Not a lot of people can get away with showing up two hours late to their own party. But Rihanna is not just anybody. So when she strolled into New York’s The Webster a few minutes after 9 p.m. on Tuesday to the cocktail party for her latest Fenty drop, no one really seemed to mind. Instead, she was met with a flash of dozens of iPhone screens attempting to get a good shot of the newly minted luxury designer, unmissable in a bright fuchsia mini-dress and blinding turquoise earrings.
If anything, the wait was a perfect opportunity for partygoers to get a first look at the latest Fenty release, the first rollout of which drops today. The limited-edition collection is a summer-inspired offering, full of mini-skirts, silk dresses, and colorful prints, alongside large shield sunglasses and brightly hued sandals. It also includes graphic T-shirts, including one that has the words “No More Music” emblazoned on the back—a shirt sure to incense fans already foaming at the mouth for new music. But come on, guys, this is Rihanna. She knows what she’s doing. “It’s [hit the Internet] and it’s full-on trolls,” she said. “Please let my fans know that I’m trolling them. You have to get it because it’s a souvenir. That’s the closest you’ll get to music before the album.”
The graphic shirts, which also include political messaging about immigration and tributes to Rihanna’s home of Barbados, also show a greater understanding of the ethos of Fenty. “We were working on these designs for a really long time,” she said of the shirts, which were one of the first items created. “When it came time to introduce the collection to the public, you’re starting a brand from scratch and building that DNA for people, [and] another way to do that was to give them insight into what goes on and how we work behind the scenes, so it was important to show that.”
The newest drop is also filled with bright, vibrant colors, a nod to the summertime. “Going from the first release which was very neutral, we were thinking about how to do something different and speak to a different consumer,” said Fenty style director Jahleel Weaver. “Just to think about all the things that you want in summer, and you want fun colors. That was a natural progression for us.” It also begs the question: Is Rihanna scared of any color?
“Scared of?” she said, cocking an eyebrow and turning to Weaver. “I’m scared of brown,” he replied. That was just the answer she was looking for. “I was about to say!” she said, laughing. “I love brown and he cannot. I want everything in brown. Brown, brown, brown, brown. He’s like, ‘What is your obsession with brown?’”
Well, what is it?
“I don’t know. It’s just such a rich color,” Rihanna replied. “It can go masculine, it can go feminine, it’s timeless. It’s also good with tans. ” Weaver turned to me: “You didn’t think brown would be her favorite color, did you?”
I didn’t, but I also know that when it comes to Rihanna, we need to expect the unexpected. So, on to the next most logical question: If these are the Fenty clothes, what would a whole Fenty store look like? “I have dreams for a store,” she said. “It’s going to be between a spa and a nightclub. I’m not sure how I’m going to work it out. But there’ll be clothes in between.”