Rihanna: Bad Girl Gone Vogue

There are two things that we love about Rihanna: her chart topping hits and her impeccable fashion-forward style. Rihanna is an international music sensation that has taken over the world by selling an impressive fifty million albums since the inception of her career. Not only does she have a strong following on social media, she is a major contender and force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. Rihanna is one of the few celebrities that has managed to effortlessly make the transition from celebrity to fashion muse.

Rihanna’s first stride into her glamour puss persona was by shedding her good girl image. She then proceeded to make her high fashion debut by walking down the runway for DSquared2 at their Spring 2008 show. She is now spotted in the front row at a multitude of influential fashion week shows.

Her daring street style progressed by adding high fashion touches onto her outfits. Rihanna’s style is best described as youthful and modern with a spunky twist. This translates onto her extravagant red carpet looks, where she always carries off a different side of her personality.


Her first notable collaboration was with Italian fashion house Armani in 2011. She designed racy lingerie for Emporio Armani and tomboy inspired casualwear for Armani Jeans. The classic boxy jackets added a masculine touch to the collection, which complimented the skinny and boyfriend jeans. The most striking feature of the collection however were the t-shirts embellished with her custom slashed R logo, which enhanced the glam rocker feel to this fresh-faced collection.
The following year Rihanna shocked the masses when she debuted her first fashion reality show ‘Styled to Rock’—a heated competition show hosted by none other than Nicola Roberts. The ten part series took place in cosmopolitan London to begin a quest to search for the next ‘It’ designer that would create works of art for Rihanna and other A-List celebrities. Rihanna’s fashion abilities were put to the test with a successful outcome taking her show over to the USA.

Subsequently, Rihanna collaborated with British high street brand River Island, where she debuted the first collection at London Fashion Week in 2013. She proceeded to design four distinct collections that year. She contributed to the brand adding her own twist to the designs mixing up the masculine and feminine vibes—attracting all body types and personalities. These trendsetting collections clearly emulated Rihanna’s chic daily style.


Rihanna’s flourishing fashion collaborations and fashion-forward way of dressing got her noticed by respectable luxury fashion designers such as: Alexander Wang, Tom Ford, Oliver Rousteing and Peter Dundas (to name but a few). Her great influence on these designers translated onto their collections and campaigns.

Tom Ford’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection was one of the first that was influenced by Rihanna’s 1980s style. He incorporated bright colours, ethnic prints and a multitude of patchwork. His greatest influence was her confidence and radiance that Rihanna portrays whilst pulling off bold looks. She also influenced Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2014 campaign. Pucci’s campaign similarly featured laid-back looks demonstrating colourful patterned dresses, raunchy sheer tops and sporty shorts made from extravagant materials like silk.

Rihanna focused more on her fashion career last year, where she landed the Spring campaign for Balmain. Rihanna’s style icon status translated onto his designs smoothly. The entire collection was created based on a single studio visit. Her personality shone through the dazzling chains on the denim dress.


Her biggest achievement was winning the CFDA ‘fashion icon award’—the most influential award for someone crossing over to the fashion world. Her predecessors include the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Moss. This award proves that there is nothing stopping Rihanna and her influence on the fashion industry. She dazzled the crowd wearing an Adam Selman 1920’s influenced design. She accessorized the sheer dress with a headscarf, sheer gloves and fur stole. The dress was embellished with 216,000 mesmerizing Swarovski crystals. This is not the first instance where Rihanna has been a muse for Selman. His first collection was entirely inspired by her.
Making her mark into the sports side of fashion, this couture goddess is the creative director of the women’s line for German brand Puma. She customised their classic styles along with contributing to new additions for their empire. This ended her eventful year, but 2015 started off with a bang.


Kicking off the spring season this year i-D Magazine’s music issue’s cover star is Rihanna in honour of the release of her eighth studio album. The cover featured the Barbados beauty looking natural with 90’s style dreadlocks. Fashion director Alastair McKimm had the privilege of starring this retro inspired cover using denim pieces from Maison Margiela. Her most daring editorial this year is with Harper’s Bazaar USA, where she fearlessly poses inside the mouth of a shark in a stunning Chanel swimsuit.


There is no stopping this global superstar in the music or fashion world. She has courageously taken over both realms bridging the gap between celebrity and fashion icon—2015 is going to be a significant year for Rihanna. We hope to see her exclusive clothing line launched in the near future. She is truly one to watch.

Disha Daswaney

Images: Norman Jean Roy for Harpers Bazaar,,

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