Why Beyoncé rejected Reebok and what this means for diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry

 

Singer, songwriter and fashion icon Beyoncé reportedly walked out of a partnership meeting due to lack of diversity, which has raised great awareness of common diversity issues occurring in various corporations, particularly in the fashion industry. 

(Photo by Getty Images)

Beyoncé’s new partnership with Adidas to relaunch her Ivy Park athleisure line drew attention to her previously announced partnership with Reebok, which got cancelled. Allegedly, Reebook’s corporate structure was not diverse enough and thus did not reflect the singer’s background nor her mission¹.  Beyoncé has been an advocate for black and LGBTQ people, as well as for other diverse communities for many years, as seen in her countless music, fashion, and business launches. It was therefore apparently unacceptable in her eyes to follow through with this project under these circumstances.

Although Reebook denied this claim, the situation highlights a significant issue that many fashion brands and retailers are currently facing when it comes to diversity and size inclusivity, or a lack thereof.

Along with other outcomes of current social movements it has become apparent that consumers are more and more passionate about the stance companies take on social causes, as they support the ones that are aligned with their own values. According to Forbes², consumers have also started to be vigilant whether the employees of companies are from diverse backgrounds. 

This shows us how important it is for people to be able to identify themselves with a company and its products, especially in the fashion industry. The customer journey is often far more emotional than a decision based on price³. They want to feel included, and will therefore favour brands who make them feel that way. A shared vision of inclusion therefore proposes brands and retailers to become more size inclusive for maximum profitability, a challenge that can be solved through Allure System’s image solution.


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¹https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/beyonce-reebok-meeting-diversity-espn-adidas-a8857386.html

²https://www.forbes.com/sites/janicegassam/2019/04/06/why-beyonces-new-partnership-with-adidas-highlights-an-important-diversity-issue/#591eb4e17f43

³https://www.forbes.com/sites/lyndashaw/2015/05/31/how-do-you-want-your-customers-to-feel/#2886f1d52656

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