The moment has finally arrived. Beyoncé Knowles has just released the athleisure-wear line ‘Ivy Park’. March 31st flaunted a handful of strong promotional images and a mesmerising launch video that Beyoncé fans devoured with eager enthusiasm.  

The line itself is made up of a mixture of leotards, leggings, jackets, varsity socks and sports bras, with 200 items available between the prices of $30-200, set to be released for general sale on April 14th. But all hype aside, the question still remains of whether there’s any real point to designer sportswear when its purpose is certainly not glamorous. Is it worth paying the price for something that will be worn and sweated in?

“They are made to look good, and looking good can be a source of strength”

It’s important to keep in mind the fact that it is not just celebrities like Beyoncé whose designer lines are a little pricey. Specialist brands also attach a fair amount of dollar signs to their price tags. The main difference here is the fact that dedicated sports enthusiasts will be willing to pay more for enduring, comfortable clothes that they live and breathe in, more than just the occasional jogger. But what about the rest of us? Those of us who want to burn a few pounds, or just generally get fitter by jogging or attending a yoga class once a week; is there any reason to invest in stylish gym gear, or is it better to just pop to Primark?

“Is it worth paying the price for something that will be worn and sweated in?”

Ivy Park makes it clear that it is not just about sports. The launch video, with its scenes of women exercising, immersed with idyllic images of nature, is a much softer approach to sports. In the voice-over, Beyoncé talks about the significance of ‘the park’, a place where she and her father would run, and which acts as a source of perseverance. As a result Beyoncé makes exercise, and herself, appear much more human. It reaches out to an emotional side that many of us need just to get out of bed in the morning, let alone to go running. It’s relatable in a way that is sometimes lacking in other sportswear launches. Everyone faces hurdles; we all have times when we struggle to keep going but carry on anyway. We all have our ‘park’.

This concept is translated into the clothing line. The designs are not particularly outlandish or unexpected as far as sportswear is concerned, but this does not detract away from its simplistic beauty. The line exhibits sleek block colours in shades of black and greys, geometric and honeycomb patterns, and most importantly, ‘Ivy Park’ showcased in bold lettering across sports bras and leotards. The garments look comfortable, figure flattering and practical, but they also appeal to the more fashion conscious. They are made to look good, and looking good can be a source of strength, just like ‘the park’.

Seven days to go. Arriving 14 April 2016 #IVYPARK

A photo posted by IVY PARK (@weareivypark) on

Introducing IVY PARK a new activewear brand for women. Arriving 14.04.16 #IVYPARK

A photo posted by IVY PARK (@weareivypark) on

Looking good is just as important as the human element to Ivy Park. It’s hard, when you’re sweating and wondering why you thought signing up for the gym was a good idea, to feel good. It’s made harder by the fact you’re probably sweating in some old shorts you haven’t worn in years. For many, looking good means feeling good, and that’s what the line really strives for. Yes you are sweating in something a little more expensive, but maybe those designer sports bras and leggings can make even the sweat look good.

Maybe this is just a personal opinion; but if you put something on, look in the mirror, and feel like you can take on the world, then the exercise no longer feels like such a chore. Beyoncé has always channelled empowerment, and Ivy Park only enforces this mantra. She wants you to take on the world, to run the world, and this ethos is in no way neglected in Ivy Park. Sure, you might not look as beautifully dishevelled as Beyoncé looks in the launch video, but maybe you’ll feel like Beyoncé, even if it’s just for a brief moment. With this in mind, the slightly higher price tag feels entirely worth it.  

Ivy Park will be available at Topshop from the 14th April.

Check the collection out on the website and their official Facebook page.

Ellis Harris

Image Credits: WeAreIvyPark via youtube, weareivypark via Instagram

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