During a recent episode of ESPN’s The Jump, writer Nick DePaula revealed that before Beyoncé decided on a partnership with Adidas, she considered other brands including Reebok - but walked out of the meeting because the corporate team did not represent her own background.
“She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products, how this could all look and she kind of took a step back and said: ‘Is this the team that’ll be working on my product?’ And somebody said yes and she said: ‘Nobody in this room reflects my background, my skin colour, and where I’m from and what I want to do,” DePaula recalled. “And so she kind of took a step back and left and it did not come to terms.”
Acknowledging the performer’s visibility, DePaula said “for her, it really goes beyond that. It’s not just about putting her name on a shoe… it’s about having an imprint on the company and impact in terms of diversity”.
DePaula’s recollection comes a day after Beyoncé's multi-layered endorsement deal with Adidas was announced.
As part of the partnership, the sportswear brand and the pop star will release a signature sneaker line and relaunch Beyoncé's clothing line Ivy Park - a deal Beyoncé called a “partnership of a lifetime”.
“Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business,” she said.
On social media, people praised the star for prioritising diversity.
“This is SO important,” one person wrote.
Another said: “And this is why we love Beyonce. She is not playing with corporations not properly representing the culture.”
In a statement to The Independent, Reebok denied the claims, stating: "The report that Beyoncé walked out of a meeting with Reebok due to lack of diversity is categorically false. Our discussions with Beyoncé and her team continued for several months after our initial meeting. We are disappointed that false information is being reported as fact."
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