Valentine's Day is upon us, and with it the eternal question: If I can't find anyone I love as much as Rihanna, why bother?
It's an especially pressing topic this week, as the superstar launches her new Fenty collection at Bergdorf Goodman, the happy place for acolytes of Prada and people watching. Rihanna's new collection is themed around freedom, though it's sadly not free–prices begin at $200 for a logo tee and $1880 for a very amazing tulle hoodie. Created under the LVMH umbrella (ella, ella…), the line has about 60 pieces, including winners like satin logo-band skirts and a T-shirt proclaiming NO NEW MUSIC–a luxe way to address the wait for the superstar's next album. ("My fans are better than the CIA," she laughed. "They'll know about new songs before anyone–probably even before me!") As for the silky stiletto boots she wore to the launch party… well… they seem to have already sold out of the store.
What does Rihanna herself have to say about the new clothes, how they connect to her life and what it's like being tracked by fans every second of every day? We asked her.
These clothes are great–sorry!
Why are you sorry?! I love hearing that. You mean because I get a lot of bullshit compliments thrown at me? It's true, but I can always tell when people mean it. And thank you. I'm very proud of this collection.
This season's theme is 'Freedom,' but do you have more or less liberty once you're famous?
Oh my god, yeah, it's true that my job puts me in very strange situations. And in this job, you actually lose more freedom than you gain. I think a lot of people have it messed up with the whole "Once you’re famous, you get everything for free; you get in everywhere; you get to go to whatever party or awards ceremony." And a lot of that is true, I’ll admit. But it's never something I've demanded. Believe me, I’ll stand in line to get into a club! I’ll pay for price for anything! I’ll do anything if it means I can have a little bit of life that’s just for me. Just a little bit is all I need. Like, let me go to the grocery store once. You know? Those things you minimize in your ordinary life, you don’t realize how much they mean to you when you don’t have that freedom to do that, or the flexibility to do it, in peace. And it’s difficult, you know? It’s a double-edged sword. Because I enjoy what I do, but yeah, fame makes a lot of things easier, but it does make life more difficult.
I'm guessing you haven't been to the grocery store lately.
I wish. I can't!
How about Bergdorf Goodman? When was the last time you shopped here?
I don’t remember the last time I came in person. I literally have a shopper here, and I’m like, “Call me when you get some good stuff.” Her name is Sonya Benson; she’s here somewhere! And that’s normally how I have to shop: through other people. I mean, maybe they’ll let me shop tonight after the event, when nobody sees me and nobody’s here! I do miss it. But I’m also so busy these days that I almost feel guilty spending time in a store when I could be at work. So if somebody else can buy clothes for me, while I do what I have to do? That’s a win-win.
What's the last thing you bought?
Oh shoot, that was yesterday! Oh my god, I bought this Chanel coat. They have a female creative director now, and the coat is amazing. And then I bought a Dior purse, a Dior pantsuit… it was not a small shopping trip, I'll say that.
Faran Krentcil Editor at Large, ELLE.com "Her beauty and her brain go not together." —William Shakespeare