Rihanna Planned Her Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Collection With a Snapback in Mind

She and Adam Selman make sport "sexy, sexy," then layer some stunt casting on top.

Rihanna Says Her Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Is “Obnoxious”

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Rihanna! She’s back. Not that she went anywhere. Between her behemoth beauty business, Savage x Fenty, having a child (and incredible pregnancy style, too), she’s stayed in the pop culture mainstream despite not putting out new music since 2016’s Anti. But if you were to describe Rihanna as a person, she’s consistent, she’s committed, and she’s sexy. Case in point: that aforementioned beauty empire is so successful, it put her at billionaire status, and then she burst back into the music scene by announcing her involvement in two of the biggest cultural events this winter: Apple’s Inaugural Super Bowl HalfTime Show and the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack (yes, she finally dropped a single). Everything she does is intentional and on her own timeline.

Rihanna Says Her Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Gold Look

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Announcing designer Adam Selman as the new Executive Design Director of Savage x Fenty is by all means part of her intentionality to elevate the brand. Savage x Fenty is introducing Sport for Volume 4, a category in which Selman excels. (His eponymous line is Adam Selman Sport, after all.) And he knows a thing or two about sex appeal: Rihanna is a longtime collaborator of his, famously having worn his crystal gown and headscarf to the CFDA Awards in 2014, placing her on top of best dressed, ever, lists for years to come. And she brought him in for a size-inclusive lingerie collection for Valentine's Day in 2020. Needless to say, sport through Selman’s lens is going to be “sexy, sexy,” as Rihanna told InStyle in October, before the collection was shown.

“If we're gonna start as a lingerie company and we want to expand, everything needs to come from that template,” Rihanna says. “And we wanted to apply some of our details to the sport silhouettes, to the tech fabrics, and have it snatch you in all the right places. I knew a snapback was on the way so I had to make sure the leggings were giving what they're supposed to give.” 

Rihanna Says Her Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Is “Obnoxious”

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

She notes bringing in Selman as a natural progression for her brand, based on her personal relationship with him. “It's a no-brainer,” she says, with Selman by her side beaming. “Here's a designer that I've worked with in the past, someone that I know, someone I love personally. They know what the heck they're doing. I love knowing that I can rely on him and he'll bring new ideas to the table, and Savage will evolve, Savage will grow up, and our designs will be different.”

Selman says the partnership came about naturally, but jokes, “I forced myself in.”

“We have such a rich history of working together and designing and creating together and we see so much of the same thing that it's fun to be, like, in a new chapter,” he says.

Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Dancers

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

You’ll see Selman’s signature influence in the athletic designs — which are lingerie forward — from hosiery detailing to french cut silhouettes. There’s paneling on leggings that cup the butt for a lifted, contoured appearance. Rihanna’s personal favorite style, Peak Performance, includes sheer paneling down the front, side and back that create the illusion of an elongated leg. In the show, actress Marsai Martin and singer Bella Poarch show off a bright leopard print bodysuit and a fishnet paneled sports bra, respectively. Another line, Velvet Vixen, is inspired by the renaissance era and includes bodysuits that lace from the back of the leg up to the derriere, offering a cheeky exposure. 

“Everything is a sport” according to Savage x Fenty and throughout the show you’ll see just how durable and flattering Rihanna’s turn at athleticwear can be, from high-energy choreography to yoga-like flexibility as demonstrated by her dancers. 

Sheryl Lee Ralph Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

“I've learned incredible things about silhouettes from him,” Rih says of what she’s retained during her friendship with Selman. “I've learned about how to compliment your body in different sorts of shapes.” And he returns a compliment: "You can give someone great clothes but you can't give them style, and she just has the ultimate style."

When asked they'll work together for her upcoming Super Bowl looks, Selman demurs, but Rihanna can't hide that another extension of their work together makes sense.

"He just might, he just might! We actually haven't gotten there yet, but Adam has been designing my performance looks forever," she says. As for her current best in show? She has a strong feeling about Vol. 4., as she shared with another reporter on the red carpet. "Oh, this show is obnoxious," she laughed. "This one takes the cake. THIS is going to be the show to beat."

Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Leopart Jumpsuit

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Silhouettes are key to this drop, which appear in the show on high power names like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Taraji P. Henson, Cara Delevingne, Simu Liu, Anitta, Precious Lee, Winston Duke, and — as according to rumors spread on Friday once show screeners were released to certain members of the press, Johnny Depp, the latter of which was not announced with other talent or disclosed to the press at the time of this interview. (Savage Fenty did not return our request for comment about Depp's casting.) 

Rihanna’s own reveal in the show comes during a forest scene entitled “Mother Nature,” where she dons a corset, hose, and french cut bottoms. Of course, Rihanna is not shy when it comes to her own sex appeal. Ten years ago, I asked her what body part she loved to show off the most, and this time, without reminding her, I asked if her answer has changed.

“Oh yeah, girl, it changed. I guarantee you it changed. I had a baby! Let's be real. Now it’s my booty — because I got one.” 

Funny thing is, she said the same thing 10 years ago. Because if there's one thing Rihanna is, it's consistent. 

Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 airs November 9th on Amazon Prime Video. More photos from the show to follow. Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that one quote was not given directly to InStyle.

Rihanna Says Her Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 Male Dancers

Courtesy of Savage x Fenty Vol. 4

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