“Rihanna is die-hard,” said her tattoo artist, Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy. “She takes pain like it’s nothing. She’s like a super hero.”
But Rihanna is also a fashion icon—the CFDA says so—and as of tonight, an official NYFW designer. Her debut collection, Fenty x Puma, just hit the catwalk, with audience members like Naomi Campbell, Jeremy Scott, and Anna Wintour sitting front row. (Gigi Hadid closed the show, wearing our dream outfit: black lipstick and a hoodie.) We spoke with Rihanna backstage about her latest project… and the Workvideo’s ETA!
You’ve always been a fashion maven. But after working with couture labels like Dior, why pair with Puma?
Because I grew up wearing them! Their sneakers were everything to us as kids in Barbados. And their team now is a dream—really collaborative, really open to new ideas, really easy to talk to… And I love the idea that the collection will be available for so many people to buy and wear. For people to be using something we made to express themselves, that’s exciting.
The term “celebrity designer” can go either way…
Right? It has some disadvantages, doesn’t it?
What do you think those are, for you?
With the disadvantages, a lot of times celebrities don’t get looked at as credible when it comes to designing, or when it comes to the fashion world. So I’m coming into this project in a very humble manner.
And the advantages?
In terms of advantages, I mean, I love fashion. It comes easily to me. It’s hard work, I don’t mean to say that it’s easy to do—but it’s a pleasure to do it. And I have a broad fan base, and an amazing fan base, that I can expose to the work I create. But I can’t make them want it, you know? It’s up to them to love it! So the advantages are getting so many eyes on what I want to do. The challenge is keeping it credible.
You’ve worked with Anna Wintour and Raf Simons, among other fashion legends. Do you have a mentor in the fashion world?
I have no mentors, actually! But I have a really small team that I work with—people I’ve been working with for a few years, so they know what I like. And we all worked together, and with Puma, on this collection. We got together and made it together, and for me, it was an opportunity to showcase all the ideas that come into my head when I’m traveling, or when I’m looking for clothes that I can’t quite find.
Like your killer wedge boots?
Thank you so much! You really like them?
They don’t look like Puma. They look like a biker heiress in Paris got them.
Yeah, we wanted to push it a little bit. So they have some gothic inspiration, some Japanese streetwear, some punk… and I pushed Puma to do the wedge, because I love a heel, but I know girls want to be comfortable if they’re running around or going out all night and dancing. Like you—I know you’re going out all night!
Well, speaking of dancing… when is the Work video coming out? All our Twitter followers are asking about it.
Oh, well I’d tell them, you’ve done a good job being patient, and it will be out soon. And that’s the hint—soon.