In the last few seasons we’ve seen fashion designers try and create a more diverse environment. But what designers have spent seasons trying to accomplish, Rihanna did in her first fashion show.
Rihanna is no stranger to fashion shows. If she wasn’t sitting in the audience, she was behind the stage with her own creations. Fenty x Puma was the birth of Rihanna the designer. Consumers ate up her designs and requested more.
Fast forward a couple years to her lingerie line Savage x Fenty. Rihanna took the diversity she fought for in her makeup line and transferred that over to this new business endeavor. Savage x Fenty offered lingerie in all colors and sizes so all women could feel sexy.
Rihanna was the final designer to show her collection during New York Fashion Week, a slot typically held for Marc Jacobs. She transformed the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a greenhouse where her models would dance, strut, writhe in a manner previously only seen in an Alexander McQueen show.
Models of all sizes were present during the show. All dawning bold looks courtesy of large, luxurious hair or cheek bones piled high with glitter.
Among the models at the show were the Hadid sisters, Joan Smalls, and Rihanna’s It Girl Slick Woods. One of the most notable and heart-warming photos that surfaced after the show was Slick Woods caressing her baby bump surrounded by other models all rocking Savage x Fenty lingerie.
It’s hard to enter an event as prestigious as fashion month as a new comer and come out of the experience on top. Many designers have to put in a few seasons of hard work before their name is mentioned in the same sentence as Versace or Marc Jacobs.
Maybe it’s because Rihanna is Rihanna. Or maybe it’s because she once again tapped into a vein that fashion had long been ignoring. When she launched Fenty Beauty, consumers and critics alike were quick to praise her inclusive shade range. The beauty industry has long overlooked people of color, choosing to instead focus on lighter shades as if this demographic was the only one wearing makeup.
Fashion has always catered to the size 0 and 2 white woman. We’ve seen Christian Siriano and Chromat evolve with highly diverse models and the positive feedback that rolls with that. The reason Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show stole headlines normally reserved for industry titans such as Versace is because she’s catering to everyone.
In an interview after the show, Rihanna encapsulated her intentions with her brand.
I think it’s a shame women have to feel insecure or self-conscious about how their bodies look. They’ve been taught by society that only one thing works.”
We can only assume that Rihanna has more up her sleeve to help women feel more comfortable in their bodies and I can’t wait to see what else she does.
Cover image courtesy of Billboard
Also published on Medium.