Last week led in celebrity presence at New York Fashion Week. Between the behemoth presentation that was YEEZY Season 3 at Madison Square Garden, star-studded fashion shows, after-parties, and performances, it was a good seven days to be famous.
Closing out the celeb-focused festivities was Rihanna’s FENTY PUMA collection debut. Although it featured an appearance from Naomi Campbell – as did Kanye’s presentation – it was markedly less hyped, more intimate, and much less crowd-pandering.
But how did the actual collection go over with editors, reviewers and critics? Rihanna, after all, is a bit of a fashion world darling.
Here’s what a few leading publications had to say.
Vogue had an overall positive reaction, citing Rihanna’s established edginess and refusal to second guess even her most daring fashion choices as a visible connective thread in the collection…
When it comes to tapping into her fashion instincts though, it’s clear that Rihanna moves at lightning speed, never second-guessing herself, even when her most daring looks are paprazzi’d from all angles. Those witchy senses seemed to guide her in her debut tonight.
The publication also honed in on the streetwear elements of the collection, calling the garments “synthesizers of the disruptive streak on runways,” and also observed how completely sneaker culture had permeated fashion…
“Overall, the collection had less to do with athlesiure and more with the kind of subversive streetwear rumblings that have been coursing through fashion lately.”
The folks over at Women’s Wear Daily took a more neutral approach, observing many of the same “streetwear” tropes Vogue pointed out, but withholding judgement about the projected success of the collection…
It was Japanese street, loaded with goth, erotica and sport — takes on wrestling gear, boxing shorts and robes, tracksuits, and hoodies galore.
Although the collection was described as “Japanese street”, WWD also made it clear that the looks were spot-on representations of Rihanna’s personal aesthetic. They also gave a nod to PUMA for successfully filtering her style into a collection…
Puma wanted Rihanna and it got her: sexy, sporty and confident about bad taste done well. The look felt like her unfiltered, or, more accurately, filtered through Puma branding — the intention is a mutually beneficial commercial enterprise.
Things ended with the observation that the collection would have to sell to be successful. WWD seems to think it’s anyone’s guess if that will happen or not. That said, earlier in the piece the writer did point out the the PUMA x Rihanna creeper gave the brand a very obvious boost in third quarter sales…
In order for Fenty Puma to slay, it has to sell. The fashion show was the first time any retailers had seen the collection. Gulden said Puma planned to meet with retailers the following morning for feedback. The collection will be priced above average for Puma.
Though InStyle‘s article title reads, “Rihanna’s FENTY x PUMA Collection Proves Bad Gals Rule”, the actual review seems to indicate bad gyal Riri’s creative director appointment has more to do with her celeb status than artistic vision…
But that’s no fault of Rihanna, whose collection was a perfectly digestible effort of graphic-street-athleisure wear, but also a fairly standard exercise in celebrity branding. The oversize fur jackets, more like fur sweatshirts extended into dresses, and some big backpack-coats were the hits, and I’ll probably order those men’s sweatpants with the peek-a-boo panels at the knees for myself.
In one of the more creative reviews, Fashionista chose to share its thoughts on Rih’s inaugural PUMA collection with the support of GIFs. As you can see from the plethora of crowns, flying money, and general Rihanna bad assery, they loved it; especially the thigh-high boots…
The sporty thigh-high boots that appeared throughout the show were a hit with the crowd, and even though they are clearly inspired by shin guards, they’re sexy as hell. I can see them being among the top sellers when the collection hits stores.