Singer Rihanna has been photographed in it all — stilettos and sweatpants, leather and lace, fur and fierceness — and we’ve all taken notice.
Especially the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which recently announced it will be giving Rihanna the Fashion Icon award on June 2 at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York City.
Past recipients of the Fashion Icon award include Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, so it looks like Rihanna will be in good company.
Rihanna has evolved incredibly since her first album release in 2005. With the release of her third album, “Good Girl Gone Bad,” in 2007, she quickly shed the image of the young, innocent pop princess and became the sexy, powerful female.
Her personal style changed from Barbados island girl with long, beachy hair and flowy fabrics to entertainment industry powerhouse with a straight-line cut bob and edgier outfits.
Rihanna continued to evolve by changing her hair color and cut as often as her accessories and experimenting with different styles, fabrics and silhouettes, leaving everyone completely in the dark as to what she would appear in next.
Rihanna pushes the boundaries of everyday style. From her stage outfits to what she wears to sit courtside at a basketball game, every combination of clothing is an ensemble and not just a top and bottom put together because it matched.
Rihanna has worn menswear, gowns and bodysuits. Looks range from a red Elie Saab gown with sheer cut-outs to a Dolce and Gabbana suit with large shoulder pads.
Rihanna’s outfit choices make a memorable impression. She’s earned respect for her daring combinations not just from fans and music industry equals, but designers have also taken notice.
Working with Armani, creating her own clothing line for British brand River Island and more recently, becoming the face of French fashion house Balmain are just some of the fashion elbows Rihanna has rubbed in her career.
Designers either want Rihanna to work with them or want to dress her, so CFDA honoring Rihanna with the Fashion Icon award is no surprise. In an industry where it is very easy to be replaced or forgotten, Rihanna continues to be innovative, topping her competition and even herself.
Put simply, Rihanna is a woman who goes after what she wants and dresses to match her ambition and “don’t mess with me” attitude. She’s the woman who walks in the door and everyone takes notice. This is the kind of attention that continues for weeks after because everyone is clamoring to see what she’ll do, or in this case, wear next.
CFDA couldn’t have picked a better 2014 Fashion Icon award recipient. Whoever they choose for 2015 will have some big, incredibly fashionable shoes to fill.
Meg Ryan is a 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Philadelphia.