Earlier this year, Beyoncé made pop culture history as the first black woman to headline Coachella. She used the platform to its full potential, with references to ancient Egyptian mythology, African-American education, and the history of black music. After appearing to the 125,000-strong crowd in an appropriately monarchic golden robe taking inspiration from Nefertiti, a quick wardrobe change saw her in shorts and a Balmain-designed collegiate sweatshirt, which lit up the internet as fans searched how to get their hands on one.
And now they can. Beyoncé and Balmain are collaborating again to make the sweatshirts public in a three-piece capsule collection. “After experiencing that beautiful partnership, we weren’t ready to just walk away without adding one final, perfecting touch,” says designer Olivier Rousteing. “This collection of hoodies and tees, based on key designs from our Coachella efforts, responds to our need to repay an obvious debt for the inspiration we received from the signature spirit and legacy of America’s historically black colleges and universities.”
The items will be on offer in hot pink and bright yellow – as seen in her historic set – and black, all bearing the B∆K emblem (Beyonce Delta Knowles – a sorority reference? Illuminati? Jay’s Roc Nation pyramid hand signal?). There will also be t-shirts in all three colours, emblazoned with the same B∆K design.
Wearing the collection won’t only show support for Beyoncé’s own, particularly glamorous, form of activism though. Proceeds will go towards the UNCF, an educational non-profit which helps to fund black students, building on Bey’s $100,000 donation to four historically black colleges since her headline set. Because social change isn’t only about appearances.
For anyone wanting to do their bit – and look good doing it – the sweatshirts and tees will be available from July 13th at Balmain’s flagship Paris store at 44 rue François Premier from 7 – 9pm, then online the following day on Balmain.com and Beyonce.com, as well as in Balmain’s Milan, London, New York and Los Angeles boutiques.
Head here to read the designer break down how he created the iconic looks for Queen Bey, and watch some of her performance below.