This new collaboration marks a key shift in sportswear marketing. WGSN Head of Marketing Intelligence Lorna Hall and Active Director Clare Varga report
In the world of celebrity collaborations, this should take some beating. Beyoncé and Topshop’s long-awaited sportswear/steetwear line will hit stores in April 2016 and be sold in up to 25 markets.
Topshop boss Sir Philip Green is banking on the buzz around the range to help drive sales and footfall at Topshop stores.
But this is more than your average celebrity tie up. Queen B, as the star is affectionately known, has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Topshop to launch the brand, called ‘Parkwood Topshop Athletic’, and both parties are obviously hoping it will turn into a runaway success and long-term relationship.
It’s Topshop’s first shared venture and for Beyoncé, it’s her second apparel play, as she already owns the brand House of Deron.
Sir Philip Green told WWD: “We have been looking at this category as fashion inspired fitness develops, and we know that this is right in our customers’ heartland.”
“Creating a partnership with Beyoncé, one of the most hard-working 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.”
The range went into production in 2015 and Green said it will be sold online around the world as well as in Topshop stores and that there had already been “substantial orders”.
The Beyoncé Arcadia tie-up confirms a key shift in sportswear marketing, according to WGSN’s Director of Active , Clare Varga: “The most interesting thing with this range is it marks the shift we have been seeing for a while now from sports star based marketing to a new generation of fitness celebrities.”
“These women are the aspirational fitness models of today and they can sell sportswear. You look at the ranges that Stella McCartney is doing for Adidas nowadays, they may be designed for sport but also very much for Instagram, which is where these stars play on a massive scale.”
Varga added: “The difference that Beyonce and Topshop has on Puma’s collaboration with Rihanna, or Adidas’s with Kanye West is she does workout, she is a dancer by trade, has a life that is immersed in health and wellbeing and she can span that sports and street wear crossover with credibility.”
“Because of her slick PR and business machine we expect the range to look great. We expect to see a leotard, which we are tracking onsite at the moment, to be at the heart of it, as they are so signature to her stage persona. They are trending anyway as sports brands respond to the Selfie and Belfie (backside selfie) culture driven by social media.”
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