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You can always trust Rihanna to bring the heat.
Building on the success of her last Savage x Fenty fashion show, the songstress and mogul is breaking barriers all over again with her Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 2, presented by Amazon Prime Video. This year's collection will be broken down into four major parts, including the Dear Diary and Savage Not Sorry collections. But there's a major new addition to the Savage x Fenty line: menswear.
"We have the actual male introduction to our brand—we're collaborating with Christian Combs so for the first time, and we're going to have boxer briefs and boxer shorts," Rihanna tells Zanna Roberts Rassi of E! News exclusively. "I'm not going to say it's for men, because I wear it too. You know, I like to be flexible."
The addition of menswear is a direct response to her fans, as Rihanna knows how much it meant to them to see male representation in Savage X Fenty. "At our last Savage show, it was really exciting for our customers and for the Amazon Prime Video audience to see male representation in a brand that hadn't really explored that before," she shares, adding that it was a natural fit for the brand to have Combs be the face of the line.
"Christian does such a good job representing Fenty X as an ambassador. It just felt right to have him be our first true collaborator in a space that we hadn't explored before."
And with the new show set to stream on Amazon Prime this Friday, Oct. 2, fans are in for a real treat. Rihanna says the reaction to the first show has inspired her to step up her game, giving everyone more of what they loved from Savage x Fenty—namely, inclusivity.
"When we realized how much people appreciated something we just sincerely wanted to do, we didn't know we would have the response that we did… so we took that and we said, ‘This is going to be the core of what our brand stands for because we do it already,'" Rihanna says, noting that her passion for going further, digging deeper and exploring more has been the driving force in how she's presenting Vol. 2. "We're going to have an amazing show, we're going to have completely extreme levels of inclusivity and we're going to have people feeling excited about just seeing something fun in the midst of a really dark and wild time."
As you would expect, Rihanna's approach to casting her shows is meticulous and deliberate, taking a ton of factors into consideration. As she puts it, "There's a lot of different mini categories that I have in my brain, because when it comes to being inclusive, you want everyone to be a part of that." So not only does she cast women of color, she also focuses on representing women who "aren't usually projected as sexy, but they are."
"They're sexy, and they need to know that, and they need to be validated about that no matter what size they are," Rihanna states. "I'm so focused on that and making women, not just anyone but everyone feeling invited, welcomed. Savage is a home, it's a hub and it's a safe space for everyone."
And when she says everyone, Rihanna means everyone. Notable names returning to model for this year's show include Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Big Sean and Normani, but this year they'll be joined by Lizzo, Demi Moore, Laura Harrier, Willow Smith and more.
So what's she most excited about in presenting Vol. 2? Her choreographer, Paris, opening the show.
"It presents such a strength of confidence—it sets a tone of body positivity," Rihanna tells us. "She's everything that every woman wants to feel, and she exudes that in her performance, her choreography, her creativity and her vision. So I felt like it was important for her to be a staple at the beginning of the show to set the tone."
Although there were obstacles in presenting last year's show, Vol. 2 has new issues to surmount, considering there isn't a live audience in attendance. But Rihanna is up for the challenge, and says Amazon Prime was, too. "It gives us the hope that we can create anything that we put our will to, and responsibly so," she says, noting that it was important to her to ensure everyone involved with the show felt that they were protected and taken care of, especially the additional pressures of the current climate.
There was a lot of prep that went on behind the scenes in creating the new collection, arranging show fittings, and even the casting process. A lot of it was handled virtually, but Rihanna started creating the collection during the production of the last Savage x Fenty show. "It's incredible to see how things can change so quickly, unexpectedly and you just have to figure out what are we going to do about it—solution, solution, solution," she says. "So that's been my drive because we're always going to be presented with issues, especially at a time like this. But you can do anything if you can figure out how to work around it within our parameters."
And even though she's superhuman, Rihanna isn't immune to how stressful this time has been—but that doesn't mean she hasn't found a way to make it work.
"Damn, I mean, in quarantine, you don't really got a lot to choose to work with—you get up on a full face of makeup and shit, but who's going to see it," she notes. "So the thing that makes me feel great is when I feel healthy, my skin is glowing, my hair is thick and I'm excited to do little things in life." And that means appreciating the little things and finding ways to be happy.
"Happiness kind of is the open door to everything… like, you can do anything – you can be creative, you can be savage, you can be anti-social, you can just be whatever you want as long as you comfortable and happy being exactly in that space," she shares. "I've grown to appreciate the little things and I've grown to love being still, which is something I haven't been used to since I was 16 years old."
But if there's one thing Rihanna wants everyone to know about Savage x Fenty Vol. 2, it's that they're not going to dumb anything down—and fans are in for one hell of a show.
"Within our restrictions, we're going to create, we're going to be forced to get creative and be clever about production, and work our way around the norm that we've usually had," Rihanna says. "We're just going to create the new normal and we're going to make it incredible. I can't wait for people to see how much we put into this show to make it as visually enticing as possible while they're at home stuck in the midst of the wildest times of our lives. I love it. I can't wait to show people what we created in the last year."
Don't miss Savage x Fenty Vol. 2 on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, October 2!
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