Rihanna revealed her first Fenty collection in Paris on Wednesday evening. She arrived wearing a blazer as a dress—the white canvas number had exaggerated shoulders and was cinched in at the middle with a built-in corset—paired with strappy going-out heels in gold leather, all from her new label.

 

 

The collection – two years in the making and priced from 200 Euros for a white, waist-cinched T-shirt up to around 1,100 Euros for a reversible parka – is a round-up of the kind of clothes Rihanna wanted to have in her own wardrobe but couldn’t find. “I often walk into stores and I’m like, ‘I love this, but I wish it was more like that, or in a different colour or in a different fabric’ – and now I get to do it,” she said, dressed in Fenty’s tailored white blazer-minidress hybrid. Highlights included strong-shouldered corseted trouser suits sold with matching bum-bags, mannish cotton shirting, and multi-pocketed oversized jackets in Japanese raw denim. “I love strong silhouettes, and for women to look confident, that’s what I want to achieve with this collection,” she said.

 

“How I dress is about what I feel like in that moment,” Rihanna said during an interview in the Paris showroom. “How comfortable I want to be, how badass I want to be, how conservative or sexy. I feel like women are multifaceted in that way, and Fenty celebrates that.”

On the eve of her first “drop” for the brand—which will release the products online on May 29 in a “see now, buy now” model—Rihanna hosted press and friends of the new venture in Paris’s posh Marais district, where 18th century hotels particuliers and medieval churches are interspersed with design bookshops and contemporary art galleries.

 

“I’m a curvy girl, if I can’t wear my stuff then it just won’t work. I need to see how it looks on my hips, on my thighs, on my stomach – does it look good on me or only on a fit model? It’s important.”

 

“There is no six-month wait, you get it when you see it,” she said. “There’s no tease. You see it, love it, and want it and that’s because I’m like that, I want things right away – I see designers’ new season and I’m like, ‘Look 11, I need that!’” She laughed. “It’s frustrating when you can’t buy straight away.” The retail strategy is a first for the luxury conglomerate. “I really appreciate that LVMH is flexible enough to allow me to have a different perspective on how I want to release things,” she said adding, “Mr. Arnault [Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO, LVMH] is not an idiot, he’s a very smart man and he’s open.”

 

She promises streetwear elements but executed in a luxurious way.

 

Rihanna’s profile as a fashion industry darling has only risen in the past two years. During several years as guest creative director at Puma (then owned by Gucci and Saint Laurent owner Kering) and as the star of ad campaigns for LVMH’s Dior, the singer was one of only a handful of stars with the status to work in a high-profile way between the two rivals.

Mixing established names with fashion up-and-comers, Rihanna’ helped win new fans for such designers as France’s Simon Jacquemus and Y/Project’s Glenn Martens (both of whom attended Wednesday’s event) and British designer Molly Goddard. Before skipping this year’s Met Gala, Rihanna reigned over fashion’s biggest party with show-stopping looks, including a canary yellow gown from Guo Pei and a pope-inspired couture ensemble from Maison Margiela.

 

 

See every look from the Fenty debut drop below, on sale at the pop-up until June 2, available online from May 29 at Fenty.com.