expanded Ivy Park athleisure brand. 

(By the way, Kanye West is somewhere either crying about having new competition with Beyoncé, or patting himself on the back because he hit Adidas before she did.)

"This is the partnership of a lifetime for me," Beyoncé shared in a statement on the Ivy Park page of her official website.

"Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth, and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to relaunching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader." 
Peep that bit on social responsibility. Beyoncé gets it. 

Now ready those coins! 

We're getting athleisure amazingness and more "social responsibility" from our queen this 2019, and I know it's coming any day now.