Rihanna took home a big prize last night at the 2019 British Fashion Awards, winning the Urban Luxe award for her five-month-old LVMH line, Fenty. And she made a strong case for the brand’s relevancy on the red carpet, wearing a custom creation in a crisp mint blue-green (Rihanna calls the color, seen on other Fenty garments, “wasabi green”). She looked like a Dentyne Ice princess.
Rih’s outfit consisted of a sheer oversized shirt with matching gloves, worn over a corseted minidress with a jeweled harness that formed straps in front and a dramatic cascading pattern in the back. She paired the whole ensemble with a choker and satin heels (a take on a current suede Fenty style), with her hair in Fulani braids, pinned half-up, half-down. The effect was very Cinderella with an edge.
Janet Jackson presented Rihanna with her award (which Virgil Abloh won for his Off-White line the year before). “You’re loved for your style, your boldness, and for your strength as a woman,” Jackson told the Bad Gal onstage. “You’re respected as a successful artist, fashion designer, activist, entrepreneur. Congratulations to Rihanna for Fenty.”
Rihanna accepted the award alongside her stylist and collaborator, Jahleel Weaver. Later on, the official Fenty account tweeted out a message of thanks along with a photo of the star with A$AP Rocky, who wore a slouchy Fenty suit to the awards show. “Thank you to the [British Fashion Council] for this wonderful opportunity which means so much to me as a young black woman,” read the tweet. “This is a great achievement for our brand.”
The first Fenty collection was unveiled this past May, shortly after the announcement that Rihanna was founding a luxury line with LVMH (at that point she had already founded her inclusive lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, and the game-changing Fenty Beauty, and also designed multiple collections for Fenty x Puma). She is both the first woman to found an original brand at LVMH and the first woman of color to run a fashion house at the French behemoth. Fenty is also the first maison the company has created since launching Christian Lacroix’s now-shuttered line, in 1987. “[Bernard] Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits,” Rihanna said at the time. She just keeps making history.