Ever since she burst onto the music scene at the age of 15, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been driven by an impulse to constantly one-up herself. The superstar’s relentless work ethic and creative savvy, which have thus far earned her nine Grammys and sold her hundreds of millions of digital singles, is on full display in a new T magazine interview with acclaimed Slave Play scribe Jeremy O. Harris.
In the illuminating conversation (which took place near the singer’s new home in London), Rihanna discusses her upcoming clothing line Fenty, a collaboration with the luxury fashion house LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. In addition to having launched the ever-evolving Savage X Fenty lingerie roster and the multifaceted Fenty Beauty collection, she is preparing to release looks that shape the world in her own image. Her customer is sensual, complex, powerful, analytical, daring. Everything about the way she is approaching the line strives to innovate.
“Focusing on direct-to-consumer online sales,” Harris writes, “allows Rihanna and her team of collaborators the freedom to drop new additions to the collection—which includes sunglasses, shoes and other accessories—every few weeks, like singles from an album.”
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The clothes themselves, some of which Rihanna models in the story, are perfectly suited to adventurous dressers interested in experimenting with pairing the more restrictive elements of women’s fashions with exposed skin and sculptural details. “I use myself as the muse,” Rihanna told Harris. “It’s sweatpants with pearls, or a masculine denim jacket with a corset. I feel like we live in a world where people are embracing every bit of who they are. Look at Jaden Smith, Childish Gambino. They dare you to tell them not to.”
Some of the fabric used in the new Fenty collection will also be new to many people; at one point, Rihanna describes a cotton canvas textile called Weapon. But don’t worry, denim and leather will also feature prominently in the singer’s pantsuit pantheon.
And mercifully, for those of us who’ve always wondered how Rihanna seems to move through the world so effortlessly, Harris got an answer. “Good Girl Gone Bad is where I started to take the reins,” Rihanna explained. “‘I’m going to do whatever I want to do, I’m taking control of my vision, my sound, my clothes.’ I also embraced change along the way—things that make me a better woman, a better human being. Like, even the way I communicate: I’m really proud of my growth on that. I’m proud to walk into any building as this person. Nothing about me makes me embarrassed about me.” May we all one day feel as rapturously self-assured.