Fenty Puma by Rihanna Fall RTW Collection for Fashion show New York 2016
Puma put its cards on the table in the high-stakes game of celebrity collaborations Friday, properly launching the Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection during New York Fashion Week in the 8 p.m. time slot at 23 Wall Street. Maybe it’s fairer to say that Rihanna put Puma’s cards on the table. She is the German athletic company’s highest-profile collaborator by a long shot and they are clearly happy to have her as “creative director,” a title she assumed in December 2014 when Puma, which is controlled by Kering, signed her to a three-year contract.
“It’s a lot of room to be creative,” Rihanna acknowledged during a post-show interview. “Puma trusted me in a major way that a lot of companies wouldn’t.”
He said it; she said it, but ultimately the clothes confirmed that Rihanna was calling the shots on this one. It was not a shy collection.
Fearless when it comes to her personal style, Rihanna’s wide-ranging yet distinct point of view has baited megabrands before: Dior named her a brand ambassador last year; she’s worked with MAC Cosmetics, and designed a collection for high street retailer River Island. She wears vampy glam pearls, corsets, boas as well as boyish street Raf Simons, men’s wear, Vetements always with a tough, semismutty edge. And she does more than just pull it off.
Asked the same question about a friendly competition with West, a frequent musical collaborator of hers (she’s featured on his new “The Life of Pablo” album he streamed as part of his fashion show Thursday), Rihanna said, “Usually I do love to compete with the guys. That’s my thing. I don’t like to compete with girls. Guys play hard and they’re also in another realm of respect, but with Kanye, he’s my brother and I always want him to win. I have a soft spot for him.”