1. This is Rihanna’s new River Island collection. It comes out May 25, and she totally deserves it.
2. Really, if ANY celeb should be doing a clothing line, it’s Rihanna. Here’s why.
3. 1. She’s actually incredibly famous. Not so-so famous like a lot of people who get to do clothing lines.
Think Paris Hilton (whose stuff probably sells mostly overseas, maybe because she’s more tolerable to those who don’t speak English as a first language). Or Natalia Vodianova, who did a lingerie line for a store called Etam. Or Lauren Conrad, who… what does she even do anymore? Exist? Yeah, Rihanna’s “busier” than all of them, I think most people would say.
4. 2. She’s not trying to pretend like she designed everything herself.
This is incredibly admirable in a celebrity designer. Adam Selman, who designs the line with her, always speaks to reporters doing stories on the line and is given credit for his work. He even appeared with Rihanna at her fashion show. This is a lot different from other celebrity designers (coughVictoria Beckhamcough) who you know don’t really design their lines but pretend like they do. In describing the Olsens twins’ design methods once, a designer who interviewed to work with them once told me, “They say things like, ‘we’re really inspired by this ashtray,’ and then you have to make clothes based on that.’” But those people don’t do press with the Olsens.
5. 3. She actually wears her clothing line.
She says — as many celebs who end up burdening the world with their clothing lines do — that her River Island line is comprised of things she wants to wear. And then, lo and behold, she actually wears them IRL. Celebrities should go around wearing their clothes like this to show that they actually like them. There’s about a 1% chance I’ll be wrong about this but I’m sure Adam Levine won’t wear his KMart line outside of whatever launch event his contract will force him to partake in. (To be fair, if you weren’t contractually obligated to wear that crap, would YOU?)
6. 4. She has style that warrants its own clothing line.
There’s no two ways about it — she’s probably the coolest dresser around these days. And that’s because she has a look that’s at once casual but not, weird but normal, cool but elegant, naked but covered, and can absolutely pull off getting really dressed up when need be (i.e. her Grammys Alaia dress). She avoids the classic celebrity pitfalls of dressing like a pageant queen, fearing the worst dressed list more than death itself and thus never taking risks, or being photographed like a post-yoga slob. When she gets ridiculous, it’s not in a Justin Bieber harem pants kind of way — it’s always in a way that makes you go, Hm, only she would look cool in that. Versus: Ugh, douche outfit. Her River Island line embodies this very spirit.
8. 5. She makes clothes that girls actually want to wear, that their parents will never understand.
Think Nasty Gal, but nastier. I can’t quite figure out the popularity of Nasty Gal — that place’s return policy is just horrible (two words: post office). But all the denim diapers they sell as shorts really pump up attractively proportioned 21-year-olds like American Apparel never did. Rihanna has always sort of owned that aesthetic but her clothes might be slightly more unapologetically The Way They Are. See: this net outfit, for instance.
10. 6. Her line isn’t expensive.
It’s the cheap, wear four times and discard kind of stuff celebrities should make, which shows that Rihanna doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s not making $1,200 shift dresses and showing them in overly serious fashion week shows. She knows celebrities with no design credibility will have a hard time convincing people their brand is valuable. The strategy worked incredibly well for Jessica Simpson, whose affordable clothing line is worth $1 billion or something wild like that now. If Rihanna parlayed her River Island line into its own veritable fast fashion line, she’d just bank.
11. 7. She’s the poster girl for ironic dressing.
Overalls. Jumpsuits. Denim-on-denim. Jeans inside jeans. It seems normal now but that’s partly because Rihanna beat that shit into our brains by being such a paparazzi magnet.
12. 8. She looks like she’s not trying that hard, somehow.
She looks like she’s just casually throwing outfits together. Meanwhile, you look at someone like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, and you just feel EXHAUSTED. Like, who has time for all that? Rihanna probably spends plenty of time figuring out how to dress but at least you can imagine her just picking things out of a pile of stuff that should maybe be laundered present on the floor of every clothes horse’s bedroom at all times, throwing on some lipstick and just going to the club. A celeb with that attitude has an easier time putting together a Me-inspired line, one would think, than a star who can’t leave the house without 12-inch platforms and a couture bee keeper outfit.
14. 9. She can pull off sneakers with just about anything.
Have you tried to pair sneakers with a dress and pulled it off? Do you know how easy it is to look stupid doing that? Rihanna just has that special something.
15. 10. Her style keeps everyone on their toes.
Looking at photos of Rihanna is like shopping at Zara. You never know what weird yet covetable fad will be thrust in your face next. Like: pajamas for every day! (Okay!) Or: sweatpants with white patent pumps! (Bring it on!) Etc.