Rihanna won’t stop putting in the work, work, work, work, work.
Earlier this month, the 31-year-old Barbadian singer officially partnered with the French conglomerate LVMH, which houses companies like Christian Dior, Ceilne and Louis Vuitton to name just a few, becoming the first black woman to create an original brand for the luxury group.
Now, Rihanna is blessing us all with a first look at the collection with items that will be distributed in monthly drops online akin to a music release model in a revealing T Magazine interview published on Monday.
The inaugural items showcase “structured silhouettes in subdued neutrals that emphasize strong shoulders, cinched waists and exposed legs” and essentially scream Rihanna with a high fashion twist.
Rihanna, who’s previously partnered with Puma, created her own lingerie line and revolutionized the beauty industry in a matter of years, says she’s been “slowly evolving throughout the fashion world.”
“First wearing it, buying it, being recognized for my style and then collaborating with brands. I never just wanted to put my name on something and sell my license,” she told the outlet. “I’m very hands-on, so I wanted to take it slowly and gain respect as a designer.”
And said world is famously unfriendly to outsiders who don’t fit the traditional fashion mold ― a history Rihanna is keenly aware of ― which is why she’s dedicated to unapologetically celebrating her blackness in the industry without being tokenized.
“You’re going to be black wherever you go. And I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, because I love being black. So, sorry for those who don’t like it — that’s the first thing you see before you even hear my voice,” she said. “There are also other factors: I’m young. I’m new to the family. I’m a woman. Those factors do come into play, but I will not apologize for them, and I will not back down from being a woman, from being black, from having an opinion. I’m running a company and that’s exactly what I came here to do.”
“I do know that the reason I’m here is not because I’m black,” she added. “It’s because of what I have to offer. That’s what they’re invested in. And the fact that I’m black is just that: a fact.”
Rih describes the first pieces, which will be sold at a pop-up shop in Paris on May 24 and and then made available on Fenty’s website days later, as “really strong and edgy” and notably size and gender inclusive.
“I’m thick and curvy right now, and so if I can’t wear my own stuff then, I mean, that’s not gonna work, right? And my size is not the biggest size,” she explained. “It’s actually closer to the smallest size we have: We go up to a (U.S. size 14), We’re saying we can meet you at any one drop that we put out.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rihanna confirms that her upcoming and long-awaited ninth studio album, which she admits may just be called “R9” at this point, will indeed be a reggae record.
But in case you were hoping for some superstar collabs, the singer shot down rumors that Lady Gaga or Drake will be featured on her next project.
“Not anytime soon, I don’t see it happening,” she said on bringing her rumored ex-boyfriend aboard. “Not on this album, that’s for sure.”
To read Rihanna’s full interview, head over to T Magazine.