Last week, Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage x Fenty collaborated with Amazon Prime to create its first fashion event. While this was not Savage X’s first runway show, it was the first event of its kind. Choosing to partner with a streaming platform was a great idea because it brought the exclusivity of New York Fashion Week to the brand’s target market. The show mixed music, entertainment, art, and fashion in a fresh, exciting way. With an artist as innovative and distinct as Rihanna, there is no way anyone should have expected less than the best.
The Savage x Fenty event starts with a documentary portion. Showcasing a behind the scenes look at the stage setup, model selections, fittings, and design process. Rihanna made the decision to actually star in the show after seeing the choreography for the opening sequence. Even in that moment, you can tell that she had not even considered being in the show beforehand. That particular scene says a lot about who she is as a designer and a business owner. To be quite honest, I have always had a bit of an annoyed mentality when I hear about celebrity clothing lines.
The main reason being that most of the clothing looks like garbage. Also, you can tell that the celebrity had no say in the design process other than selecting their favorite styles and colorways. Leaving the design team to do all the actual work with almost zero credit. Admittedly, I was not a fan of the initial Savage x Fenty launch. However, as the brand grew and gained momentum, Rihanna began to come into her own as a designer. The lingerie became more and more, well, savage. The daring persona she brings to her music was now showing in the product. She single-handedly transformed me from skeptic to stan. Watching the documentary piece solidified the notion I already started to form about Rihanna. She isn’t just putting her name on the work other people have sacrificed to create. She is an actual, respectable, designer!
The show was colorful in every sense of the word. There was no racial ambiguity to be found. Every model was unapologetically Black, Asian, Trans, skinny, fat, curvy, you name it. There was no cookie-cutter look. Individuality was embraced whole-heartedly. I even noticed two models with a prosthesis. There were also different colors, styles, and textures of hair. Not in the kitchy, borderline offensive way we have seen in past runway disasters *coughs* Marc Jacobs *coughs*. Every person on the stage was unique. Beautiful to look at separately but cohesive and breathtaking to view as a collective. The lingerie was perfectly styled. With fashion, my aesthetic is classic looks held together by a little bit of “tack”. By that, I mean I look for pieces that are a step away from being considered tacky by other’s standards.
The Savage x Fenty event did not disappoint. Sexy, classic lingerie pieces mixed with ghetto fabulosity for hair, makeup, and accessories. Migos were clad in iridescent outfits that matched the neon vibe of the event perfectly. Having 21 Savage and King Combs in the pajama pieces was pretty dope as well. I would like to see the men in more daring pieces next time but that’s neither here nor there. Normani’s dance break absolutely stole the show! Also, can we just acknowledge that all of the models weren’t forced to walk and dance in heels!?
A lot of people will attempt to compare the Savage x Fenty event to the now-defunct Victoria’s Secret runway show. These two entities are completely uncomparable. Rihanna is not following in the footsteps of anyone else. Instead, she has used her platform to promote true body positivity. Victoria’s Secret show would often highlight the celebrity men that were in the front row. The Savage x Fenty show strategically put women front and center in the audience. The only men I can recall seeing were the rappers that were performing.
There is something so spectacular about a show and a product that is created for women, by a woman. Rihanna has set the tone for what diversity and inclusion should look like. Not only during New York Fashion Week, but in all facets of life. I hope for a day where more brands are as bold and fearless as the self-proclaimed Bad Gal. At the end of the show, director Alex Rudzinski hugs Rihanna and exclaims “What an epic, epic evening.” Even that seems like an understatement after watching it for myself. The Savage X Fenty event is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime. Finally, the items from the show are available for purchase at savagex.com.