Since 2018, with her Savage line with Fenty, Rihanna has been turning the lingerie industry upside down. The RnB diva from Barbados has also largely contributed to putting an end to decades of diktats which converged on an archetypal silhouette (the Caucasian creeper with endless legs) and an image of the woman who is as reductive as possible, that of an object (shining ) of desire (masculine), flesh offered with a lot of seductive or languid poses and half-open mouths.
The brand that has best embodied this frozen anatomical bombshell fantasy is Victoria's Secret, whose famous "angel" shows garnered hundreds of millions of viewers from 1995 to 2019. When suddenly overtaken by damning revelations on the behavior of two of its pillars, its founder-CEO and its former marketing director (accused, among other things, of homophobic and transphobic remarks, sexual harassment, etc.), the brand owned by the American group Limited Brands ended the kitschisime carnival in panties. And in the process, suddenly permeable to reality (thanks to the #MeToo and pro-inclusivity movements but also to the plummeting sales figures), it made a change of offer and above all drastic marketing: exit the "angels", make way for “ambassadors” (including footballer Megan Rapinoe, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, plus-size British model Paloma Elsesser) at odds with the original muses. But the movement is general. No lingerie player can miss the current shift, if only out of opportunism.
Praising an attitude
Rihanna nevertheless remains at the forefront of this paradigm shift. The diversity it has advocated since the start, with this line that puts sexy (preferably incendiary) within reach of all shapes (available from XS to XXXL) and publicized by megashows and advertising campaigns where black women dominate, double the praise of an attitude: self-affirmation, pride, and why not provocation. The Savage women associated with Fenty twerk rather than simper, their seduction is assault and not submission – and too bad if in passing, the very dated and nebulous notion of “good taste” is definitively buried, without flowers or crowns. Lingerie by “BadGalRiRi” (her Instagram blaze) is a political agenda.
The new collection unveiled these days drives the point home. Her figureheads are the Caramel Curves, a gang of black female bikers from New Orleans who clearly don't need anyone on a Harley or any other bike. The watchwords of these oil women, "mothers, entrepreneurs, community figures": dress up and dress themselves up like never before, step on the gas and turn heads. They have plenty to do with these bodies, bras, garters, bikinis, shorts, panties and other thongs that abound in lace, flowers, and very flashy colors – green and neon orange, purple. The visuals of the campaign are pleasing, these bodies overflowing in all uninhibitedness, shackles resolutely exploded by the biker-divas who claim to be "badass" (tough cooks). The music video is an ode to self-confidence, sisterhood, and New Orleans.
This summer of 2021 is in fact prolific for businesswoman Rihanna: the launch of the first Fenty perfume is announced for August 10. On the music side, the cadence is lower. Her latest album, Anti, dates from January 2016, and the rumors that announced the ninth for this year remain invalidated by the interested party for the time being.