It's finally here!
First, the Beyhive got Beyoncé's not one but TWO Elle covers, then we got a snippet from the interview — and now, we've got the entire thing!
And in typical Bey fashion… it's inspiring AF!
In spirit of the launch of the Formation singer's athleisure brand Ivy Park, the 34-year-old opens up about the inspiration behind the line, how she's influenced by her family, and how she hopes to impact this world (as if she hasn't done that already).
Related: Beyoncé Celebrates Ivy Park Announcement With Glowing Dual Elle & Elle UK Covers!
Without further ado, ch-ch-check out the full interview (below)!
On Ivy Park's beginnings: I've been shopping at Topshop for probably 10 years now. It's one of the only places where I can actually shop by myself. It makes me feel like a teenager. Whenever I was in London, it was like a ritual for me - I'd put my hat down low and have a good time getting lost in the clothes. I think having a child and growing older made me get more into health and fitness. I realized that there wasn't an athletic brand for women like myself, or my dancers, or my friends. Nothing aspirational for girls like my daughter. I thought of Ivy Park as an idyllic place for women like us. I reached out to Topshop and met with Sir Philip Green [Chief Executive of its parent company, Arcadia]. I think he was originally thinking I wanted to do an endorsement deal like they'd done with other celebrities, but I wanted a joint venture. I presented him with the idea, the mission statement, the purpose, the marketing startegy - all in the first meeting. I think he was pretty blown away and he agreed to the 50-50 partnership."
On what she's learned from Ivy Park: "I've learned that you have to be prepared. And when you visualize something, you have to commit and pit in the work. We had countless meetings; we searched for and auditioned designers for months. I knew the engineering of the fabric and the fit had to be the first priority. We really took our time, developed custom technical fabrics and tried to focus on pushing athletic wear further. And because I've spent my life training and rehearsing, I was very particular about what I wanted. I'm sweating, I'm doing flips - so we designed a high-waist legging that's flattering when you're really moving around and pushing yourself."
What she's most excited for with the clothing line: "There's an invisible underlining in our garments that sucks you in and lifts your bottom so that when you're on a bike, or when you're running or jumping, you don't feel that extra reverb. And there are little things like where a top hits under your arms and all of the areas on a woman's body we're constantly working on. I was so specific about the things I feel I need in a garment as a curvy woman and just as a woman in general, so you feel safe and covered but also sexy. Everything lifts and sucks in your waist and enhances the female form. We mixed in some features found in men's sportswear that I wished were interpreted into girls' clothes. We worked on the straps, making them more durable for maximum support. But the foundation for me is the fit and the engineering of technically advanced, breathable fabrics."
On being motivated by her daughter Blue Ivy: "Of course. Like any mother, I want my child to be happy, healthy and have the opportunity to realise her dreams."
On making things different for her generation: "I'd like to help remove the pressure society puts on people to fit in a certain box."
On lessons learned from her parents: "So many… the gift of being generous and taking care of others. It has never left me. I've also learned that your time is the most valuable asset you own and you have to use it wisely. My parents taught me how to work hard and smart. Both were entrepreneurs; I watched them struggle working 18-hour days. They taught me that nothing worth having comes easily. My father stressed discipline and was tough with me. He pushed me to be a leader and an independent thinker. My mother loved me unconditionally, so I felt safe enough to dream. I learned the importance of honouring my word and commitments from her. One of the best things about my mother is her ability to sense when I'm going through a tough time. She texts me the most powerful prayers and they always come right when I need them. I'm tapped into her emotional wifi."
On being a feminist: "I put the definition of feminist in my song [***Flawless] and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I'm a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I'm not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it's very simple. It's someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don't understand the negative connotation of the word or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you're a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you're a feminist. We need men and women to understand the double standards that still exist in this world and we need to have a real conversation so we can begin to make changes. Ask anyone, man or woman, 'Do you want your daughter to have 75 cents when she deserves $1?' What do you think the answer should be? When we talk about equal rights, there are issues that face women disproportionately. That's why I wanted to work with [the philanthropic organisations] Chime for Change and Global Citizen. They understand how issues related to education, health, and sanitation around the world affect a woman's entire existence and that of her children. They're putting programmes in place to help those young girls who literally face death because they want to learn, and to prevent women from dying during childbirth because there's no access to health care. Working to make those inequalities go away is being a feminist, but more importantly, it makes me a humanist. I don't like or embrace any label. I don't want calling myself a feminist to make it feel like that's my one priority over racism or sexism or anything else. I'm just exhausted by labels and tired of being boxed in. If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion - I feel that women have the same rights."
On those who feel you can't be a feminist and also embrace your femininity: "We all know that's not true. Choosing to be a feminist has nothing to do with your femininity - or, for that matter, your masculinity. We're not all just one thing. Not everyone who believes in equal rights for men and women speaks the same, or dresses the same, or thinks the same. If a man can do it, a woman should be able to do it. It's that simple. If your son can do it, your daughter should be able to. Some of the things that we teach our daughters - allowing them to express their emotions, their pain and vulnerability - we need to allow and support our men and boys to do as well."
When she realized she had real power: "I'd say I discovered my power after the first Destiny's Child album [Destiny's Child released in 1998]. The label didn't believe we were pop stars. They underestimated us, and because of that they allowed us to write our own songs and write our own video treatments. It ended up being the best thing because that's when I became an artist and took control. It wasn't a conscious thing. It was because we had a vision for ourselves and nobody really cared to ask us what our vision was. So we created it on our own and once it was successful, I realized that we had the power to create whatever vision we wanted for ourselves. We didn't have to go through other writers or have the label create our launch plans - we had the power to create those things ourselves."
On what she wants to accomplish with the next phase of her career: "I hope I can create art that helps people heal. Art that makes people feel proud of their struggle. Everyone experiences pain but sometimes you need to be uncomfortable to transform. Pain is not pretty - but I wasn't able to hold my daughter in my arms until I experienced the pain of childbirth."
Anyone else feeling hella inspired??
Tags: beyonce, body, business blitz, elle, fitness, girl power, ivy park, topshop