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Rihanna talks race, size in fashion: If I can’t wear my own stuff, that’s not gonna work’

Possibly the busiest woman in the music and fashion worlds, Rihanna gave a rare interview to The New York Times’ Magazine, in which she updated fans on her new music and talked about her groundbreaking new line for LVMH.

The majority of the interview focused on Rihanna’s new line for LVMH – short for Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury conglomerate that owns and operates Dior, Celine and other fashion houses – which, upon its debut, will make the 31-year-old Barbados native the first black woman to run a major luxury fashion brand.

The new Fenty line, which launches with a pop-up in Paris on May 24 and becomes available on Fenty’s website on May 29, will release new products via innovative monthly drops, in which several new items at a time will be available exclusively online. 

When asked whether her superstar status made it easier to be a black woman in fashion, an industry dominated by white men, Rih forcefully shut down the idea that her success has come from tokenism.

“It’s never alleviated, you know? You’re going to be black wherever you go. And I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, because I love being black. So, sorry for those who don’t like it – that’s the first thing you see before you even hear my voice,” she said “There are also other factors: I’m young. I’m new to the family. I’m a woman. Those factors do come into play, but I will not apologize for them, and I will not back down from being a woman, from being black, from having an opinion. I’m running a company and that’s exactly what I came here to do.”

She emphasized, “I do know that the reason I’m here is not because I’m black. It’s because of what I have to offer. That’s what they’re invested in. And the fact that I’m black is just that: a fact.”

Rih also addressed how her body has changed over the years and revealed her new line will be sized roughly up to a U.S. size 14, with Harris jokingly calling her fluctuating size her “thicc” journey.”

“It just changed how I dress in terms of my proportions,” she said about her body’s changing proportions. “You wear what looks good on you, and that’s it.”

She reasoned, “I’m thick and curvy right now, and so if I can’t wear my own stuff then, I mean, that’s not gonna work, right? And my size is not the biggest size. It’s actually closer to the smallest size we have: We go up to a (U.S. size 14). We’re saying we can meet you at any one drop that we put out.”

Her interviewer, playwright/actor Jeremy O. Harris,  also peppered the singer/actress/mogul with questions that her Navy fanbase has , about her new music.

Rih confirmed that she is making a reggae album, but disputed the rumors that she is collaborating with Lady Gaga and Drake. As for the Gaga project, she said, “It isn’t in the books right now, but I’m not against it.”

She was less enthusiastic about working with rumored ex-boyfriend Drake. Any such collaboration is not happening “anytime soon,” she said, adding, “I don’t see it happening. Not on this album, that’s for sure.”

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