Before she inked her partnership deal with Adidas, Beyonce met with plenty of other brands, but she apparently left one meeting quickly after taking a look around the room.
According to ESPN writer Nick DePaula, Beyonce walked out of a meeting with Reebok because she felt there was a lack of diversity with the brand. Reebok, though, says nothing could be further from the truth.
Beyonce eventually signed on to be a creative partner with Adidas. In the role, she’ll design shoes and clothes.
“Throughout this process over the last year or two she had discussed with Under Armour, with Reebok as well, Jordan [at Nike] at one point was interested in maybe partnering with her,” Nick told ESPN’s “The Jump.” “She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products, how this could all look, and she kind of took a step back and said, ‘Is this the team that will be working on my product?'”
Beyonce was told yes.
“She said, ‘Nobody in this room reflects by background, my skin color and where I’m from and what I want to do,'” the ESPN writer said. “So she took a step back and left and then it did not come to terms.”
Nick added, “For her, it really goes beyond that. It’s not just about putting her name on a shoe and here’s the new Adidas Beyonce 1, or whatever they end up calling it. It’s about having an imprint on the company and an impact in terms of diversity.”
A rep for Reebok told TMZ, “The report that Beyoncé walked out of a meeting with Reebok due to lack of diversity is categorically false. Our discussions with Beyoncé and her team continued for several months after our initial meeting. We are disappointed that false information is being reported as fact.”
On Thursday, Beyonce and Adidas formally announced they had agreed on a deal.
“This is the partnership of a lifetime for me,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business.”