Island gal Rihanna’s luxury fashion house, Fenty, officially launched today (May 29) in partnership with LVMH.
In a new interview with Vogue, the singer and designer discussed her inspiration for the collection, saying the work of Kwame Braithwaite, a Brooklyn-born photographer who helped pioneer the “Black is beautiful” movement in the 1950s and 1960s, greatly influenced its direction.
“When I was coming up with the concept for this release, we were just digging and digging and we came up with these images – they made me feel they were relevant to what we are doing right now,” she said.
More specifically, images of a group known as the Grandassa Models, known for designing their own clothes and regularly appearing in Braithwaite’s work, struck a chord with the first Black woman to run a luxury fashion house.
“It was a really strange and powerful parallel,” Rihanna said. “And he gave me permission [to use the imagery]; obviously that is a big deal.”
The multihyphenate also shared that she has an even deeper connection to the celebrated photographer, revealing “Kwame Brathwaite is from Barbados! And, his last name is my grandfather’s name, which was my mother’s name before she was a Fenty.”
LVMH is the parent company to heritage brands such as Givenchy, Fendi, Celine and Dior. Fenty is the first new fashion house created by LVMH since the creation of Christian Lacroix in 1987. Check out the collection now at Fenty.com.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.