From the very beginning of her career in entertainment, Rihanna has been making striking, fashion statements. The entertainment field is not the sole industry, however, that rules the fashion world or has inspired the songstress. Sports has also had its own examples that are making a significant impact on Rihanna and many others. For example, basketball has turned selling gear into a lucrative industry, card-game players have had their own evolution of style throughout history and the national football league has established a connection with the fashion industry.
Rihanna started out in sweatpants and other outfits appropriate to her nascent career at the time. Somewhat of a chameleon, her musical genres and her dynamic look have been fascinating. Rihanna can don a fashion faux pas and still make it look amazing. Her yellow Guo Pei dress for the Met Gala was the subject of some merciless memes, but the night was still Rihanna’s for all the attention it received — even if her outfit was being compared to an omelet or some other food.
She has boldly disrupted fashion; who doesn’t remember Rihanna in 2013, showing up to the American Music Awards to receive the Icon Award with bobby pins holding her “doobie wrap” hair-prep style in place. In some cultures that is tantamount to going to the office in curlers. Such acts have emboldened and liberated women to be whatever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. Being herself, whoever that may be at any given time, and being carefree in dress and attitude has been key to what makes her so popular. Her loyalists rave about whatever outfit that she is seen wearing at the club, the restaurant, the airport lobby, on stage or on the catwalk. From sports jerseys to T-shirts to scarves, this Bajan beauty can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Daring, sexy, risky, designer label, high-street and edgy are all terms that have been used to describe her throughout her fashion evolution.
Post the 2007 Umbrella success, her style metamorphosed to bondage and boots, a look that caught the attention of the fashion industry and soon after she was gracing the covers of Vogue. Four years later at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards Red Carpet in 2011, Rihanna was turned out in the semi-transparent Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture and again turned heads.
One of the highlights of her fashion evolution, by any yardstick, was in 2014 when she wore a Josephine Baker-esque Swarovski-crystal, fishnet bodysuit and glittering turban to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Her supreme confidence in that nude thong will always be remembered.
QUEEN OF FASHION AND BEAUTY
More recently, Rihanna launched the Fenty Beauty range in New York in an Oscar de la Renta creation showcasing a knotted crew-neck crop top and full skirt with an extravagant bustle, cheekily displaying a leg from a side slit and midriff. This event plus her PUMA influence will forever mark her evolution from style icon to business mogul and has planted her as an ambassador of those that embrace diversity in beauty. Her apparent love for yellow fashion pieces is evident — perhaps paying tribute to the beautiful sands of her homeland of Barbados where the fashion icon/mogul is set to have a street named after her. The color yellow loves her in return.
We have watched Rihanna evolve in spectacular fashion before our very eyes. “…Daring, fearless, and constantly evolving” is how Tom Ford has described Rihanna. With each new, Rihanna makes a bold statement on how to live on your own terms. It is no surprise that the business world would have been the next mountain for her to conquer.