The Making of the Rihanna Book

The Making of the Rihanna Book

The Rihanna Book is a massive photo autobiography that Rihanna released back in October 2019. It took over 5 years to get this piece together and make it look the way it does. Rihanna is taking you behind the scenes of the whole process. From one of the first meetings (August 2016 in Warsaw, Poland) […]

Rihanna's coffee table book available for pre-order

Rihanna’s coffee table book available for pre-order

Rihanna invites you into her world with this stunning visual autobiography. From her Barbados childhood to her worldwide tours, from iconic fashion moments to private time with friends and family, the book showcases intimate photographs of her life as an artist, performer, designer, and entrepreneur. Many of these images have never before been published. Rihanna […]

New photos from Rihanna book

I’ve added some new photos which are included in Rihanna book. The book will be premiered on October 26, 2010 and Rihanna will be signing copies of her book on October 27th in New York City.

Rated R and Beyond: Interview with Creative Director Simon Henwood


MuuMuse: From the jagged, metallic logo to the last seconds of the Last Girl on Earth Tour, Simon Henwood has been the crucial creative force behind one of the most dramatic artistic reinventions in recent pop history: Rihanna‘s Rated R campaign. Back in the fall of 2009, a gritty, static viral video for “Wait Your Turn” teased its way onto the singer’s official website. The clip showcased the formerly sunny Barbadian pop princess now looking murderously serious in all black; her long hair slicked back beneath a hood and over-sized sunglasses.
With the release of the devastating lead ballad “Russian Roulette” days later, it became clear: Gone was the sun soaked, island-infused energy of Music Of The Sun and A Girl Like Me. Instead, Rated R ushered in a chilly new era of sound, colored (or rather, darkened) by the ominous imagery of sharp metal, broken glass, dismembered mannequins and guns.
To execute this new image, Rihanna worked with Simon Henwood, the creative director responsible for such productions as Kanye West‘s Glow In The Dark Tour and the gorgeous video for the rapper’s “Love Lockdown,” Imogen Heap‘s video for “Headlock,” and the bulk of Róisín Murphy‘s visual output over the past decade. (Fitting, especially given that the two recently welcomed a child together.)
Henwood and Rihanna worked together closely throughout the entire Rated R era, evolving and finessing the entertainer’s dramatic change of style into a sophisticated neo-rock ‘n’ roll noir. Now, that transformation is about to be put on public display with the release of Rihanna, the long delayed photo-book that promises to guide fans through the entire Rated R creative journey from start to finish.
A few days ago, Henwood was kind enough to answer a few lingering questions that remained from Rihanna’s last campaign. The creative director provided a few small glimpses into the process throughout, as well as a better idea of his vision as an artist (plus a brilliantly subtle wipe at Madame Gaga).

Hi Simon–thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to answer these questions for me. I’ve been a massive supporter and fan of the Rated R campaign from the very beginning, and the fact that I’m finally speaking to the person largely in charge of the visual campaign is something that excites me to no end. Just to get a little background: When did you first speak to her?

I first met Rihanna when she was supporting Kanye West on his Glow In The Dark Tour, which I directed. I think about a year after I met up with her in London when she was recording the album we started talking and throwing ideas around.

Did you meet with her often to discuss visuals/creative?

We spent a lot of time developing ideas, yes. We went to Paris for Fashion Week, met with designers, sat and made drawings/designs together for the photo shoot/costume pieces, etc.

How much input did she have into the visual campaign for the album? She surely seemed to embrace the new image!

She is great to work with because she has a clear and instant instinct for things. I’d show her some options–say on the logo design–and she would know about what she wanted…she has a good eye.

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Preview Rihanna’s Photography Book

Rap-Up: While promoting her fifth album Loud, shooting her feature film debut Battleship, and becoming the spokeswoman for Kodak and Doritos, Rihanna shares chapters from her life in her self-titled photography book. The 144-page publication, available in paperback and hardcover editions on October 26 through Rizzoli Publications, is a visual chronicle of one of the […]