With a palette featuring colours like azure, canary yellow, and coral lake, Beyoncé’s Ivy Park Drip 2 collection isn’t your typical fall/winter line. It’s fresh and fun — a much needed dose of joyfulness as we collectively crawl to the end of what’s been a year we already want to forget.
“[The new collection] consciously uses bright, bold colours to remind us to smile.”
In British Vogue’s December issue, Beyoncé explains the inspiration behind her altheisure line’s second drop with Adidas. It all stemmed from Fashion Fridays, a weekly escape for her and her kids during quarantine where they’d get dressed up and have a fun photoshoot. She tells editor Edward Enninful that in those moments her kids were her source of joy in the midst of everything we’re going through this year and it helped her realize that moving forward she’s going to alter the way she navigates through life.
“I’ve decided to give myself permission to focus on my joy.”
Not pleasure, happiness or contentment, but joy. And the events of 2020 (the pandemic and social unrest in many forms) put everything into perspective for her. She says it’s hard to image not being changed by 2020. It’s this moment in the interview, where she says her new goal is to slow things down and spend more time with her family, that shocked the internet. Is Beyoncé retiring?! No. To ask that would be to say she doesn’t find joy in creating her art. She’s just reprioritizing her life as a businesswoman, mother, and living icon.
Part of why she had been doing a lot of big projects back to back is because she says she was focused on building her legacy and representing her culture. We tend to want to push our Black celebrities to be as big as they possibly can be because there are not a lot of Black faces in the upper echelon of the entertainment industry. So a lot of people see themselves in the few people who have a seat at the table. Beyoncé knows the more successful she is the more likely Black girls coming in after her will get a chance to follow in her footsteps. However, I think she’s learning there are different ways she can represent her culture outside of music. A Black woman talking about being focused on joy in 2020 is a political statement in itself. Black joy is in short demand in the public sphere these days.
Beyoncé is also finding joy in uplifting underrepresented communities through projects like Black Is King but also opportunities like getting Vogue to hire a Black woman to photograph her for this 20-page fashion spread. As she says, not everybody gets the chance to work for Vogue and there are so many brilliant creative geniuses out there that wouldn’t typically get to work on a Disney project, so if she can shift that paradigm, she will. But that’s not the only way she’s giving back.
“I try to think of the most productive way I can help […] It’s been a year of service for me.”
She only released two new songs this year and the proceeds from both were donated to COVID-19 relief. She’s using her platform for more than just music, but like she says in this piece, she’s changed her opinion of what success looks like. Those old standards of achievement aren’t bringing her the same joy they used to.
“Being number one does not mean better quality. And commercial success certainly doesn’t equate to being impactful. Cultural currency is invaluable.”
So for Beyoncé, as we’ve seen more and more through the years, it’s not about topping the charts or trophies, she’s redefining for herself how she ranks her accomplishments. And who has more cultural currency than she does?