By Sarah Harris
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, a music mogul turned fashion savant and beauty goddess returned to New York Fashion Week this year and turned many heads. Earlier this year, the R&B icon launched her very first lingerie collection, ‘Savage x Fenty’ online and within hours the first drop was a complete sell out. In an interview with Vogue, Rihanna said, ‘I want people to wear Savage x Fenty and think, I am a bad bitch. I want women to own their beauty.’ With the success of her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, being so popular due to its wide range of skin tones and high-quality products and her, Fenty x Puma collaboration being an instant hit, Rihanna was adamant that her next business venture would have to be a sensation and it was.
The event was definitely one of the most memorable lingerie shows in New York Fashion Week history which the collection being showcased on a wide range of models of all ages, sizes and skin tones. The star-studded line up included the heavily demanded Hadid sisters, Bella and Gigi, as well as two heavily pregnant models. With Rihanna making it clear that she was very much in favour of diversity with her Fenty Beauty line, this show was definitely a push in the right direction.
It’s encouraging to see such a huge star use her fame and influence to create something that will empower women in today’s society. Rihanna created a Garden of Eden like installation for the catwalk, which featured the models crawling, dancing and fiercely walking across the platform. Highly different from the looks of a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show where models would gracefully strut down the stage with their gleaming smiles, the Savage x Fenty Army were out of breath by the end of their erratic performances.
It’s shocking to think that even in a day and age where society is so developed, there are still biases based on appearance. Hopefully with the looks of Savage x Fenty taking the fashion world by storm, we’ll see a change in the way we see major fashion brands advertising their products to feature a more inclusive range of models. Rihanna definitely accomplished this with her first show and we hope to see bigger and better things in seasons to come.
She is definitely not one to refrain from sending a message she’s passionate about. ‘Women should be wearing lingerie for their damn selves. I can only hope to encourage confidence and strength by showing lingerie in another light. You don’t have to stick to one personality with lingerie; it’s fun to play around. You can be cute and playful one week and a black widow next week,’ she said to Vogue.
Attendees were quick to applaud her for featuring models who were expecting. It was later found out that Slick Woods, the face of both Rihanna’s makeup and clothing lines, went in to labour during her performance in the show. In an interview with Elle, Rihanna shared her opinions on the model walking in the show so close to her due date. ‘Slick and I have been working non-stop throughout her pregnancy from Fenty x Puma to Fenty Beauty – I promise you. I’m not the type to judge any woman about any part of her womanhood, especially motherhood because that’s like the VIP of womanhood. Bringing a life into the world is no joke. I have a lot of respect for those women and those who choose to continue to work and get it done while being pregnant.’
Rihanna is shaping a path for diversity with her futuristic envision and allowing us to celebrate women in all forms. It’s an important message to send to women who are constantly bombarded with a picture-perfect ideal of how they should look and behave everywhere they go. With such pressures on women, even in terms of what type of lingerie they should wear to seem more sexually appealing, it was refreshing to see Rihanna’s carefree and selfless ethos behind many of her Savage x Fenty designs.
She has left women feeling more empowered and comfortable within their bodies and this is something we hope to see in not just lingerie brands but general clothing brands too. Often larger designer houses are scrutinised for not being inclusive enough to the more ‘everyday’ woman whereas Fenty x Savage has sizes ranging from a XS to 3X. Although some have criticised the line and said it is still lacking diversity and accessibility, Rihanna is definitely heading to right direction with her ideas and we hope to see big things from the superstar over the coming year.