A Lesson on Diversity & Inclusion from the Savage X Fenty Show
Yesterday, I procrastinated my way to watching the Savage X Fenty Show, and I was left in complete awe of Rihanna. She truly is a powerhouse, but on top of that, all her brands; Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty and Fenty have intentionally left no one behind.
Watching her runway show made me reflect on the international fashion and beauty industry. Which if you ask me packaged beauty as white, tall and skinny — in a world full of people from diverse races, body shapes and textures of hair. In fact, for the longest time, I thought that the colour nude only came in “ 50 shades of beige”, however, each race has their own colour of nude.
I remember watching runway shows on Fashion TV and always trying to count the number of black girls I could see in order to root for them. Most shows either had 1–2 black girls or none at all because racism and exclusion-ism run the international fashion and beauty industry. Diversity and inclusion on the runway only happened to tick boxes. Rihanna’s show did not tick boxes, instead, it drew a circle outside all the boxes. She packaged beauty in all shapes, sizes and colours and ensured no one was left behind.
Rihanna is dismantling the” rules of beauty” in each of her brands. If you watch the Savage X Fenty show you will clearly see this. For the first time in all my twenty-plus years on earth, I saw regular persons ( abled and different abled) dominate a runway show in lingerie. She had sexy and comfortable pieces for each and every gender. To show just how comfortable her pieces were she made all her models dance in the pieces. One performance that stood out for me was Normani’s — who would have thought the best way to market a bra is to have someone dance in it and no boob popped out — marketing genius!
Rihanna has brought sexy back for all genders. Unlike brands like Victoria Secrets which have been in existence for many years but were deliberately tone-deaf — showcasing and selling lingerie through the fantasies of men as opposed to wanting to make all women and non-binary people feel comfortable and sexy, which has been a contributing factor to their decline in sales.
Many organisations and leaders can learn a thing or two from Rihanna’s brands which is; diversity and inclusion matter, beyond ticking boxes because more people exist beyond the confines of the boxes.