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‘Real women, with real woman bodies’: Rihanna hailed for lingerie show using models of all shapes and sizes

‘Rihanna’s stomping on every other lingerie company’s neck’

Olivia Petter
Saturday 21 September 2019 10:44 BST
Savage X Fenty - trailer

After weeks of anticipation, fans can finally watch Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show from New York Fashion Week.

The lingerie show took place on 10 September but was shrouded in secrecy, with guests asked to hand phones in at the door so as to keep everything under wraps until its broadcast on Friday.

Clearly, it was worth the wait. Models on the catwalk included Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and Laverne Cox, while Big Sean and Halsey were among the high-profile performers in addition to Rihanna herself, who opened the show.

But the thing that made Savage x Fenty so unique had nothing to do with celebrity models or performers.

Unlike other lingerie shows, Rihanna’s was clearly orchestrated through the female lens, with women of all shapes, sizes, identities and ethnicities taking part.

Viewers were quick to express their praise on social media, with some even calling for the singer’s spectacle to replace the controversial Victoria’s Secret Show, which is regularly criticised for its lack of diversity.

“I’ve never, ever, in 39 years, watched a fashion show. Because as a bigger woman, it always made me feel bad about my body,” tweeted one person.@SavageXFenty and @rihanna changed that today… someone finally gets it. Bravo to this team of amazing people.”

Another added: “Real women with REAL women bodies were in the show and I LOVE that. Show these girls it’s okay to have different bodies and stop letting society tell you different.”

The show also featured models with disabilities, prompting fans to label Rihanna the “queen of diversity”.

“Rihanna had somebody with AMPUTATED LEGS walking her show. Queen of inclusiveness,” tweeted one person.

Comparisons to Victoria’s Secret came in thick and fast, with many people describing Savage x Fenty as “way cooler” and putting the former to shame.

“After watching this Savage x Fenty fashion show I never want to see another Victoria’s Secret one again,” tweeted one person.

Another added: “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.”

The Victoria’s Secret Show, which Rihanna performed at in 2012, has been dogged by controversy in recent months. In August, the company’s chief marketing officer,. Ed Razek resigned almost one year after he was vilified for saying that Victoria’s Secret would never cast transgender models in its runway show because the event is a “fantasy”.

Razek made the comments in an interview with US Vogue last November, stating: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”

Meanwhile, Jan Singer, the brand’s female CEO at the time, left the company shortly after the Vogue interview was published.

The show usually takes place every year in November, but it’s unclear whether 2019’s event will go ahead. Earlier this summer, Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik claimed it would not be happening this year.

“Unfortunately the Victoria’s Secret show won’t be happening this year,” she told Australia’s Daily Telegraph. “It’s something that I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an angel.”

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