Meet The Latest Beyonce-Vetted Actress To Score An Ivy Park Campaign

Photo: Courtesy of Ivy Park.
Today, Beyoncé's Ivy Park activewear line rolls out its latest campaign, featuring two up-and-coming talents. The newest installment stars actress Sonoya Mizuno and model Sophie Koella. You might not be familiar with Mizuno's name (yet), but you might've caught her in her most recent, Oscar-winning project: the British-Japanese actress starred in La La Land. She was also in Beauty & The Beast and Ex Machina, and her upcoming gigs include one of the leading roles in the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians. (Check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes shot of Mizuno on the set of her Ivy Park campaign, above.) In addition to Mizuno and Koella, Bey herself stars in some of the April imagery of her expansive activewear line.
As for Mizuno's connection to sport — something that's underscored with each of the women Queen B deems worthy of being part of Ivy Park's inner circle — the Tokyo native has been a professionally-trained ballet dancer for the past two decades. Featuring Bey-approved ingenues is the same approach used in previous campaigns, which tapped Yara Shahidi, Chloe x Halle, SZA, and Selah Marley in the past. "While each woman in the campaign has a different background, their common bond is their shared love of sport and living a healthy lifestyle," per a press release, each of the label's faces exemplify "Ivy Park's core belief that women are strong beyond measure." Future campaigns will take the same tact, featuring different kickass, emerging talents each time around.
Below, we chatted with Mizuno about fronting Bey's new campaign, starring in La La Land, minority representation in Hollywood, and more; then, click through to peruse the newest Ivy Park campaign imagery.
What was it like being part of Ivy Park’s ultra-cool girl gang?
“Whatever Beyoncé does feels empowering for women: her clothes, music, anything she does. When I was on set, I remember thinking how cool it was that the girls [including last campaigns’ casts] were there were so different — there was a real sense of individualism. Everyone was different heights, sizes, skin colors, and we didn't all have 'perfect' model bodies. Everyone was athletic, and had such a sense of themselves — just like Beyoncé.”
“A lot of time, I don’t really fit into boxes. I felt like that when I was younger: I was an Asian girl growing up in english countryside, and I didn’t really fit in. Casting for acting has always felt like that for me, too. I’m often not quite for Asian for some things, or ‘Western’ enough for other things. I’ve aways kind of felt slightly on the outside.”
As an Asian actress, what are your thoughts on the opportunities available to women of color today?
“The industry has definitely come a long way, and I think that now is a really exciting time to be part of this ongoing transformation. I’m so glad there’s much more awareness about the issue of diversity in the entertainment industry. But I still think we have a lot further to go. I can’t wait for the day when it’s just a normal thing to have an Asian actor or actress headlining a film. [For minorities] to be out there and celebrated in same way as white actor or actress is: I think it will happen, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Back to Ivy Park, how do you feel about Beyoncé’s personal style?
“Well, she’s Beyoncé — she’s so beautiful and so powerful, and she dresses to that. She doesn’t apologize for how beautiful and powerful she is. It’s just inspiring for women to be hot, beautiful, powerful, and intelligent at the same time. She’s saying, ‘look at me, I’m fucking amazing,’ which I really admire. I really like how she’s been dressing w her baby bump — on Instagram, she’s put pictures recently showing it off. There’s s shot of her in a bright blue dress that’s so beautiful; she’s wearing these gorgeous dresses and not covering up that she’s pregnant.”
Give your professional dance background, thoughts on fashion brands incorporating ballet into their campaigns or shows?
“It’s really great if they’re using professional dancers with proper training — it’s cool that it’s more mainstream than it used it be. Dance is a photographic and cinematic art form, making it the perfect component for ads. The thing I have trouble with is when [brands or publications] don’t use professional dancers. It causes huge uproar in the ballet community; there are boycott groups on Facebook. People might not realize the amount of work and training that goes into becoming a professional dancer. For someone to kind of lower or mock that in a sense doesn’t feel right.”
How would you describe your own fashion aesthetic?
“I’m still kind of working it out, but generally I opt for things that are structured with interesting shape. I prefer more simple colors, like black, white, and red. But I don’t feel like I’ve done enough yet to really know my red carpet style is.”
Which designers are you eager to wear on future step-and-repeats?
“Ha, there are so many! I would love to wear Dior. And Stella McCartney does really beautiful, flattering red carpet dresses."
What were some highlights of working on La La Land?
“I had such an amazing time on it — I loved working with Emma Stone. She was so lovely, down-to-earth, and funny, kind of how you’d expect her to be, really. It set the tone for the filming. She was such a brilliant person to learn from and be around; to see that you can do the kind of work she’s doing and be at that level [fame-wise], and still be a nice person. I really admired that about her.”
Any noteworthy on-screen fashion moments in your career thus far?
“I did a film at end of last year with Kate Bosworth called The Domestics, it was a real breakaway from wearing pretty clothes for me. I play an ex-cop, so I wear a really cool policewomen outfit throughout the whole film. It’s more badass than any other costumes I’ve gotten to wear.”
One of your upcoming projects is the film version Crazy Rich Asians — is the wardrobe as over-the-top as we’d expect it to be?
“I leave next week to start filming — the first half is being shot in Malaysia and the second half will be shot in Singapore. All I know so far is that the costume designer is making me a wedding dress from scratch. In the book, Valentino made dress — now that would be fun [if he designed the on-screen version], can you imagine?”

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