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Oct 31, 2018
VOGUE: How Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Is Changing The Lingerie Game
When it comes to her smalls, what does the ‘woke’ woman wear? While the ready-to-wear market clamours to promote its political connotations, with brands falling over themselves to explain to customers how this coat is empowering, and that eye-cream is ideal for feminists, the lingerie market has lagged behind in embracing the conversations around diversity, inclusivity and meaningful body-positivity.
Indeed lingerie, and the megawatt spectacles that constitute the big underwear shows – the Victoria’s Secret show has a yearly audience of around 1.4 billion people in 192 countries – has doggedly stuck to a tried-and-tested formula, despite the seismic shift effected by #MeToo and Times Up. Where is the Phoebe Philo of the underwear world, chic women wonder? Who is making underwear for the ‘Nasty Women’? The Pantsuit Nation? Who will clothe the pussies as they grab back?
Enter Rihanna. Not content with merely shaking up a beauty market that seemed committed to ignoring non-white women, she’s now Fenty-fying our underwear drawers. She’s spotted the gap in the market for underwear that doesn’t equate female excellence with a penchant for goji berries and 5am starts to get to the gym. Her Savage x Fenty show, presented during New York Fashion Week, was a festival of flesh of all different skin tones. There were curves and stretchmarks, sagging stomach and six-packs, love handles and super ‘fupas’ (thanks again, Beyoncé) and enormous pregnant bellies – the model Slick Woods has since revealed that her labour started as she walked the runway in nipple covers and an elastic harness.