Four thoughts on Beyoncé’s Vogue cover and album reveal
A ‘Renaissance’ is coming. We dissect the clues.
The Queen is coming. We heard the whispers. And now we have confirmation: Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, Renaissance, will be out July 29.
She made the announcement with a sleek new cover of British Vogue and a story penned by Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful. Enninful not only dined with Blue Ivy Carter’s family (they had ribs!), he wrote that Beyoncé played him her album from a laptop. I have to say, after looking at the cover and its accompanying images, I’ve seen beauty, before but this is a discovery.
Here are four things I can’t stop thinking about since seeing the Vogue photos.
1. She’s not wearing any Ivy Park.
Beyoncé’s last two magazine covers coincided with the release of Ivy Park collections, her athleisure brand created in partnership with Adidas. In September 2021, she appeared in three separate covers for Harper’s Bazaar’s icon issue, including one featuring the superstar in an Adidas x Ivy Park denim bodysuit and chaps. The cover was pegged to the release of her Western-themed Ivy Park Rodeo collection — a nod to her roots in Houston — a week after debuting her Harper’s cover.
In December 2020, Beyoncé ended the year with not one but three British Vogue covers. She wore an Adidas x Ivy Park neon lime green catsuit with spaghetti straps and the signature Adidas’ stripes up the side, matching bucket hat, and topped off the look with a sheer trench coat in the same hue. She said the Ivy Park collection she was wearing on the cover was inspired by dressing up with her kids during quarantine. “It consciously uses bright, bold colors to remind us to smile,” she said. “I used a lot of neon yellow and coral mixed with baby blue and earth tones that felt soothing. They brought me joy and made me smile in the midst of a tough time for all of us.”
The most recent Adidas x Ivy Park collection came out in May, and included a Beyoncé-imagined version of Adidas’ Stan Smith sneaker with three options for crew socks. Now Beyoncé isn’t one to give an interview or a photo shoot for no reason (besides the occasional outfit of the day on Instagram), conditioning her audience to expect something new whenever she’s allowing other people to talk to her. It’s just been a while since we saw Beyoncé and didn’t see any Ivy Park.
Not to strap on my tinfoil hat too tightly, but Beyoncé told Harper’s Bazaar that the first decade of her life was dedicated to dreaming. If she’s going back to the beginning as the word “renaissance” (a revival of or renewed interest in something) implies, she’s not wearing Ivy Park but she’s definitely creating a fantasy with the fashion in this shoot. Beyoncé’s dreaming again, folks!
2. Beyoncé is still such a horse girl.
When I first looked at the British Vogue cover, what came to mind was then-actress Bianca Jagger riding a white horse bareback through Studio 54 in that slinky off-the-shoulder red dress.
But then I remember Beyoncé loves a horse. She posed for her Essence magazine cover alongside a horse in 2011. She shared home videos of her riding as a child in the “I Was Here” music video, declared girls “Run The World” atop a horse, rode barefoot in her “Daddy Issues” music video, and there was that September 2021 issue of Harper’s Bazaar — you see where I’m going here?
3. Beyoncé might have disco fever.
Speaking of Studio 54: Enninful wanted to “get up and start throwing moves,” as soon as he heard Beyoncé’s new album. “It’s music I love to my core,” he wrote. “Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many people on the dance floor, music that touches your soul.”
Beyoncé dropped this bread crumb in her Harper’s Bazaar interview last year, saying “With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible.”
And Beyoncé’s horse was posed on a dance floor.
4. The Beyhive activated itself sight unseen.
Beyoncé’s fans are not to be played with and they know their queen. The minute the singer deleted her profile pictures across her social media accounts, the Beyhive’s wings started to tingle. On Thursday, when the album was announced, her website also began to sell four different Renaissance “Pose” box sets for $39.99 featuring a collectible box, a screen-printed T-shirt corresponding to the box purchased featuring Beyoncé in a specific pose, and a Renaissance CD. A CD. Beyoncé is selling physical copies of compact discs in the year of our Lord 2022 and the girls are buying them! Sight unseen! What a time to be alive.