Beyoncé, as she famously sang in the song “Formation,” may have hot sauce in her bag, but does she have Popeyes on her radar?
That’s what some on social media started discussing when Queen Bey took to Instagram earlier this month to tease the Jan. 18 drop of her Adidas X Ivy Park collection — the first since she announced she’d partnered with the German company.
That’s because the maroon and orange color palette of the athleisure brand’s offerings were strikingly similar to the those behind the counter at the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen chicken restaurants.
Among those paying close attention were the folks on Popeyes’ marketing team. After the Ivy Park collection hit retail (and quickly sold out), they stepped in with a genius effort to leverage the buzz.
They created the website thatlookfrompopeyes.com, which offered up pieces from its standard-issue team-member uniforms (including hooded jackets, short-sleeve polos, sweatshirts and visors) modeled by employees in photos that perfectly mimicked the look and feel of the images in the official Adidas X Ivy Park advertising campaign.
Announced on Instagram on Wednesday, the offerings sold out in less than 24 hours (some items disappeared within an hour, according to a company, which gives a whole new meaning to fast food), making the Popeyes offering every bit as popular as the real deal.
Did the Ivy Park design team intentionally take inspiration from or pay homage to the chicken joint? (We’re not sure because, as of this writing, brand representatives haven’t responded to our inquiry.) If they did, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time fashion feasted on fast food. Jeremy Scott’s riff on McDonald’s for Moschino comes to mind, as does the growing number of food-themed sneakers.
Conspiracy theorists might be interested to know that before founder Alvin C. Copeland Sr. changed the name to Popeyes, it operated for several months in 1972 as Chicken on the Run. In 2014 Beyoncé and Jay Z co-headlined a concert tour called — wait for it — On the Run.
And, in the end, there’s really no reason to cry fowl here (we couldn’t resist) because 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Popeyes uniform merchandise is going to the Popeyes Foundation, a charitable organization whose mission is “to strengthen our communities with food and support in times of need.”
According to a Popeyes representative, the initial run of merchandise at the pop-up website generated $20,000 for the foundation’s efforts.
If you missed out on getting your hands on some of the “Popeyes Park” merchandise, don’t despair. There might still be a way — beyond applying for a job there — to score some.
“Once again our fans humbled us with their outpouring of love for our brand,” a Popeyes spokesperson told The Times on Thursday. “We will be restocking, [so] keep an eye on the website.”