Big news for Bad Gal Riri fans this week. Fenty has popped up in Paris, in the first of many direct to consumer shops. The collection has been long awaited, as it has been pulling the multi-talented Rihanna away from dropping hits. So, now that Maison Fenty has been revealed, what do we think?
If you’ve been following Rihanna’s style evolution over the years, you’ll notice her gradual predilection toward oversized pieces and leg baring outfits. Most of her sartorial choices emphasize volume and exaggerated proportions, traits expertly executed via her Maison Margiela pope inspired ensemble for the 2018 Met gala. It makes sense that her own line would be a continuation of the same oversized suits with snatched waists we’ve been seeing on her as of late. Is it for everyone? Based on price point alone, certainly not. But beyond dollars, I don’t think it makes sense for everyone either.
As with many fashion houses, particular designers seem to speak to certain people more loudly than others. Not everyone is attracted to every aesthetic. However, the lure of a celebrity-based brand is that you are not just buying a lifestyle, but a piece of the celebrity as well. You are buying their ideas, or at least, the ideas they signed off on. In an age where millenials are a financial driving force, thanks to Instagram influencers creating a monkey-see-monkey-do type mentality with beauty products and trendy fashion, it’s the fans who will really dictate whether or not Fenty will have a future in fashion. The fans who line up for blocks around a pop up shop will not want to leave empty handed, thus creating a frenzy and hype that will fuel the brand. But what does the internet have to say?
It would seem that Internet is most excited at the fact that Rihanna is doing a thing. No matter what she is doing, it will be celebrated. It helps that Riri is all about inclusivity and growth, as she’s shown in her Savage x Fenty runway and also her beauty line (where she will soon be adding more shades of foundation, possibly due to criticism over lack of darker shades). I have noticed that people are favoring a particular pair of eyewear that has been used in promotional shots. The statement shades have oversized metal frames, with multiple panels of glass, decorative screws and slight tint. They bear an uncanny resemblance to a pair of Cazal frames from the nineties.
Perhaps the Fenty version is meant to be an homage, as Cazal was famously worn by hip hop artists in the 80s and 90s—a time where oversized suits and baggy pant legs were also prevalent. Perhaps the design aesthetic of the collection is a brilliant attempt to tap into our increasing nostalgia for 90s culture? Maybe it’s just a coincidence...
It will be interesting to see how Fenty will affect/disrupt the high fashion current. Will it be able to stay the course of pop up shops and frequent drops? Or will it sink beneath the pressure and high demand for Fenty music? Only time and sales will tell.