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Rihanna applauded for body-positive runway show: 'I don't care about any skinny Victoria's Secret model'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Step aside, Victoria’s Secret. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty runway show — which took place Tuesday during New York Fashion Week and will stream worldwide Sept. 20 on Amazon Prime — is being applauded for its body-positivity and size-inclusivity.

The big event to showcase the inclusive lingerie brand took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and drew a star-studded crowd — designers, models, performers and friends. And it’s being applauded for being everything that the rival Victoria’s Secret show was not. (Victoria’s Secret recently cancelled its annual fashion show.)

Here’s what we know so far...

It’s being heralded as the new Victoria’s Secret. All body sizes, shapes, abilities and ethnicities were celebrated during the lingerie show. And they were all “undeniably sexy,” Elle noted, adding, “Sorry, Angels, your time is up.” That anti-Victoria’s Secret vibe was felt by reporters in attendance, with Harper’s Bazaar noting the brand had “swooped in where Victoria's Secret failed, adopting a body-positive, size-inclusive approach to lingerie that celebrates and empowers a diverse spectrum of women.” The Daily Beast called it a “celebration of female power.”

Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video. (Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

And there are definitely some Savage x Fenty vs. Victoria’s Secret vibes on the internet as a result:

And Rihanna is OK with that. In a post show interview with Business of Fashion, she said, There are a lot of women out there who are feeling in the dark, invisible. 'I can’t try that on because I’m not made like that.’ This is where you feel safe, right here at Savage.”

A view of the stage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video )

The event was choreographed by dancer Parris Goebel, who had the models twerk and dance during the show. Rihanna told the website that she liked how Goebel “makes everything sexy despite society’s ideal of what sexy looks like. I don’t care about any skinny Victoria’s Secret model when I look at Parris. I want to be that woman on the inside. I want to feel that confident, I want to feel that bombastic… That is the Savage brand.”

Yes, it was a steamy display. According to the New York Post, there was an “ass-slapping, ponytail-whipping routine” involving Rihanna and “10 lingerie-clad dancers.” At another point, “ they writhed in an orgy-like pile.” Paris Hilton called it “so sexy.”

Andre Leon Talley said Rihanna smashed the “crystal ceiling and created the new norm for fashion presentations.” He also revealed that she had 44 models and dancers, and 147 looks. “There was a moment of the future!”


There was a variety of models. Among the varied catwalkers were models, actors and rappers, including Cara Delevingne, Alek Wek, Joan Smalls, Laverne Cox, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Normani, 21 Savage and Christian Combs.

Cara Delevigne poses onstage for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video - Show Sneak Peak at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video )

There was an impressive list of performers. Halsey, Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, Fabolous and Tierra Whack were among the talents.

Halsey attends Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video - Arrivals at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video )

There was a star-studded guest list. Yes, Anna Wintour was in the house as well as Diane von Furstenberg. Others included Ashley Graham, Kacey Musgraves, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson,Hailee Steinfeld, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Lisa Rinna and Amelia Hamlin.

Ashley Graham attends the Savage x Fenty arrivals during New York Fashion Week at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

It was a locked-down show. Because it will be streamed later this month, guests had to show photo ID to get in, photos were prohibited and attendees had to keep their phones in sealed cases for the duration of the show.

Kacey Musgraves attends the Savage x Fenty arrivals during New York Fashion Week at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

The collection is already on sale. While the show won’t stream until Sept. 20, the pieces are on sale now on Amazon Fashion. Sizes range from 32A to 42H in bras, and XS to 3X in undies and sleepwear.

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