Beyoncé Buys Out Gym Apparel Partner Philip Green. He Denies Sexual Harassment, Racial Abuse

Written by Ann Brown

When Beyoncé launched her athleisure wear clothing line Ivy Park two years ago, it was in 50-50 partnership with British multinational fashion retailer Topshop, owned by British retail tycoon Philip Green. The deal seemed like a perfect match and they even opened a flagship store together in New York. But after Sir Philip was hit with allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse of employees, the Beyhive urged Beyoncé to break ties with the Top Shop retail magnate. The “Ape Shit” singer has listened to her fans and cut all ties with Green and Top Shop.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 35: Isa Watson

Jamarlin talks to Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Squad by Envested, a VC-backed software company that is scaling a next-gen platform to build relationships at work.

“After discussions of almost a year, (Beyoncé’s) Parkwood has acquired 100 percent of the Ivy Park brand,” Ivy Park said in a statement.

Ivy Park sells activewear from hoodies to leggings and. Beyonce, whose 6-year-old daughter is named Blue Ivy, said at the launch of the line: “My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear.”

She added,  “I have always loved Topshop for their fashion credentials and forward thinking.”

Shortly after Ivy Park debuted, it was a big seller. “In an analysis of online purchases on Nordstrom’s website by Slice Intelligence, Beyoncé’s Ivy Park was the top-selling brand during the week of its launch in April,” WWD reported. “The brand pushed ahead of Estée Lauder, Vince Camuto, Topshop, Lush and Nike, among others. The analytics firm also noted that 40 percent of online ‘Ivy Park buyers have also purchased her music.’” The data show that Ivy Park’s launch sales ‘outpaced Derek Lam’s Athleta release and Kata Spade’s yoga debut.

 

Beyonce
**FILE PHOTO*** Topshop Founder Sir Philip Green named in Sexual Harassment and Bullying Allegations in UK New York, NY- November 4: Beyonce and Sir Phillip Green attend the Topshop Topman Dinner in Celebration of the 5th Avenue New York Flagship store on November 4, 2014 at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Credit: John Palmer/MediaPunch /IPX

Sports and fitness apparel is a top retail seller and the segment is expected to reach $231.7 billion worldwide by 2024, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc.,

One of Britain’s best-known businessmen, Green was named in parliament as having taken legal action to prevent publication of sexual harassment allegations and racial abuse of staff, Reuters reported.

Green denied all the allegations, but they have been bad for business.

Green is the highest-profile Brit embroiled in the global backlash against sexual harassment, Financial Times reported. 

His rags-to-riches story was interrupted by the collapse of his BHS department store business. This isn’t the first time Green has been in trouble. In October 2016, the House of Commons sought to strip him of his knighthood for his role in the downfall of BHS. Green ultimately retained his title.

 

Sign up for the Moguldom newsletter — business news you need to know about economic empowerment for the digital age, delivered to your inbox.


About Ann Brown
Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.