Rihanna's Luxury Line Debuts

Rihanna's Luxury Line Debuts

Rihanna's Fenty Maison's star-studded debut underscores what we already knew about the singer: her ability to take any project and spin it into gold.

Rihanna's Fenty Maison's star-studded debut underscores what we already knew about the singer: her ability to take any project and spin it into gold.

Text: Reshmi Kaur Oberoi

Robin Rihanna Fenty is many things and so it’s no surprise that she just as many names to match- the most commonly known: Rihanna. Her social media avatar is “Bad gal Riri”, and her maison, now included in the luxury brand Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, LVMH, makes her the prestigious company’s first black heiress. As of May 29 and in the midst of cruise show season, Rihanna publicly cyber-released her first Fenty collection, 5-19 which represents millennial-living at its best: Living in the present, May of 2019.

Defined as a singer, actress, Beauty businesswoman, and patron of the lingerie arts, who knew that Riri could also be a quasi “journalist”? She reportedly told Vogue of the inspiration behind her most recent Fenty Instagram images captured by Kwame Braithwaite. The discovery of his photography of the Black is Beautiful movement in the Americas and Caribbean during the 1950s and 60s required “digging", she confessed. In fact, the entire scenario was serendipitous and unforced. She wasn’t trying to push any political manifesto unto her millions of followers and the fashion industry at large. “We were just digging and digging and we came up with these images – they made me feel they were relevant to what we are doing right now", she said. Her focus on the current-day is a practice of gratitude that research links to successful movers and shakers’ daily routines. Rihanna realized that the black movement so happened to resonate with her personally. That coupled with the fact that the photographer hailed from her home of Barbados, his surname her grandfather’s first, and her mother’s maiden name. It was all too good to be true. The photo – black and white – pictured three women – 2 dressed in knee-length fitted dresses and sporting perfectly manicured natural afros so unlike the large and sometimes untamed phenom of the 70s. The other woman sported a large lustrous wrap atop her head and had on either a maxi wrap skirt with plain shirt tucked in or a deceiving dress that was color blocked. In the backdrop is a banner that reads, “Buy Black". And while the women’s formation could be a dance formation, they are in fact the Grandassa Models – a group of colored women in 1960s New York who anthropomorphized the concept of black beauty.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is all-inclusive and sold at major makeup conglomerate, Sephora. She told The New York Times that she found herself in a cradle of diversity because she grew up with a father who is half-black and half-white and a black South American mother. It just so happened that later in the day post-luxury priced 5-19 ready-to-wear pieces, 28-year old singer, SZA – the stage name replacing her birth name, Solána Imani Rowe – tweeted about how security at the Calabasas Sephora had rung up security to report that she is suspect of shoplifting. The tweet was not combative and instead read, “have a blessed day” and "Can a bitch cop her Fenty in peace er whut”. It was this incredulous statement that caught Rihanna’s sea-green eyes, motivating her to send SZA a handwritten note that read, “Go buy yo Fenty beauty in peace, sis... one love” and Fenty Beauty gift card that read in chalk “Perfect.” The timing couldn’t be more perfect and on-brand. For Rihanna the entrepreneur, the cosmic timing of all these events are all too relevant to pass up.

The resort season couldn’t have been a more apt time to release a collection based on Rihanna’s personal story, untethered to the seasons, of having emigrating from Barbados to New York. The collection consists of unorthodox sculptural silhouettes in an array of colored denim, nipped and tucked just so to accentuate curves. With a utilitarian air, many pieces can be worn as is – a dress and a jumpsuit. She too settled on a stark white collared denim in-sewn corseted dress with gold metallic stilettos. The shoulders are pronounced. The power look is feminine without overtly being revealing. In fact, reminiscent of the Olsen twins take on femininity, the first Fenty line, which Rihanna promises to differ from every other future collection, is consistently oversized and functional.

There are large cargo pockets and hands-free fanny packs that double as belts. Though this ensemble is priced at $1100, the price point is considerably lower than other of LVMH retailers. And while the costs aren’t exactly mainstream, neither are the materials used for the acutely designed pieces that are tailored just so and “quality costs,” she said. But in a behind the scenes video of her resort prep, she reasoned that her choice of outfit came down to what accentuated her butt and tucked her in at her already naturally tucked in waist. Her necklace was an oversized - clearly not costume jewelry - cross necklace. To be more exact, the cross had a loop at the top, a traditional Egyptian good luck amulet derived from hieroglyphic-times, known as an ankh. But for all intents and purposes, luck already seems to be on her side.

For Rihanna, when she sees and loves something, she wants to have it now, and luckily, she’s done the same for us! Take a peek into her latest wares, now available for purchase.

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