Fenty x Puma, Rihanna’s collaboration with the activewear brand, debuted last Friday on the opening day of NYFW. The collection, almost exclusively black and white, displays extreme diversity and calculated, inspired risk. Most importantly, it shows a real knack for designing by the Barbadian superstar.
A diverse group of models rocked pieces, from thigh-high white leather boots to a refreshingly loose-fitted sport short — highlighting Riri’s own fashion taste. Opting for grandiose, unapologetic comfort, lots of skin or a combination of both, the designer’s first runway show was cohesive and fresh, offering a high fashion line while remaining conscious of the brand’s activewear roots.
Tracksuits, sweatshirts, sweatpants and shorts comprise the collection’s most universally wearable pieces, but it’s the boundary-pushing looks that leave the biggest impression. The women’s mesh PUMA long-sleeve tops pay direct homage to Rihanna’s personal tastes and boldness. Men’s high-waisted sweatpants and one-piece sweat suits are hopefully predictors of the next wave of men’s fashion. A skin-tight, floor-length dress featuring criss-crossed snaking from cleavage to knee is a standout among the women’s looks.
Unzipped zippers are ubiquitous throughout the collection, emphasizing a laid-back feel — something consistently missing amid the often straight-faced, tight-lipped persona of the fashion world. That’s not to say, of course, that Rihanna’s first runway of her own wasn’t a serious endeavor — the line showcased her personal style and attitude, while giving fans and customers both bold outfits for the brave and enough broad-reaching pieces to maintain Puma’s brand and the artist’s effortlessly cool aura.
The show’s third act twist broke out furs. Unisex gray hoodies and long black coats, modeled on men and women, add one final touch of fuck-it chicness to the collection with their over-the-top, yet undeniably cozy look.
It-girl of the moment, Gigi Hadid, closed the show in white sneaker-heel hybrids, black mid-calves, a knee-length and the aforementioned unzipped loose fur coat, summarizing the contrasting ideals of high-fashion and activewear. Hadid and many of her fellow models donned white, slicked back hair and black lipstick.
Yes, Rihanna’s fashion week debut is another notch on the bedpost of celebrity-turned-designer shows. But the collection’s range from fashionable activewear to sport-inspired statement pieces and everything in between combined with discernible authenticity proves that Fenty x Puma’s first runway show certainly shouldn’t be the last.