This week, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, first of her name, Queen of all the kingdoms, singer of soulful pop, baddie CEO, dropped her luxury clothing line to the delight of literally *almost* everyone.
Amidst the praise and excitement, one article coming out of popdust.com quickly went viral with an opposing view. Writer Meg Hanson took the Fenty Maison line to task, specifically centering her argument around the use of the phrase “modern woman” in the line’s inspiration notes. Hanson posits, “[T]he brand’s claim to appeal to the modern woman is out of touch with reality” and “the Fenty brand badly caters to modern wealthy women.”
— POPDUST (@Popdust) May 22, 2019
The story is getting a little bit of back up on social media (mostly in the comments sections of posts, like this Buzzfeed article), with some people comparing the line to Kanye West’s collections—and not in a flattering way.
But thankfully the Rihanna Navy is out in full force to jump to the defence of the ultimate multihyphenate’s latest endeavour—which, by the way, makes her the first Black woman ever to helm a luxury fashion brand under LVMH. Celeb fans like Roxane Gay and Jameela Jamil are clapping back at Popdust’s criticisms, pointing out that this is, indeed, a luxury line of clothing, not something from the High Street.
It’s a luxury clothing line not H & M.
— roxane gay (@rgay) May 23, 2019
It’s high fashion, it’s luxury, and still cheaper than most designer stuff. I also bet this means that the clothes are amazing, made in humane conditions and don’t disintegrate after one wash. All her shit is quality. (Even her actual shit I bet. I bet it’s the best quality.) 💁🏽♀️ https://t.co/wM2dctU2O0
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) May 23, 2019
Many others were also quick to point out that Rihanna has already provided more accessible fashion for her fans, partnering with brands like Puma and River Island for multiple collections of more affordable wares. Hell, Riri even launched a line of socks with Stance at one point—what is more accessible than socks??
Then there’s Fenty Beauty—which shook up the beauty space in 2017—and Savage x Fenty lingerie—which just celebrated one year in the market—accessible lines that also championed inclusivity in various and profound ways, speaking to women and men that traditionally felt excluded from beauty and fashion.
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As the first black woman to preside over an LVMH brand and the first time the luxury group has launched a fashion brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987, @badgalriri is making history two times over with the big reveal of her debut @fenty collection. Her track record as a natural born disruptor speaks for itself, and she is uniquely positioned to steer the fashion world in an exciting new direction. “It has to come from me; it has to look good on me—I have to love it with a passion. If that feeling isn’t there, it won’t work,” she says of her new lineup. Tap the link in our bio to read more about her Paris pop-up launch. Filmed by @lucasflorespiran
And there are more ways, beyond pricing, that the star, who recently moved to London, is making her foray into luxury fashion appealing to a wider audience, too. The Barbadian babe featured diverse models with *actual curves* in her campaign images, illustrating that her line, unlike many other luxury fashion houses, isn’t just for one body type. She also plays with gender fluidity in her designs, twisting masculine silhouettes with the addition of shape-shifting boning and corsetry, and offering suiting in muted, feminine tones, all snatched at the waist with the help of a monochrome belt bag.
The “Bitch Better Have My Money” singer recently told Bloomberg: “I hope I can reach a broad audience. I can’t wait to walk outside and just run past someone who’s wearing it. I think that’ll be a huge moment for me.”
What remains to be seen is how the new high-fashion line will sell—the first drop launches online at the end of May, with another coming in June. Prices range from $460 USD for sunglasses to $1,100 USD for a cotton-canvas dress. But, tbh, if the garments are anything like the aforementioned beauty and lingerie lines, they will sell out fast, and waitlists will ensue. Because, lest we forget, WOC have major purchasing power and they want luxury fashion labels in their closet—particularly from the first luxury label to be fronted by a WOC.
At the launch in Paris earlier this week, fashion designers like Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri were in attendance, solidifying Riri’s place among the fashion cognoscenti. So don’t be surprised if Ms. Fenty transcends what we think of the modern day celebrity designer—it’s clearly in her blood. And for all the haters: Let her have her money. She deserves it.
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