Rihanna: I will not back down from being a woman, from being black, from having an opinion.
While fans impatiently wait on new music by Rihanna, she’s out here making major moves! The singer’s mega-popular beauty line, Fenty, has partnered with Louis Vuitton to develop the first fashion house Louis Vuitton’s conglomerate group, LVMH, has built from scratch. Sales for the project, which is based in Paris, will take place at a pop-up in the city on May 24. Fans will also be able to purchase merchandise at Fenty’s website starting May 29.
This move makes Rihanna, who recently moved to London, the first ever Black woman to head a major luxury fashion house in Paris. In a new interview, the singer and fashion icon said,
“I’ve 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. I’m very hands-on, so I wanted to take it slowly and gain respect as a designer. I already had a relationship with them after the Versailles campaign and the makeup line, so they extended the offer to me and it was a no-brainer because LVMH is a machine. [LVMH Chief Officer] Bernard Arnault was so enthusiastic; he trusted me and my vision.”
While she’s making history, she said she didn’t even realize it was that major when she first signed on to the project.
“No, and I didn’t even know that until months into our relationship when [Fenty Style Director] Jahleel Weaver brought it to my attention. And I’m like, “Are you sure about that? Did you do your research? ’Cause I don’t wanna state a claim that’s [expletive].” Because I still couldn’t believe it. It made me feel proud.”
Still, she also got real about being a Black woman in fashion.
“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. 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 don’t know if it makes people uncomfortable or not, but that’s not even my business, you know? I do know that the reason I’m here is not because I’m black. 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.”
She revealed it certainly took time for her develop into the fashion powerhouse she is today.
“I didn’t have these dreams when I was little. I had a dream of making music; that’s it. I didn’t even think about the fame part, and then that happened, and it’s like, “Do I really like this? How much do I really love music that I’m dealing with this?” Then the one-hit-wonder comment16came straight out of the gate and that put a fire under my ass, and I just never stopped working. Every time it was about challenging myself: I have to do better, I have to do better. And what’s next, what’s next? I won a Grammy and that was seconds into my past as soon as it got into my hands. I have to think about the next thing, which is terrible because people should live in the moment. I just started branching out into different creative outlets. That’s what makes me happy.”
She also opened up about the lessons she’s learned while leading the highly-anticipated project.
“So many, because it’s the beginning of a new world. Everything was a collaboration, so I’ve plugged my DNA into theirs, but there was already a blueprint. I’m learning so much: about the tailoring, the fabric — I’m seeing fabrics that I’ve never seen in my life. One of them is called Weapon. That’s what we ended up making our suits in. Even making clothes in luxury is different. All the techniques are, like, ridiculous.”
She said her own style has served as an inspiration.
“I love a corset. We put a corset in a suit, a dress, a shirt, a denim jacket and a T-shirt dress. I use myself as the muse. 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,20 Childish Gambino.21 They dare you to tell them not to.”
For fans who are wondering, she did confirm she’s doing a reggae album, but said she’s not collaborating with Lady Gaga nor Drake in the near future.