What it Was Like to Model for Rihanna's Savage x Fenty
Rihanna could have launched anything product in any way and, chances are, it would have been a wild commercial success. But instead of simply launching another celebrity-backed brand, she chose to launch something that packed a punch; both in terms of product and power.
Last night at a warehouse in Brooklyn, after months of anticipation, Rihanna revealed her Savage x Fenty line, a 90-piece collection including bras, underwear, sleepwear, and accessories. Like handcuffs.
The core collection, aptly named On the Reg, includes bras and underwear available in every shade of nude you could possibly imagine. The U Cute collection (all that sexy stuff you’ve been seeing on Instagram) is lacy and girly, and the aptly named, Damn, is, well, full on sexy. Like, garter-belt sexy. And if that’s not hot enough for you, there’s the Black Widow range. We’re talking half-cut bras and cupless bodysuits.
Victoria’s Secret, eat your heart out.
Nothing is over $100 in the entire collection and, what’s more, bras will be produced in a size run from a 32A to a 44DD, underwear an XS to a 3X, and the line will ship to 210 (yes you read that right) countries globally.
And you thought you’d seen inclusivity in fashion?
So as I said: Rihanna could have launched anything in any way, and she chose to include everyone.
Two of those women who have been included are 18-year-old Lulu Bonfils and 20-year-old Stella Duval. Both were tapped by Rihanna’s team to model for Savage x Fenty a few months ago. “I found out less than a week before the shoot,” Duval tells InStyle.com. “I was screaming.”
Both Bonfils and Duval are signed to Muse, a modeling agency that represents both curvy girls and “straight” girls (that’s what they call the skinny models). Take a look at their website. The requirement seems to be pretty straight-forward: you have to be beautiful. Measurements are an after the fact.
Bonfils, newly 18-years-old, had never shot lingerie before, mostly because of her age, but also because—let’s face it—there are fewer jobs for women with her body type to model sexy bras. And she’s the first to tell you that.
VIDEO: Rihanna on Her New Savage x Fenty Lingerie Line
“If I was getting hired for something mainstream, I would never think it would be lingerie,” she says. “A lot of [times] if there is a curve girl, she’s usually covered in a lot of baggy clothes. I was definitely surprised that the Fenty team was into the idea of showing off curvy women’s bodies.”
Bonfils was also delightfully surprised when she first saw the collection: “Every bra I had seen for a curve girl was this boring, plain nude bra. That’s all you get.” Not with Savage x Fenty.
According to a survey conducted in 2013, the average bra size is a 34DD, yet you hear the same thing from women with larger breasts all the time: either you have to sacrifice style for fit or you’re simply just wearing something that digs in all the wrong places.
“A lot brands just think if they cover size two to six, we’re fine,” Bonfils says. “I can tell when a brand doesn’t get a fit model to try it on and see if it’s unreasonable for the actually big boob.”
Duval reiterated the same conundrum plus women have been finding themselves in forever when it comes to fashion: “Usually what I notice is that when there is something that fits my size it’s not as fun.” Well, Rihanna to the rescue.
“When I was on set, I noticed that [the bras] do give coverage” Duval added, who posed in some of the raciest of looks.
“You’re not worried about your boobs falling out. They made sure that bigger girls were really able to wear it and not have to pretend to wear it.”
Not to say that posing for the campaign was totally comfy cozy. Fear of boobs popping out and ass cheeks showing were abundant, regardless of the alleged coverage.
“It’s definitely really intimidating stepping out wearing a thong in front of forty people, half of them older men,” Bonfils says of her experience shooting in Malibu. “But once you’re into it, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the camera, you get more and more comfortable. At the end of the day you just feel really pretty.”
Duval, who modeled for Fenty Beauty previously was nervous, too: “I was walking out and sort of covering myself with my robe. Once I started, I felt so sexy. I was vibing so hard. There was so much positive energy. There were no creepy vibes. It was all just very positive.”
On April 27th, Rihanna posted a promo clip of Bonfils to the Savage x Fenty Instagram account and a few days after that, a photo of Duval. Instantly, comments rolled in.
“I already know where my first paycheck is going.”
“They have triple D’s” (Followed by a prayer hands emoji).
And most poignantly: “Finally someone got the same body shape as meee.”
“When I was younger, I never even saw a non-skinny person in any kind of media,” Bonfils says. “I grew up in a town where I was one of three fat girls in the grade. I didn’t have anybody else to compare myself to, let alone a woman who is successful, independent and strong. This is just so much more powerful than I think I even realize sometimes. Sometimes I just forget that kids are seeing this, not only in America, but around the world.”
And on May 11, women, men, children, and anything with a beating pulse will see Savage X Fenty. For all of the decades of big brands saying it was just too hard to increase size runs, that they just couldn’t “figure out how to” make sexy bras for women with larger breasts, well today is a beautiful slap in the face.
Rihanna. Just. Did. It.
Now let’s go shop.