Words by Kendra Hunsley
Unapologetic, unfiltered and carefree, Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty is the embodiment of a style trailblazer and has us all following suit, or at-least trying to. She’s the girl many of us have tried to channel in our outfits in one way or another and secretly want to have as our best-friend as she continues to serve look after incredible look.
It all began in 2005 when the world was introduced to a young Bajan singer with a gravelly voice singing pop songs supplemented with reggae beats. She was an archetypal pop star, dabbling in mostly neutral make-up looks, jeans and crop tops and boho-inspired ensembles. However, in 2007 the ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ artist personified her title and began to come into her own. Sporting a short black bob, Rihanna ventured on her own path with more edge and an individualistic air that quickly set her apart from her peers. Fast forward to 2017 and Rihanna remains ahead of the fashion game, offering us the latest trends by way of her street style offerings.
With countless magazine covers and brand collaborations under her belt, brands are cognizant of her far reaching influence which is largely due to her authentic style and non-compliance to fashion rules. A 2015 study found that she is ‘the most marketable celebrity in the world. ‘If Riri says something is cool, it’s cool; no need for corroboration.
Some of her favourite brands include Chanel, Gucci, Vetements and Dior, but what’s more intriguing is her love for up-and-coming designers. Rihanna is known for championing the new kids on the block within the fashion industry, giving them a stamp of approval and placing them on the radar. Where most celebrities opt for big names to dress them at fashion’s most prestigious gatherings, Riri takes it left field. For her show-stopping 2015 Met Gala look, the singer chose a hand-made Chinese cape designed by Guo Pei, which she found online. For her ANTI World Tour, Rihanna secured the talents of London-based designer, Craig Green, who designed pieces including a custom-made cream hooded coat. One of her favourite and go-to designers, Adam Selman, is responsible for many of her red carpet looks including her most talked about Swarovski crystal dress ensemble.
Taking up a more serious role in fashion, Fenty was announced Creative Director of Puma in 2014. Since then, the singer debuted several collaborative collections which has served the brand exceptionally well. Her sell out footwear has been a huge success resulting in her Puma Creeper winning Shoe of the Year 2016. Puma CEO, Bjorn Gulden, added “Rihanna can sell sneakers and Puma is onto something here which we haven’t seen yet in the Women’s area.”
Rihanna performed at the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show wearing a corset and skirt ensemble made by one of her favourite designers Adam Selman, adorned with vintage Chanel pearl sunglasses and choker. Boudoir-esque meets Chic and downright badass!
Unarguably her most contentious and gasping ensemble to date, Rihanna accepted her CFDA Fashion Icon of The Year award in a breathtaking see through dress adorned with over 230,000 Swarovski crystals. The dress caused hysteria to say the least, an apt look that solidified her accolade.
Looking as if she stepped out of her house to make a quick grocery store run, Rihanna unsurprisingly looked stylish in a Ralph Lauren bath robe, bedroom slippers paired with her futuristic “Rihanna” sunglasses from her collaboration with Dior. When will your fave?
Rihanna glided on the red carpet at the 2015 annual Met Gala in an exquisite Chinese couture fur-trimmed cape with an elaborate train that seemed to go on forever. Talk about a fashion moment.
The queen of street style stepped out in a Raf Simons statement graffiti-covered trench coat.
That time she snatched our edges in a sexy silk number draped in a fur coat accompanied by a casual baseball cap.
Her impenitent care-free Black girl persona is why so many love her. Rihanna does what she wants, she wears what she wants and she looks damn good doing it.