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Diversity and Inclusion: Rihanna Does It Again



The topic of diversity and inclusion is finally becoming more and more prevalent. We’re starting to see D & I make an impact in the workplace, universities, and even on the runway. Rihanna, the “queen of diversity [and inclusion],” showcased D & I with an immersive entertainment experience: the Fall 2019 Savage x Fenty Fashion Show. 


The show fused the world of fashion with entertainment to include music and dance to celebrate diversity and inclusion. There were artistic and vibrant performances from Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Halsey, Migos, and Normani and appearances from celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Cara Delevingne. 


While Rihanna blew the minds of fans with the performers she chose, she also shattered industry standards with a diverse cast of models, including transgender, amputee, plus-size, and pregnant models. These women, of all shapes, sizes, skin tones, identities, and ethnicities, stormed the runway while showing everyone watching -- or not watching -- that they deserve to feel confident and sexy in lingerie too. In fact, anyone watching could identify some physical element of herself or himself in the models featured. 


On top of that, Rihanna’s booming makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, was the official makeup supplier for the models. According to a Fenty Beauty press release, Fenty Beauty Global makeup artists Priscilla Ono and Hector Espinal created empowering and unique makeup looks using Fenty’s signature foundation, which is known for its expansive, 40-shade range, the new standard by which all other brands are now held. Like Fenty with other makeup brands, Savage x Fenty Fashion Show will definitely set an example for what other fashion shows should look like. 



Fans around the world used social media, particularly Twitter, to praise Rihanna. One fan Tweeted, “The Victoria’s Secret show seems to be about men looking at beautiful women. Savage x Fenty show seems to be about women feeling beautiful.” 


Rihanna redefined “sexy” with her diverse casting and magnificent performances; a runway has never been so freeing, relatable, and unapologetic. It will be interesting to see how Rihanna’s influence changes the way runways look and feel. Ultimately, different modes of fashion must be aware of the power that diversity and inclusion holds, especially when it enables women to feel gorgeous in their own skin.


This blog post was written by Haniya Shariff, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

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