Yara Shahidi steps out in yet-to-drop Beyonce design 

Yara Shahidi hit the streets of New York in an outfit from Beyonce’s new collection with Adidas. (Getty)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Yara Shahidi steps out in yet-to-drop Beyonce design 

  • Yara Shahidi wore an eye-catching outfit from Beyonce’s yet-to-drop collection with sportswear giant Adidas
  • Shahidi’s stylist Jason Bolden accessorized the laid back look — which featured a structured jacket complete with cut outs on the sleeves

DUBAI: Actress and social activist Yara Shahidi proved she’s ahead of the curve on Tuesday by hitting the streets of New York in an eye-catching outfit from Beyonce’s yet-to-drop collection with sportswear giant Adidas.

The star of TV show “Grown-ish” stopped by Build Studio in the Big Apple to share her thoughts on the teen-targeted series, all while dressed in a mulberry two-piece from the new collection, which will hit stores on Jan. 18.

Shahidi’s stylist Jason Bolden accessorized the laid back look — which featured a structured jacket complete with cut outs on the sleeves — with gold hoop earrings, a voluminous hair do and minimalistic makeup.




The new line will be released in stores on Jan. 18. (Getty) 

Adidas will start selling the new collection designed with singer Beyonce on Jan. 18 in a relaunch of her Ivy Park brand that incudes shoes, clothes and accessories, mostly in maroon, orange and cream, Reuters reported.

Adidas described the collection, which features on the cover of January’s Elle magazine, as gender neutral. It includes jumpsuits, cargo pants, hoodies and cycling shorts, mostly featuring signature Adidas triple-stripes.

The German sportswear brand announced it was teaming up with the singer in April to relaunch the Ivy Park brand Beyonce started in 2016 together with British fashion chain Topshop.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

adidas x IVY PARK, available at adidas.com/ivypark January 17 midday PST, in-store January 18. #adidasxIVYPARK

A post shared by adidas x IVY PARK (@adidasxivypark) on

The partnership comes as Adidas seeks to attract more female customers, an area where it has lagged bigger rival Nike and German competitor Puma, which saw its sales boosted by a collaboration with singer Rihanna that ended last year.

 

It seems to be working — and with young, social media-savvy stars such as Shahidi on board, fashion lovers around the world will no doubt take notice.

“This ain’t no intro..this the entreeeee” @adidasxivypark (sic),” Shahidi captioned a series of photos on Instagram. In the snaps,  she can be seen walking the streets of New York in her new outfit — and her 4.4 million followers seem to be fans of the outfit, with comments flooding in about the sporty look.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

adidas x IVY PARK, available at adidas.com/ivypark January 17 midday PST, in-store January 18. #adidasxIVYPARK

A post shared by adidas x IVY PARK (@adidasxivypark) on

According to Reuters, Adidas has eroded Nike’s dominance of the US market in recent years, helped by partnerships with celebrities like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, but Nike has been growing faster in China and Europe, a trend that continued in the latest results.

 

Beyonce’s star power could be just what the retail giant needs, but that remains to be seen.


South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

Updated 12 July 2020

South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

DHAHRAN: An online backlash has forced the matrimonial website Shaadi.com to take down an ‘skin color’ filter which asked users to specify their skin color using descriptors such as fair, wheatish or dark. The filter on the popular site, which caters to the South Asian diaspora, was one of the parameters for matching prospective partners.

Meghan Nagpal, a Toronto-based graduate student, logged on to the website and was appalled to see the skin-color filter. “Why should I support such archaic view [in 2020]?” she told Arab News.

Nagpal cited further examples of implicit biases against skin color in the diaspora communities – women who are dark-skinned are never acknowledged as “beautiful” or how light-skinned South Asian women who are mistaken as Caucasian consider it a compliment.

“Such biases stem from a history of colonization and the mentality that ‘white is superior’,” she said.

When Nagpal emailed the website’s customer service team, she received the response that “this is what most parents require.” She shared her experience on a Facebook group, attracting the attention of Florida-based Roshni Patel and Dallas-based Hetal Lakhani. The former took to online activism by tweeting the company and the latter started an online petition.

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“Now is the time to re-evaluate what we consider beautiful. Colorism has significant consequences in our community, especially for women. People with darker skin experience greater prejudice, violence, bullying and social sanctions,” the petition reads. “The idea that fairer skin is ‘good’ and darker skin is ‘bad’ is completely irrational. Not only is it untrue, but it is an entirely socially constructed perception based in neo-colonialism and casteism, which has no place in the 21st century.”

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“When a user highlighted this, we were thankful and had the remnants removed immediately. We do not discriminate based on skin color and our member base is as diverse and pluralistic as the world,” a spokesperson said.

“If one company starts a movement like this, it can change minds and perceptions. This is a step in the right direction,” said Nagpal. Soon after, Shaadi.com’s competitor Jeevansathi.com also took down the skin filter from its website.

Colorism and bias in matrimony is only one issue; prejudices are deeply ingrained and widespread across society. Dr. Sarah Rasmi, a Dubai-based psychologist, highlights research and observations on how light skin is an advantage in society.

The website took down the skin filter following backlash.

“Dark skin tends to have lower socio-economic status and, in the US justice system, has been found to get harsher and more punitive sentences.

“These biases for fair as opposed to dark skin comes from colonial prejudices and the idea that historically, light skin has been associated with privilege, power and superiority,” she said.

However, in the wake of #BlackLivesMatter protests, change is underway.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will be discontinuing its skin whitening creams in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, and earlier this month Hindustan Unilever Limited (Unilever’s Indian subsidiary) announced that it will remove the words ‘fair, white and light’ from its products and marketing. To promote an inclusive standard of beauty, it has also renamed its flagship Fair & Lovely product line to Glow & Lovely.

“Brands have to move away from these standards of beauty and be more inclusive so that people – regardless of their color, size, shape or gender – can find a role model that looks like them in the mass media,” said Dr. Rasmi.