Three fast facts about Rihanna the fashion designer as her latest collection is shown in Paris
Singer’s third collection for Fenty x Puma dresses the teenage rebel, with urban looks in bright colours, oversized hooded jackets and letterman sweaters
1. Fenty is her (last) name – and her brand’s name too
In 2014, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was appointed creative director of German sportswear brand Puma and has been upping her fashion clout ever since. Fashions shown on her first outing in Paris, for the spring-summer 2017 season, will hit stores on March 9. Much was written about her debut collection presented in New York, not just because she is a pop star but because the clothes were so different. She designs for people of many different ethnicities and the influences of the R’n’B music scene and crossfit gym training were evident.
“It is as if Marie Antoinette went to the gym,” she said of that collection: a mash-up of 18th century French rococo, rap influences, Chinoiserie and contemporary athleisure wear. This translated into covetable pieces, such as pastel-hued track suits, boxing robes, tennis dresses, polos and remakes of Puma trainers. The collection shown in Paris smelled like teen spirit.
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Looks from the Fenty x Puma collection. Photo: Instagram
2. She’s back to school – and in detention
Rihanna isn’t nicknamed “Bad Gal Riri” for nothing. This season, she looks towards rebellious cheerleaders, R’n’B chicks, goths, skaters, jocks and punks – only school nerds weren’t part of the casting. The models stormed the catwalk (or rather the library tables) at her Fenty x Puma show at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.
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More looks from the Fenty x Puma collection. Photo: Instagram
Our favourite pieces? Eye-popping puffer jackets, letterman sweaters and cropped tops, as well as oversized faux-fur hooded jackets. Urban looks in bright hues were infused with styling from ’90s sportswear, hip hop and punk, romanticising the looks of high school gangs and subculture outsiders. The invitation to the show looked like a school detention card. Needless to say, this wasn’t a quiet night at the library.
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Rihanna in Paris. Photo: Instagram
3. She’s breaking records – and not only in music
Kanye West is not the only successful musician turned designer out there. Millennials are obsessed with Rihanna, and the fashion industry seems likely to be smitten with the Barbadian celebrity.
From gracing the covers of fashion glossies, and starring in advertising campaigns for luxury brands such as Dior and Balmain, to designing collections in collaboration with River Island or Stance, it seems there is nothing the pop star cannot do.
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An Instagram post of looks from Rihanna’s collection. Photo: Instagram
To prove she could achieve success beyond the music charts, Rihanna first designed shoe collections for Puma before ready-to-wear collaborations with the brand hit the catwalks in Paris and New York. Those early collaborations included “The Trainer by Fenty”, which was followed by “The Creepy by Fenty” that sold out online in just 35 minutes.