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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