Because everything Beyoncé does is a thing, there’s a better-than-50-percent chance that you’re aware that she is dropping an “athleisure” clothing line called Ivy Park via Topshop and other high-end retailers, available later this month. If you don’t already have some s—t to do the yoga in—you do—you can now spend more money on something to do the yoga in the way Queen Bey does.
This clothing line was announced with one of the more ridiculously dramatic promotional videos I’ve seen in a while. We’ve got slow motion, women double Dutching in the rain, black-and-white scenes in the woods, water bottles, high-intensity interval training, Beyoncé possibly putting her hair in the water while swimming (though all you see is her face emerging from the water), Beyoncé being super sexy in her boxing stance, Blue Ivy and a voiceover from Beyoncé constantly talking about all the times she went to this park to think about life, family and whatever else needed thinking about.
While I’m sure she’s embellishing a little bit—we all love a good park, but I mean, it doesn’t seem like she’s had a free minute to spend in the latrine in years—it represents more of a state of mind, complete with the ending question, “Where is your park?”
I don’t have a park, yo. This troubles me. I need a park. I wonder if I buy some Ivy Park (I realize it’s a women’s line, but that hoodie looks pretty unisex), will I find me a park? I need a park.
I grew up in many places. I’m sure there were parks nearby, and if so, I definitely squandered those opportunities to sit in the park, think and then come back with a clothing line that emblazons a word in some sort of block font on the front that will sell millions because I’m associated with it. Hustling backward, thy name is Panama.
Personal failings aside, there are a few things of note involved with this promo video:
1. Why is it so damn dramatic? Look, I love me a good workout as much as the next person who barely works out, but the promo just seems unnecessarily over the top. I feel like it would have been just as effective if everybody was having fun working out and tossing pillows at one another. In fact, the video for “7/11” could probably have been a better marketing tool. If she re-created that video with Ivy Park clothing on, that would be thebomb.com. I understand that the point was to point at some “park” state of mind with the idea of finding your contemplative space and juxtapose that with working out and being fit.
I get it.
But that “7/11” video looks like as much of a workout as “Hip-Hop Abs,” which, once you get past Shaun T’s hilariousness, is actually quite the 45-minute workout. Point is, who didn’t want to be part of the “7/11” video? You make that the Ivy Park “commercial” and I think everybody’s in like, “Oh s—t, let’s go have fun in Ivy Park apparel and make a video in somebody’s hotel.”
Right now I associate Ivy Park with thinking too much and parks I never went to as a child. Plus, that “fresher than you” line is perfect for the clothing line. It’s stylish, and when working out, you’re also fresher than everybody else who ain’t wearing Ivy Park. I see no downside here.
2. I think the promo would have worked better without the Beyoncé voiceover. I love Beyoncé like a fat kid loves cake, so I’m not sending for any of you motherf—kers. But Beyoncé being “deep” is an all-around loss at all times. She comes across as insincere no matter how much she probably means it. It’s not her bag, yo.
She’s good at, like, everything else, though. There’s a reason people started to fall in love with the personality-driven Yonce of the more recent videos. She has looked like she’s having fun while being herself. I’m sure Beyoncé is a deep person with journals of emotions and writes with a mood ring to help her figure out how she’s feeling in any particular moment. But that didn’t really connect in this promo. It felt overly dramatic and unnecessary.
Seeing Blue Ivy was cute, though. And I realize that Beyoncé has spent more money at Whataburger than I may see in my entire life, so what she doesn’t need is input or criticism from me. Hell, it’s a women’s line and I’m asking about copping a hoodie. So the intended goal of creating anticipation for sales exists. I guess, ultimately, Ivy Park will be another win on the board for Beyoncé, and more power to her and her family.
I just wish I had me a park.
Panama Jackson is the co-founder and senior editor of VerySmartBrothas.com. He lives in Washington, D.C., and believes the children are our future.