Kanye West – VMA Awards 2009
“I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”
A sentiment that rang through the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards as Kanye West interrupted the acceptance speech of Best Female Video winner Taylor Swift. Ye’s admiration for Beyoncé creatively has never been a secret, and his relationship with the superstar has been a well publicised one due to his friendship and collaboration with her husband Jay-Z, coupled with his very genuine appreciation of her work. What will bring him great pleasure, therefore, is the recent announcement that Beyoncé has signed a deal to begin a “multi-layered partnership” with Adidas – to which Kanye West is also signed.
Beyoncé x Adidas
It has been a busy few days for Beyoncé, with this announcement from Adidas coming just days after it was revealed she has new music and a Netflix special in the works. The switch to Adidas though has been seen by her as “the partnership of a lifetime”, and she believes that they “share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business.” This deal makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, for Adidas they are gaining one of the biggest names in the world, with one of the biggest fanbases, and for Beyoncé, she is being given one of the worlds biggest platforms. The finer details of this partnership see Beyoncé relaunch her activewear brand Ivy Park with Adidas, after removing her product line from Topshop last year, as a result of accusations made against her Parkwood Entertainment company co-founder Philip Green of sexual harassment, which ultimately resulted in the songstress taking full ownership of Ivy Park. As well as Beyoncé being honoured with a signature trainer by Adidas which will see her slide in beside friend Kanye West as one of Adidas’ most impressive assets. Whether this means her own silhouette or a rework of a preexisting model is still unclear, but one thing is for sure, if she follows the example set by long term friend and admirer Kanye West, creative control will be of vital importance.
The true scale of the collaboration is yet to be determined, but if we can use the success of other artists as a guide, we can pretty confidently predict that a signature Beyoncé trainer is going to garner widespread appeal. The lineage of successful artists in the footwear industry obviously stretches beyond just Kanye West’s Yeezy, with Air Jordan’s present and past partnerships with Travis Scott, and Eminem respectively, and Adidas’ ongoing collaboration with Pharrell Williams to name just a few. The path has very much been pre-trodden for all the musicians that follow, of course, if the design stands up to the test, and with Beyoncé being long regarded as quite possibly one of the great female creatives of her generation from her chosen genre, all signs look good for the Three Stripes.
The news, of course, will excite husband Jay-Z who himself has signature footwear honours with Reebok dating back to 2003 with his S. Carter silhouette. Only time will tell if long term Air Jordan advocate Jay-Z is going to be caught wearing the very first iterations of his wife’s designs, as he did for his good pal Ye. Seen here wearing a pair of Yeezy 350 Pirate Black and a pair of Air Jordan 1 Bred, both of which are available to buy and sell on Laced.
Beyoncé also isn’t short of friends in the trainer world beyond just Ye, with Virgil Abloh famously gifting her a custom pair of Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago, I have no doubt she isn’t going to be short of inspiration, and advice…if she needs it.