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Sep 24, 2020

GQ: Rihanna-Approved Underwear for Men is Here

GQ chats with Savage X Fenty collaborate Christian Combs ahead of the launch

by Cam Wolf | Sep 24th, 2020

Everyone has celebrity crushes when they’re young, but not everyone is Christian Combs. While many of us pressed close to our television screens for glimpses or hung posters on the wall, Combs would go right up and ask for a number. That’s one of the perks of being the son of Diddy, one of Hollywood’s most prolific party throwers. Combs was 11 when he spotted Rihanna hanging around at his dad’s New Year’s Eve party. “I asked her for her number,” Combs says over the phone, “and she actually gave it to me.” Combs didn’t leave it sitting in his phone, either. “You’re a little scared to hit that text,” he says, but he quickly mustered up the courage to make contact.

“What’s up? How are you?” he texted, all casual.

But he didn’t expect what came next. “She responded mad quick,” he says. So fast, it threw 11-year-old Combs off his game. “I didn’t even know how to keep the convo going.” Over a decade later, the conversations are coming easier. Combs’s crush has bloomed into a working relationship: in 2019, he started as the model and ambassador for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty underwear line, and this year helped develop the brand’s first menswear collection.

The new Savage x Fenty menswear collection consists of a line of vibrantly hued, fat-banded boxers and boxer briefs, as well as a satin monogrammed pajama set, all of which launch on the brand’s website October 2nd.  The line was originally more subdued before Combs entered the picture. Naturally, the model and rapper first saw samples—in burgundy, black, and brown—on Valentine’s Day. These were way too dull for Combs. He envisioned something much brighter: underwear with swag! Swag doesn’t come in grayscale, so Savage x Fenty underwear arrives in blue and silky red. Even many of the more conservatively colored pieces in black come with pops of bubblegum pink.

The crown jewel of the collection is the pajama set with the smoking jacket. As Combs has experienced himself, it is perfectly constructed for our current COVID conditions. He’s been wearing it lounging at home—“I like to wear it open, chest out,” he says—but is also taking it on the road. Picture Combs in the full pajama set, a pair of Off-White Jordans, strolling along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. He even shopped around at Saks 5th Avenue wearing it and left with more than just new jawns. “I got a few compliments,” he says, “so it’s okay to wear outside the house, too!” Plus: Combs says his dad (again: Diddy!) was a fan of the set. “He really loved the robe, so that’s when I knew we were really on to something.”

Before this collaboration, Combs would often wear the big-branded waistbands of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. He admires those labels, and the mongo SAVAGE X FENTY logo on his briefs clearly takes inspiration from those iconic American brands. The idea guiding Combs and Rihanna was to take the baton and create “the new Calvin Klein for my generation,” Combs says.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Rihanna-grade underwear without the mammoth spectacle of the fashion show to go along with it. Last year’s event welcomed the Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean, Normani, A$AP Ferg, and Fat Joe to the stage, and Combs promises something equally stunning for 2020. “Fasten your seat belts, get some popcorn, and get to the TV for some amazingness. It’s gonna be sexy,” he says. “A lot of special guests—and King Combs at the climax.”