16.08.2015 - Filippa von Stackelberg

Fashion People



Her Instagram account is one of the hottest on the Richter scale and numerous editorials with the world’s top photographers complement her already impressive portfolio. She sits in the front rows of the most exclusive Paris shows and is featured in some of the best fashion campaigns. Ms Fenty has without a doubt secured her spot amongst fashions top trendsetters of today.

The Black Madonna

27-year-old performing artist Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty) has had a remarkable career. She is one of the youngest solo artists to have ever had 13 number one hits on the US Billboard charts, she has won eight Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 23 Billboard Music Awards, and two BRIT Awards.

But beyond her eminent success in music, Rihanna has become a household name in the world of fashion. She is notorious for constantly reinventing her look and style, and has been referred to by many as a young Madonna. In fact, Rihanna names Madonna as one of her greatest idols and biggest influences, stating that her aim was always to become the black Madonna.  

The footprint Rihanna has left on the world of fashion has been so great, that on June 2, 2014, she was handed the Fashion Icon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), by the one and only Mrs Anna Wintour.

“She can beat me, but she can not beat my outfit”

“She can beat me, but she can not beat my outfit”, Rihanna said during her speech at the CFDA. Fashion has always played an important role in her life. Even as a young girl in Barbados, fashion helped her overcome insecurities. “I can compensate for all my weaknesses with my fashion. You can tell so much about who someone is by their style and the way they put fashion together. Fashion has been an outlet to express myself, to speak up, say who I am and be very loud about it”.

In the early days of her career, Rihanna was known as the cute and almost innocent Barbadian singer with long wavy hair and inconspicuous style. New York magazine described Rihanna's early look as that of a cookie-cutter teen queen. Back then her style was much like that of any urban teen girl, with hoop earrings, crop tops and low cut jeans. With her extremely successful third album Good Girl Gone Bad featuring the hit single Umbrella, everything changed. She got rid of her long, feminine locks and opted for a Charlize Theron look alike chopped, asymmetric bob that was dyed black. Her style was more vamp like including more leather and corsets.

Today, she is a style icon. She is continuously setting trends and inspiring fashion lovers all over the globe. Be it baggy jeans or a seductive evening gown, her style has ranged from plain, to wild, to chic, street and even girly. Rihanna shifts her looks dramatically and with great ease. When choosing what to wear, she stated, "It's become more about taking a risk [...] when I am putting looks together, I dare myself to make something work."

The musician continued: "I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that's a little off, but I have to figure it out. I have to make it me. I think that's the thrill in fashion."

Jess Cartner-Morley of The Guardian wrote that Rihanna's wardrobe is the most talked-about, influential and dissected in pop right now [...] what Rihanna wears – whether it is red hair, studded cut-off denims, electric blue sunglasses or a new look in nail art – is immediately reproduced on the high street, because it sells“.

Everything Rihanna puts on, she makes her own, while constantly challenging norms and pushing the boundaries of fashion.

Short Facts


Rihanna’s well-observed persona has time and again drawn much attention for her impressive tattoos. Most notable of which is her winged Egyptian goddess tattoo right under her chest in memory of her grandmother.


Unlike most celebrities, Rihanna is very open with her family life. Her instagram account is flooded with pictures of her spending time with her family in Barbados. For instance, anyone who follows @badgalriri knows baby Majesty of the Fenty clan just about as well as Rihanna herself.

Awards & Recognition

Rihanna has earned 130 awards from 200 nominations. Aside from her already mentioned fashion awards and her countless music awards, she holds an astounding five Guinness World Records: Female artist with the most U.S. number-one singles in a year, Most digital number-one singles in the US, Most consecutive years of UK No.1 singles, The Best Selling Digital Artist (U.S.), Most consecutive weeks on UK singles chart (multiple singles).


1988 - RiRi is born

Robyn Rihanna Fenty, born February 20, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados to Monica Braithwaite and Ronald Fenty. Her mother was an accountant and her father is a warehouse supervisor. The relationship was abusive and the couple divorced when Rihanna was 14. Rihanna has two brothers, two half-sisters and one half-brother.

2003 - NY on my mind

Rihanna is discovered in Barbados by music producer Evan Rogers. He is immediately convinced of her talent and asks Rihanna to move to NY to record a demo tape.

2008 – Grammy #1 (of 8)

Rihanna receives her first Grammy in the category Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the single „Umbrella“.

2014 – La Muse de Balmain

Rihanna has been the long-term friend of designer Olivier Rousteing. In 2014 she became the face of the Balmain SS14 campaign. Rousteing says Rihanna is not only his close friend but also his muse, describing her the ultimate 21st century supermodel.

2015 - Puma’s got a new Creative Director

Rihanna becomes Puma’s new Creative Director and brand ambassador. In the beginning of 2015 the artist flew in to Puma headquarters in the small town of Herzogenaurach, Germany to meet her new colleagues.

2015 – Dior’s first black representative

Hard to believe, but Rihanna becomes Dior’s first black representative. The film and print campaign for their Secret Garden series was shot by Steven Klein at the Palace of Versailles.  This appointment makes Rihanna the first black spokesperson of the fashion house in its almost 70 year history - incredible, but true.


© GettyImages, Dior


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