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More than a savage: How Rihanna is redefining inclusivity in fashion

We all love savage Rihanna. She’s the only person who can outdo herself. After all she did tell us that she was a SAVAGE!

In the 19 years since Rihanna signed her first recording agreement with Def Jam Records, she has crushed the music industry. Her songs have hit number one on Billboard charts 14 times, she’s won 8 Grammys and 8 American Music Awards.

RiRi is certainly unmatched. 

But it does not end there. The Caribbean Queen’s legacy goes far beyond the realm of music and that is, perhaps, her biggest gift for culture. Earlier this month Rihanna launched her new Savage X Fenty line and redefined the rules for the fashion and beauty industries.

What it means to be a savage.

Redefine? More like repaired, I would say. 

“Perfection is always changing and transforming,” they said. At least that is what the fashion and beauty industries have made us believe.

Back in the day, a good body was considered to have large hips, large boobs, and a healthy stomach — one that could bear many children. Then, all of the sudden, we were thought that the equivalent of walking stick figures was beautiful. 

And, curvy or not, history has taught women to compare themselves — their bodies and looks — to other women.

Thank god that is history!

On October 2, 2020, Rihanna, took matters into her hands (again). She launched Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 (streamed on Amazon prime). Her new collection now not only includes menswear but it showcases all different body types, shapes, sizes, races, or religions.

But, perhaps most impressive is that the fashion show included one of the most diverse and iconic cast members of the decade. From Cara Delevingne, Demi Moore, and Lizzo, to Bad Bunny, Rosalia, and Jaida Essence Hall. All reminding us that all bodies are perfect, no matter the time.

SAVAGE, Rihanna!

No women would be comparing themselves to other women. NOT UNDER RiRi’s watch.

Redefine, repair, and restore

Savage Fenty is a size-and gender-inclusive lingerie line, an unconventional celebration of diversity and beauty. This year, the Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 was Rihanna’s presentation of her second collection of lingerie. And, like everything Rihanna does, it was BIG.

“Storytelling is the last part of any journey,” said Rihanna right before the show started. She is seen walking with her new line, reminding us that confidence is not only beautiful but sexy. Parris Goebel, New Zeland choreographer, then opened the show with her extravaganza.

Kendrick Lamar’s song Poetic Justice plays in the background and the fashion show becomes an artistic performance. Cara Delevingne, Dexter Mayfield, Gabriette Bechtel, Raisa Flowers, Soo Joo Park rock the line in their own unique way.

And just when things could not get better, Rosalia’s performance turns an iconic fashion show into a cultural spectacular.

SAVAGE X FENTY fashion show

“They’re sexy, and they need to know that, and they need to be validated about that no matter what size they are. I’m so focused on that and making women and men feel invited, welcomed. Savage is a home, it’s a hub and it’s a safe space for everyone.”

Rihanna told E! News.

The show is compromised of the four different aspects of the collection; secrets, mood, sexuality, and community. All of which were presented in detail and serve to explain the nature of the brand. From the meaning and train of thought behind them to the processes and materials. Allowing the audience to connect on a more personal and intimate level with the brand.

Inclusion is key

All four different SAVAGE FENTY collections shared something in common: humanity’s sense of belonging. They all revealed vulnerable aspects of the human experience while empowering us to connect with each other, and ourselves, on a personal level.

Rihanna reveals her personal view of the creation of the collection. Where it came from, and the thought behind every single detail. “Everything I do, I want to make it personal, and that is something that is at the core of the brand,” revealed Rihanna.

Mood, on the other hand, is the attitude of “wearing whatever the hell you want.” There is, in fact, an emotional connection and attachment to that, and is perhaps best portrayed by Gigi Goode and Shea Couleé — the Drag Queens Queens.

Thus, “sexuality” is perhaps the most empowering element of both the show and the collection. From Miguel singing SONG to his wife, Nazanin Mandis, who battled with her weight and addiction to diet pills. A hot, sexy moment for both stars, who danced to the lyrics of the song while being 100% confident with their bodies.

“Sexuality is personal, is something you have to own or earn. Thus it’s inherently powerful.”

Rihanna, 2020

And so, there was no better performer to illustrate the personal power of sexuality than Bad Bunny himself, singing “Yo Perreo Sola.” In the original video of the song, Bad Bunny himself is dressed as a woman and it is alluring for both the sexual and individual power of the feminine side.

“I want to make stuff I can see on people that I know; they come in different shapes, sizes, races, and religions”

Rihanna, Savage X Fenty

Being a global artist, Rihanna has grown a community, a brand that includes everyone. She has opened the door of possibilities, the biggest being a show that speaks a relevant message at the perfect time. Inclusion is the core of a community and the nature of the brand.

“Inclusivity for me has always been something of first nature. It’s not something I really think about directly. All I think about is how much I want to include everyone”

Rihanna, Savage X Fenty


We love savage Rihanna but please don’t stop the music

Through her fashion and cosmetic lines, she is able to make people feel just as empowered as she did with her music.

As the beauty mogul takes over the fashion industry, she also shed a light on her continuing relationship with music. For a while, it seemed as if Rihanna had completely moved away from the music industry, With Fenty Beauty and SavageX the singer seemed to have made a career 180. 

But that isn’t the case, Rihanna and her music are still very well connected. She’s just taking her time. In an interview with People magazine she explained that with all of the traumatic events going on in the world right now, she still uses music as a comfort.

“I am always working on music,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I am always working on music and when I am ready to put it out in the way that I feel fit, it’s gonna come out.”

Throughout the ups and downs we are facing as a collective and as individuals through the global pandemic, Rihanna has been channeling her feelings into her music as a way to stay connected and express herself. 

“I just want to have fun with music,” she continued. “Everything is so heavy. The world that we live in is a lot. It’s overwhelming every single day. And with the music, I’m using that as my outlet.”

Now known for her other lines, the future of the music industry may be in for a pleasant surprise as well. Rihana is practically the face of diverse and inclusive fashion and beauty, only time will tell if her new album will be as star-studded as her current runways.

Additional reporting by Bernarda Chiriboga

Why Tory Lanez’s album illustrates a failure to protect Black women

Tory Lanez and his inappropriate and corny behavior illustrates a fatal failure to protect and care for Black women.

It’s been two months since word first came out about the shooting that left Megan the Stallion hospitalized. Yesterday, in an attempt to break his silence, Tory Lanez released a new album titled DAYSTAR. The 17-track album serves as Lanez’s public response towards Megan’s allegations and his attempt to “clear his name.”

Could this be the end of Lanez career?

Historically, men in hip hop don’t suffer major career blows when they are found out to be abusers. They get the benefit of the doubt, and the airwaves hear “let’s hear his side of the story too.”

But with such an untimely and inappropriate way to release “his side of the story,” that benefit of the doubt might not be the case for Lanez.

Even with his album reaching #1 in the US on Apple Music, many entertainment blogs have announced that they will not cover Lanez or his music again. Among those are Highsnobiety and RNB_RADAR.

Lanez claims that he still loves Megan, but then why come out with the album, when he could have gone directly to Megan to talk about what happened?

From the first track, “Money over Fallouts,” Lanez alleges Megan is lying about being shot, and the details of her injuries when he says, “gotta see a couple questions: how the fuck you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?” 

In a later song titled “Care for You,” Lanez raps about loving black women and securing good role models for black youth, but his actions don’t match up. His stance and response to the situation with Meg is nothing short of performative as more information comes out.

The night in question, Megan had been ready to walk home when Lanez called out to her to dance, before shooting in her direction. He then offered hush money to her and Kelsey Nicole afterwards.

The timing is also very convenient for Lanez. After waiting months to say his piece, he waits until after Times Magazine recognizes Meg as one of the most influential women

What Does It Mean To Protect Black Women

If your love for Black women comes with conditions, you may as well leave them alone now. With everything going on in the world it is extremely important that we all surround ourselves with those that truly care about us. 

The voice messages mentioned are likely a text exchange Megan mentioned during a previous live stream

How can calls of “respect Black women” exist concurrently with “we need to hear his side?” How can one simultaneously support Tory Lanez while also failing to believe, and thus protect a Black woman?

If you truly want to protect Black women, you would support efforts to deplatform Tory. Stop streaming his music, stop watching his livestreams, stop showing up for him.

If Black women are the most underprotected people in America, you cannot support Black women while simultaneously supporting their abusers. When news first came out, Megan didn’t mention the gun in the car in order to protect Tory Lanez from police violence, but as we watch things unfold, he turns to gaslighting and exploiting trauma for personal gain.

The protection and care Meg showed for you wasn’t enough for you to reciprocate Tory? You had to not apologize, question her story, AND put her in danger?

Why we need more melanin in today’s Black sitcoms

At the end of July, Netflix announced that it was bringing on seven classic Black sitcoms to its US platform in the fall. 

This addition came right on time because with stay-at-home orders, more people turned to streaming services, and committed to continuing them.

Beneficial for everyone

Finally getting these heavily-sought-after sitcoms was a win for the streaming platform. Shows like Sister, Sister and Moesha are extremely lucrative and couldn’t be found anywhere else before Netflix was able to bring them on. 

The shows joining the platform are: Moesha, The Game, Sister Sister, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Half & Half, and One on One

Bringing old shows back may not do much in terms of creating accessible work for up-and-coming Black actors. However, it was a step in the right direction.

The lack of nuance in the representation of Blackness has caused some popular shows like BlackAF, Dear White People, and Grownish to seem as if they cater more towards non-Black audiences.

Lack of diversity in skin tones

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a lot of conversation around diversity on screen. Many recent Black-led sitcoms have at times been deemed performative, so Netflix obtaining these sitcoms was a win for the platform.

Even with Netflix’s push towards elevating Black voices, the platform has also gone under fire recently for its lack of diverse skin tones.

When comparing Black sitcoms now with those of the 90s and early 2000s, many have argued the creators have taken steps back. Even when leads we loved got swapped out for lighter-skinned actors for various reasons, older Black sitcoms had deeper skin tones represented in them.

Seeing a diverse range of skin tones, races, and ethnicities on screen is important to younger viewers. Having characters that look like you going through similar experiences allows them to feel seen and represented.

A 2012 study found that Black and white girls and Black boys felt lower self esteem after watching TV shows. White boys, on the other hand, felt little to no change. 

Bridging a cultural gap

Shows like Girlfriends and Moesha shaped a generation growing up alongside them. From the clothing to the storylines to the familiar faces, young Black audiences that missed out on the shows before, now get to step into the world of 90’s Black nostalgia.

Though while not without their faults, the shows bridge a sort of cultural gap between Gen Z and Millennials.

RIP JK Rowling: Trans and nonbinary authors to add to your reading list

RIP JK Rowling.

The hashtag #RIPJKROWLING was trending on Twitter earlier this week. There has been a wave of pushback on the Harry Potter creator’s account and a rejection of the continued support of her books after her repeated dangerous anti-trans rhetoric.

Bookstores across the globe are pulling JK Rowling’s series from their shelves. Teens on TikTok have even made a trend of burning her books, saying that you cannot fully separate the author from their work.

While Rowling’s earlier work may have inspired generations, her current actions cannot be ignored. Instead of reaching for another JKR novel (or one under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, a name she “unknowingly” shares with an anti-LGBTQ+ gay conversion therapist) here is a list of trans and nonbinary authors that we can add to our bookshelves instead:

The Merry Spinster by Daniel M. Lavery

Fairytales just became more intense with Daniel M. Lavery’s The Merry Spinster.

This collection of stories is adapted from the “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series. Each turn of the page embarks the reader on a complex, alarming, and emotional rollercoaster. Much like how it is for trans and non binary youth to grow up amidst exclusive and dangerous rhetoric like that of (RIP) JK Rowling’s.

Read The Merry Spinster in the dark or in broad daylight, these fairytales are imbued with psychological horror and mischief.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar

A tale that transcends time, Zeyn Joukhadar’s The Map of Salt and Stars brings readers two main protagonists navigating life 800 years apart.

In 2011, we meet Nour, the daughter of a cartographer, who moves back to Syria from NYC after her father passes away. When Nour and her family get there, they find that the Syria her mother once knew has drastically changed. Together they embark in a challenging journey to reach safety in North Africa.

In another timeline, 800 before Nour, was Rawiya or Rami. Sixteen year old Rawiya adopts a male alter ego to become the apprentice to al-Idrisi to help her impoverished mother. Under al-Idrisi’s guidance she travels across the Middle East to North Africa creating a map of the world and encountering all kids of fantasy creatures and historical figures.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Freshwater is the Igbo and Tamil writer, Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel. The story centers around Ada, a young Nigerian woman and her coming of age.

After coming to the United States for college, she is the victim of a traumatic assault that leads to her developing alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. The novel explores the self and how we shape our identities.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon’s debut novel showcases their unique world building skills. Aster lives on the SS Matilda, a 300 year old spaceship on a journey to “the promised land.”

Aster is a dark skinned intersex girl that loves botany and learning basic medical practices to care for other “Tarlanders” taking this journey with her. During the long voyage to save humanity, society on the ship fell to white supremacy and segregation. The story centers on critiques of power and the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed.

These themes of exclusion and dangerous societal segregation stand in stark similarity to recent statements made by the famed Harry Potter author. RIP JK Rowling.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

A shift from the rest, this novel and soon to be Amazon series, tells the coming of age story of a young transgender teen from first loves to self discovery.

Felix Love has never been in love, and while proud of being black, queer, and transgender, there is still a voice in the back of his head telling him that he is “too much.” This is until a catfishing scenario ends him in a love triangle that is indeed too much.

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all, right?

Corinne Parker may have something to say about that. If there were two things she knew it was that she is in love with her girlfriend, the captain of the rival schools cross country team, and that she isn’t ready for the world to know she is bisexual.

When Corinne’s girlfriend Maggie dies, she is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and grief. Who I Was With Her is a story about young love, loss, and a radical notion of being true to yourself.

RIP JK Rowling

Check out these books from talented trans and non-binary authors. There is no place for exclusive and divisive rhetoric like that from JK Rowling in the book world. RIP JK Rowling. Start to listen to authors who know the struggle, and accept everyone for who they truly are.

Why brands like YSL and LV are taking to TikTok for NYFW

Congratulations, you are invited to TikTok New York Fashion Week!

Pull up in your best fashion week fit or your most comfortable PJs, because this year, fashion week is going digital. Once again, proving to be the platform of innovation, TikTok announced the advent of #TikTokFashionMonth.

While we will miss seeing Anna Wintour and our other favorite celebs’ first reactions, we’ve just been given the coziest seat by runway this year.

Tik Tok New York Fashion Week

#TikTokFashionMonth is a month-long fashion event partnering with top fashion brands and Tik Tok creators. Tune in to your favorite fashion brands debuting exclusive capsule collections only on TikTok. 



♬ son original – SAINT LAURENT

TikTok hit the nail on the head with this event and it’s a shame that more brands aren’t taking part. Tap in to TikTok New York Fashion Week.

The fact is, large fashion brands are the last to adopt new trends. But that puts them at odds with the younger generation that is leading a lot of the media innovation. Gen-Z is also going to account for over 50% of shoppers globally.

The new digital trends are leaving them behind and if they aren’t careful, they risk being forgotten. Consumers want to feel like the brands they are supporting are on the same wavelength.

More than ever, it is important for brands to use social platforms to reach audiences. The TikTok community is incredibly engaged. By being an active member on the site, brands are able to position themselves closer to Gen-Z.
LV kicked off TikTok Fashion Month

Designer fashion brands

Louis Vuitton knows this and created a series of posts that have surmounted millions of views. One luxury fashion brand that should take note is Prada who has collaborated with TikTok influencers before but has yet to post a video of their own.

During this TikTok exclusive, PUMA is partnering with Black TikTok creators and designers like Jufu, Ajani, Dominic Toliver, Taylor Cassidy, and Makayla. It’s not just about the clothes, $10K in proceeds from the sales will be going directly to the Equal Justice Initiative. 

Additionally, Alice + Olivia will be donating the proceeds of their exclusive capsule to CFDA that day as well. TikTok creators, Melaine and Miranda Wilking, Janette Ok, and Bria Jones will be models of the line.

We are currently in the middle of everything but here are the past and upcoming events: