Multibillion-Dollar Businesswoman: Rihanna Covers The May 2020 Issue Of British Vogue
UNITED KINGDOM — International R&B singer, pop star, beauty mogul, fashion designer, style icon, multibillion-dollar businesswoman and philanthropist Rihanna covers the May 2020 issue of Edward Enninful‘s British Vogue.
The shoot was lensed by photographer Steven Klein. The Bajan beauty styles in Burberry, Maison Margiela, Savage x Fenty, Stephen Jones Millinery, Raf Simons and more. Styling was courtesy of the publication’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful.
Inside, the Roc Nation BET and Grammy Award winning artist talks new music, Fenty Skincare & her plans to have “3 Or 4 kids”.
On her ninth studio album, R9:
“I can’t say when I’m going to drop,” she says (it could even be out by the time you read this). “But I am very aggressively working on music,” she adds, coyly.
What can we expect? “I don’t want my albums to feel like themes,” she says, taking a sip of wine. “There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out.” Does that mean that, contrary to reports, it’s not going to be a reggae album, I ask, trying to hide my disappointment. Rihanna chuckles. “Oh no, that is happening,” she reassures me. But on this, as in life, she won’t be pinned down. “I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything – I’ve done all the hits, I’ve tried every genre – now I’m just, I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want.”
On her Fenty Maison, under LVMH:
One of her missions for her Fenty Maison has been to subvert the usual luxury fashion model, and to “drop” new pieces directly to consumers on the Fenty website, rather than waiting six months from catwalk to sale. It seemed like a good idea at the time, she tells me. “It is so easy to put something together for a runway, because you have six months to perfect it in production. It’s so much more challenging to create something in a short amount of time and it be perfect.”
Of course, it has to be perfect. “I refuse to release anything that is not up to par with my quality level,” she says. “The angle of a hem, the size of a sleeve, the stitch… If it’s not the right stitch that I want.”
“Being the first black woman to lead a luxury house, especially under LVMH, it was a huge deal to see him just encourage people to buy black,” Rihanna tells me. “I felt connected to it, and knowing why really made me feel like there’s no way I can ignore this.”
On Fenty Beauty:
Rihanna‘s Savage x Fenty lingerie company is already said to be worth an estimated $150 million. Admittedly, this is relatively small fry compared with Fenty Beauty, which Rihanna founded almost three years ago and is now a market colossus worth some $3 billion.
What’s more, “the Fenty effect” – other make-up brands, long guilty of neglecting women of colour by offering few, if any, deeper shades, suddenly upped their diversity game – helped to establish 40 shades as a new industry standard. But Rihanna is reluctant to celebrate herself. “I’m shocked by people saying, ‘Oh my god, what made you think of making make-up for black girls?’” She continues, “I’m like, ‘What? You thought this was like, a marketing strategy? Like I’m a genius?’ It’s shocking most of the time,” she says. “Then it turns into disappointment that this is groundbreaking right now. In my mind, this was just normal.”
Is it really true that she rewrites all of the copy on Fenty Beauty product labels? “Oh yeah! I write all of the copy for the websites, the product descriptions, product names, the colour names…” she confirms. Doesn’t she have a huge team doing all this for her? “I do have a huge team, but I just don’t necessarily think their tone is mine. I’d feel like a fraud selling something that I can’t stand by.”
Next up, her skincare line:
The launch of her full skincare line, Fenty Skin. So far fans have had to content themselves with a Pro Kiss’r Scrub and Balm “lip prep” duo, and her bestselling shimmering Body Lava oil. But Rihanna says she has had to push herself to achieve the same level of perfection. “Skincare, it’s the truth. It either works or it doesn’t. There’s nowhere to hide.”
On having kids:
“I know I will want to live differently,” she continues. The main difference she has in mind is children. When I ask her where she sees herself in 10 years, she says, in a distinctively Bajan tone of disbelief, “Ten years? I’ll be 42! I’ll be ancient.” She playfully ignores my outrage (I’m almost 40 myself) at this idea. “I’ll have kids – three or four of ’em.”
Head over to British Vogue to read the full interview.
Photos Credit: Steven Klein
Source: British Vogue