Bravo's "Fashion Queens" Bravo's "Fashion Queens"

Vixen Exclusive: Bravo's 'Fashion Queens' Discuss Rihanna's CFDA Award and Style Evolution

On June 2, Rihanna's influential style will be solidified at the CFDA Fashion Awards, where she will be honored with the "Icon Award." The Council of Fashion Designers of America have labeled the provocateur "fashion's most exciting ambassador in recent memory" for her ever evolving looks. Like her predecessors Iman, Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss, she's covered countless glossies and set off seasonal trends. However, the question still remains--is she truly an "icon?"

We've employed Bravo's Fashion Queens (above)--Bevy Smith, Derek J and Miss Lawrence--to answer this question and reflect on Rih Rih's journey from Barbadian pop princess to Good Girl Gone Bad.

See what these industry pros have to say on the next page and be sure to tune into Fashion Queens every Sunday night at 11:30pm EST!

Photo Credits: Getty Images

The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring  Lucian Grainge - Show

VIBE Vixen: What is your definition of a fashion icon?

Bevy Smith: I always like that she wears things with confidence and attitude--it works. She's a fashion icon because she goes her own way, takes the risk, and when you take a risk in fashion, that means you are going do something that has not been tried before and when you do that, a lot of times you're going to have mishaps. That is part of being a fashion visionary.

Miss Lawrence: A fashion icon to me is someone like Rihanna--I think that she definitely has earned it. I think that she came along and pretty much galvanized pop culture with her style sensability and turning into being a fashion designer of her own. I think she owns absolutely everything she puts on and she’s always effortlessly chic.

Derek J: Well, in my eyes a fashion icon is a person that exudes personal style. For me, I am very proud of Rihanna for getting this award, but I don’t think she has reached icon status yet. The reason I feel like that is because when it comes to being an icon, their style goes through generations, people know about that person before they even know who that person was. I think she is on her way to become an icon, but do I think she is iconic yet? No.

Do you think it's a matter of time?

Derek J: It’s just a matter of time and I think it’s a matter of evolution of style. When it comes down to style, Naomi Campbell is an iconic styled woman.

Rihanna performing "Umbrella"

Can you remember the first time you saw Rihanna's style evolving?

Bevy Smith: Once she got out of that video vixen look of the blonde hair weave-- the broke r&b chick look--she kind of stepped out on Good Girl Gone Bad. That was definitely the canvas of her style and stepping into her own on all levels.  Style is just as important as talent when you are trying to break out the box.

 It wasn't about the sound initially; it was really when she cut her hair and dyed it black. A long time ago, I dressed her for the Vibe Awards and after that I didn't see her for a while...maybe 2 years.  Then when I did the cover story on her for Paper Magazine, she was a completely different girl.  She was more outspoken. When I first met Rihanna, she was really quiet, kind of shy and referred a lot to other people's opinions.  When I interviewed her two years later, that was totally not the case. In the piece she told me that she had the goal of becoming the black Madonna.  I think she is definitely well on her way.
 In that time, you have to remember everyone was rocking long blonde hair. Think of her competitors during that time--Christina Milian, Teairra Marie, Beyonce--what she did was really bold to go short and black. There was no one doing that.
Derek J: When Rihanna cut her hair, it was at a moment when everybody was in that cookie cutter mode of long hair. If you had a certain skin tone, you had a certain lightness of hair. She cut it and went black. She was the total opposite of what was happening at that moment and it made her stand out.
Miss Lawrence: I was very pleased to see her share herself in the "Umbrella" video. That was one of my favorite videos where she displayed a lot of high fashion. I love her chopped messy bob--she just really delivered a total look for me and it actually worked for her.
2013 American Music Awards - Press Room
As far as Rihanna's hair, what color/style do you think has worked best for her?
Bevy Smith: Another iconic thing she did is when she rocked that bold cherry red. That look might be big in Carribean communities, but you  never see that look in a high fashion point of view. That's what I love about Rihanna-- she brings urban street fashion into the mainstream conversation.  Many women in the past try to crossover street looks to high fashion. Madonna tried it with cornrows , she had marcel waves; she was trying to show the urban experience, but she never experienced it. With Rihanna, she is just taking from her background and bringing it out to the forefront.
Derek J: My favorite has been the short hair. I even liked it when she did the one sided with the gray tips. My worst was when she wore that wrap with them bobby pins. I hated the fact that it was not done and the fact that you had the nerve to add rhinestone bobby pins.
Miss Lawrence: I think my favorite was that whole red moment that she was doing. I think she wears that color really well because she has such rich undertones in her skin and she has beautiful amazing almond eyes.  My least favorite was the whole wrap moment that she had with the blinged out bobby pins. I think she tried to do a whole silver gray moment one time--that might of been my least favorite color.
Bevy Smith: I didn't particularly like it, but it was bold.  We see this look countless times in the hood, but she was taking it to an international platform , and she is calling it a style even though it was a maintenance  kind of  look. You know if you are going out tonight, your doobie has to be fresh( laughs). Who knows-- maybe her doobie wasn't ready to let down, so she just ran with it.
Rihanna The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red CarpetRihanna The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Do any of her red carpet moments stick out in your mind?
Derek J: I know she wore this this deep plunging neckline [at the 2013 Grammys], and she had that had that toussled blonde hair. I thought she was absolutely stellar looking. She looked amazing, she was absolutely stunning and I loved that she walked the carpet and went straight to the stage and didn’t do a costume change or anything.
Who do you think she looked up to in terms of style as a kid?
Miss Lawrence: I could see a little Madonna; not the avant-garde Madonna or anything like that--the Madonna sexy chic side. I could totally see a little bit of Naomi [Campbell] there. I could see a little of Grace Jones with Rihanna’s more daring numbers that she’ll do.
If you had to employ her to help another celebrity with her style, who would it be?
Miss Lawrence: I don’t really want to go there because I think everyone has their own unique style in their divine right. I don’t want to put another artist with another artist to say she could help her out. What I will say is that up and coming entertainers and artists should take note of Rihanna and make sure they follow her path for inspiration.
Derek J: Rita Ora to me doesn’t have a personal style. Rita Ora looks like she is a very stylized person; meaning that her stylist is like, “Girl put this on, you gon’ look good, this is the hottest thing."  I think she is an “It” girl and not understanding as and she feels like she has do the "it" things, too. She only had one good look and I think that was the 2014 Grammys.
Rihanna
Do you think her confidence is inspired by her style or vice versa?
Bevy Smith: I think her confidence is there. Are there better singers? Yeah.  Are there better dancers? Yeah. But she is a maverick and she owns her lane. I think when you own your lane, there's a confidence there that no one can take from you. When you put a fabulous look on top of that--she is the provocateur of music. I think that's what fuels the style.
What tips can you offer Vixens on finding their own personal style?

Derek J: Find out who that inner person is in you and who you really feel comfortable being. Now, a lot of women know who that person is, but they just don’t feel like that’s the right person to be, so what I tell people to do is name that person. If you want to be this really hood rat chick, then be that girl. If you’re more of that classy and reserved lady, then figure out who that chick is and name her. I think that they get so caught up in what people’s perceptions are of them and they second guess what to do because they’re wondering what so and so is thinking of them. That shouldn’t even matter. If it makes you feel good, it doesn’t really matter.

Bevy Smith: Every season you go, look at what the trends are and then you see how your body type , your finances and your spirit can fit to the trends.  Don't opt your personal style just to be on trend. For instance, everyone is wearing overalls, right? That is a really big trend, but I cant wear overalls. But to still be in the denim trend, I got a gorgeous denim pencil skirt.  I'll be part of the trend, but in my own way.

What is on trend this spring?

Bevy Smith:

Pastels- Although it kind of looks Easter,  it is a really great trend for girls and guys. For girls, it makes us look ladylike, young and spirited.  For guys, it makes them look a little more emo; gives them a Drake appeal (laughs).  If you see a guy in a nice pastel pink sweater you are going to think, "Aww he's a nice guy, but he can really be an asshole (laughs)." It makes everyone look a little softer and nicer.
Atheltic Wear- Gotta have your baseball jackets; gotta have athletic inspired footwear.
Metallics in the daytime-  You know last year was all about a pop of color. This year is all about a pop of shine.  Metallics are becoming more casual. In stores you will see a metallic sweat shirt, sweatpants and of course prints and patterns.
How about hair, Miss Lawrence?

Well, definitely you need to consider your hair texture, your facial shape and your lifestyle. Those are definitely three things you need to consider. Then you want to move into manageability, but I support change 100%.

 

 

 

 

 

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Trina To Address A&R's Comments About Nicki Minaj On Instagram Live

Trina is ready to address the public about comments from her camp about Nicki Minaj.

Earlier this week, Reginald Saunders, the head of A&R at Trina's label and cousin Bobby Lytes slammed Nicki for not promoting their collaborative single, "BAPS." The song was apart of Trina's album The One released on June 21, which was also the same day as the release for "Megatron."

In Saunders' post about Nicki, he also called out the rapper for heavily promoting her guest feature on Megan Thee Stallion's "Hot Girl Summer" but only sharing "BAPS" for a short amount of time on social media.

"This isn’t the first time @nickiminaj has pulled this stunt and trust me it’s cool," he said. "I can’t get over how fake people can be for a Lil fame, likes and followers. when everyone tried to warn me I still gave her the benefit of the doubt."

On Tuesday (Aug. 14), Trina took to Instagram to let her fans know her plans to address how "BAPS" came about and why a video hasn't been shot.

"First of all, everybody that knows me knows anything I gotta say, I will say it and address it," she said. "I don't need anybody to speak for me. Second of all, everything that I have to say, I will address it tomorrow. So catch me live and I will say it one time and one time only. I will not repeat myself."

During her Queen Radio session on Monday (Aug. 13), Nicki addressed Saunders and said she was prepared to shoot a video to "BAPS" when the song was recorded in 2017. She also had Trina as a guest for Queen Radio at the time of the song's release, making it the most-streamed track on the project.

"I have my own schedule and I also have to worry about what makes not only sense/cents but dollars," she said. "And it's not fair that people don’t understand that. I would never have someone from my team disrespect somebody that has been nothing but real to me.”

 

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A little overwhelmed right now but tomorrow 💙💙

A post shared by katrina (@trinarockstarr) on Aug 13, 2019 at 8:42pm PDT

You can listen to "BAPS" below.

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Amber Rose Cancels 2019 SlutWalk

Amber Rose is in protective mode when it comes to her “energy and peace.” The pregnant mom-to-be announced on Instagram Tuesday (Aug. 13) that she’s making some personal and professional changes, including canceling this year’s SlutWalk.

In the lengthy social media post, Rose vented about cutting off a bunch of friends whom she called “abusive” with some having “toxic personalities,” and drug and alcohol addictions. She also called out her “male friends” for “lying and telling people were were sleeping together,” and put another friend on blast for calling social services on her, twice.

“People may not know this but I’m extremely unproblematic. I don’t start fights. I don’t do drugs. I’m as sweet as pie and constantly get walked all over,” Rose wrote before noting that she’s blessed with a baby on the way and an “amazing man,” in reference to current boyfriend, Alexander “AE” Edwards.

“That’s why I’ve been laying so low during this pregnancy.... no toxicity will be tolerated over here only positive vibes. F**k fake friends and their weirdo s**t. I’d rather just have my family and my team.

“P.S. This is also why I’m not having my SlutWalk this year,” she added. “Sorry I just have to protect my energy and peace.”

The Philly native launched her SlutWalk in Los Angeles in 2015 to honor and celebrate women who have been slut shamed, judged and demeaned for being sexual. In a 2017 interview with VIBE Vixen, Rose described the SlutWalk as her “life’s work.”

“All the money that we ever got for donations [to the Amber Rose Foundation] goes to the actual SlutWalk. We don't have any money left over for the next year. We basically have to start over every year, and it takes a year to put on. That's a misconception, I make no money from the SlutWalks ever! I just put in all my work. It makes me happy, babe, it's my life's work.”

Read Rose’s full Instagram post below.

 

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So me. I stopped being friends with about 20 ppl last year. I’ve had friends steal jewelry and money from me, Sleep with my BF’s behind my back, Male friends lying and telling people we were sleeping together, Alcoholic drug addict friends, Abusive Friends, Toxic Personality friends and I even had a Friend call Social Services on me twice ( For no fucking reason) only to Sue me for calling her and Cursing her out (When I found out it was her) smh That Phone call cost me $168,000... Man, the list goes on you have no idea. The funny thing is I never snitched publicly on anyone. Ain’t that some shit? People may not know this but I’m extremely unproblematic. I don’t start fights. I don’t do drugs. I’m as sweet as pie and constantly get walked all over. I’m so happy God has blessed me with a New Baby and an Amazing Man to help me through all the turmoil. That’s why I’ve been laying so low during this pregnancy.... no Toxicity will be tolerated over here only Positive vibes. Fuck fake friends and their weirdo shit. I’d rather just have my family and my team. P.S This is also why I’m not having my Slutwalk this year.... Sorry I just have to protect my energy and peace - Muva

A post shared by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on Aug 13, 2019 at 9:41am PDT

 

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Fashion Roundup: Beyoncé Drops Nostalgic Merch And H&M To Collab With South African Label Mantsho

August just got a little hotter with two new fashion collections dropping this month.

Beyoncé unveiled her '90s-inspired "BeySearch" Friday (Aug. 9) while H&M is set to unveil their South African collaboration on Thursday (Aug. 15).

Queen Bey surprised fans with new a merch capsule on her official website on Friday afternoon. Fanny packs, bodycon dresses, bucket hats, crop tops, windbreakers, and more are designed with Google searched images that highlight every monumental step her in career.

The aesthetic is to appeal to a "90s teenager's bedroom walls combined with the tidal wave of today's meme culture," as said in a press release.

H&M is to release a legendary collection with the South African brand, Mantsho. Essence reports that the collection will feature edgy African-inspired prints that celebrate the elegance and vibrancy of Africa. Mantsho translates to "black is beautiful" from the native Sesotho language.

Established in 2004, the label has appeared on fashion runways in the U.S., Greece, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Botswana, and Senegal. This will make H&M's first collaboration with a South African brand.

"This is my love letter to the world from Africa," said Mantsho's head of design, Palesa Mokubung. "I hope customers around the world will enjoy this ensemble of my stand-out pieces from my last three collections."

You can shop "BeySearch" here. The latest H&M collection will be available next Thursday (Aug. 15).

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