New York Fashion Week is no stranger to the sheer frenzy caused by Rihanna. While this is normally due to her appearances on the front row and the scrum which surrounds her as increasingly desperate photographers do almost anything to take her picture, this season RiRi moved backstage as she debuted her first collection for Puma under the name of Fenty Puma x Rihanna.
Expectation surrounding this new offering from the singer has been high, mainly due to the phenomenal success her ranges for Puma have enjoyed. Her ‘Creeper’ shoe wasn’t just a sell-out; the spectacularly high sales figures even convinced the bigwigs at Puma to focus more on the company’s female customers. But back to the show, and that seriously A-list attendance.
Clearly, RiRi has friends in high places, and they all turned out to support her. Moschino’s Jeremy Scott was there, as was comedian Chris Rock and Naomi Campbell, who delayed the start of the show when she was 15 minutes late. Although the front row clearly had more star power than most, this was no extravagant celeb fest, as we all saw at Madison Square Garden the previous day when Kanye presented his latest Yeezy collection. This was a far smaller affair, and there was much more focus on the clothes because of it.
“If the Addams Family went to the gym, this is what they would wear,” declared Rihanna backstage. She wasn’t kidding. The no-nonsense streetwear that she’s famous for being papped wearing was in abundance, and the model line-up had a pretty no-nonsense attitude to match. Supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella walked, although we almost didn’t recognise them. Bella hit the runway in a statement-making, lace-up dress, with half of her hair scraped back and dyed an ice-white hue. Her black lipstick and prominent crucifix emphasied the gothic vibes, while her white kicks were in keeping with the sportswear theme.
As for Gigi, she closed the show in an oversized, furry jacket, shorts, a crystal garter and hi tops, with the same striking black lip and hair combo as her sister. As for the rest of the collection, there were sheer dresses and tops stamped with Puma’s logo, black lace, cropped tracksuit tops with matching trousers, wide leg trousers, corset-style tops and boxing boots, which Rihanna herself wore as she took her bow. She also wore a huge jacket as a dress; a look which she pretty much invented.
There’s almost no doubt that RiRi’s die-hard fans will love this collection. The supermodels alone are a testament to the singer’s pulling power: Imaan Hammam, Stella Maxwell, Taylor Hill, Ruth Bell, Fei Fei Sun and Maria Borges all joined the Hadid duo.
Of course, there was one person in the front row who wouldn’t have missed the show for anything: Monica Braithwaite, Rihanna’s mum. And what did she think of the show? Well, she told Vogue.com: “You never know what she would want. One time she would want to have pants, another time she’d want to have a lot of frills. She’s always changing, always switching it up. She’s always been like that.”