In a manner that is coming to so many people around the world as a shock, Rihanna has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 CFDA Fashion Icon Award.
The 26-year-old, who is the current star of Balmain’s spring 2014 campaign, will be presented with the honor on June 2 at Lincoln Center in New York City,
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said in a statement announcing the award: ‘We are proud to present Rihanna with the CFDA Fashion Icon Award for her impact on the industry as fashion’s most exciting ambassador in recent memory.
In looking back, it is clear to see how the last year has been a landmark one for Rihanna in regards to her fashion credentials.
Over the last 12 months the songstress has not only established herself as a fashion force (most recently she has become a friend of Karl Lagerfeld, who flew her to Paris and Dallas to sit front-row at two of Chanel’s recent fashion shows), but has helped pave the way for others as well
She is currently the star of Balmain’s spring 2014 campaign, and has become a friend of Karl Lagerfeld, who flew her to Paris and Dallas to sit front-row at two of Chanel’s recent fashion shows.
Rihanna’s award-winning style, primarily engineered by stylist Mel Ottenberg and costume designer Adam Selman, is equal parts high-fashion and streetwear – mixing couture items with cutting-edge T-shirts and sneakers.
Last April, she turned up to a Lakers game wearing sweatpants and a tank top by London-based brand KTZ, which she paired with white pointed stilettos and a dog collar necklace.
Serving up something a little more refined, earlier this month she appeared at the Comme des Garcons fall 2014 show in a fur stole emblazoned with the word 'Fear'.
The piece was created by Korean designer Hyein Seo, who debuted the design just weeks earlier as part of the VFiles runway exhibition during New York Fashion Week.
Both ensembles are indicative of Rihanna's outlook on fashion of which she told Vogue in 2011: ‘When I am putting looks together, I dare myself to make something work.
‘I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that’s a little off, but I have to figure it out. I have to make it me. I think that’s the thrill in fashion.'
This boundary-pushing approach has inspired fellow artists from Rita Ora to Ariana Grande when creating their own public personas, albeit to a less effective result.
Rihanna's look has become such a boon that in 2013, English high street label River Island linked up with the pop star for two limited-edition collections of her own design.
For the occasion, Rihanna enlisted Mr Selman to oversee the ranges’ creative direction.
While reviews of the first collection’s London Fashion Week show were mixed, Rihanna's hiring of Mr Selman helped pave the way for his own fashion label.
The designer had gained enough notoriety through his work with the Rihanna, that in late 2013 he launched his namesake collection at New York Fashion Week – coverage of which was loaded with mention of his work for the pop star.
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