Rihanna Launches A Line Of Cameo Brooches That Only Feature Black Women: FENTY Isn’t Just A Brand, It’s A Whole Festival For WOC
Cameos were, and still are, very prized jewels of almost cultic significance. Historically, these pieces of jewelry have been linked to wealthy, European middle and upper classes. And in true FENTY fashion, bad gal Riri is back at it again with her signature fearlessness and creativity. This time, subverting the historically European roots of the jewel, featuring the profile of African women as its centerpiece. Riri did THAT.
Robyn Fenty’s out here rocking the cosmetic and fashion industries to their core.
Last month her inclusive SAVAGE X Fenty fashion show literally broke the industry’s “standards” by having trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary models of all colors, sizes, and beautiful looks, walk the runway in the brand’s sexy lingerie. How are we supposed to go back to what we knew, with all this inclusion?
Fenty Beauty is filling the gaps of the cosmetic industry by targetting a racially diverse market.
Since her line of beauty products launched in 2017, Fenty Beauty, has established itself as an all-inclusive beauty line —with forty different foundations for every complexion, along with numerous highlights and liners. Fenty Beauty has become one of the fastest selling brands, with early reports that the darkest shades of foundation keep selling out. It’s been clear from social-media testimonies – from those who possess albino to midnight-black complexions – that Rihanna has captured the right tone for diversity and racially inclusive marketing.
FENTY is modernizing the traditionally Victorian cameo brooch and bringing it straight into 2019.
Rihanna’s FENTY fashion label, launched a new range of jewelry that plays with the traditional history and significance of the European classic brooch. The subversive reimagining of the jewel puts African women as its centerpiece. The collection celebrates women of color with the cameo as an emblem of their fearlessness and joy.
The Cameo Collection is meant to be passed down through generations, like the traditional European brooch was too.
On October 30, FENTY unveiled a three-piece jewelry collection called The Cameo. The cameos in black resin and white glass come in earring, necklace, brooch and ring form. Framed with both Swarovski pearls and crystals, the cameos are set in gold-galvanized brass. Each piece, sculpted from relief, is meant to be passed down through generations.
As the brand explained in a press release, the Cameo was created to immortalize the the beauty of a black woman’s profile.
The brand explained a bit more about the history behind Cameo jewelry, writing, “Cameo jewelry has been worn as a statement of intent, belief or power. In ancient Greece, young women wore cameos bearing the portrait of Eros, the God of Love, to express their sexuality, or Medusa with her snake hair to ward off demons. Though FENTY’s cameo features a black woman’s profile, the collection is not about a singular definition of beauty; she symbolizes the beauty of difference. The cameo is an emblem of fearlessness, elevation, creativity and joy – everything FENTY stands for.”
The campaign features powerful women of different ages in sculpture-like hairstyles representing the endless possibilities of afro-hair.
The collection’s campaign was shot by Nigerian photographer Ruth Ossai, and features a powerful cast ranging in age with beautifully sculpted hairstyles coiffed by Isaac Poleon.
Hair has always been a central feature of cameo jewelry, providing the texture in the sculpture. Fenty did point out that, “While FENTY’s cameo figure wears box braids tied in buns, the shoot highlights the endless artistic possibilities of afro-hair culture in sculpture.”
Rihanna is shining a light on women of color by resisting Eurocentric beauty standards.
What strikes us the most about the pop-star turned fashion designer and beauty mogul, is not just how Rihanna struck the right chord for women of color, but also how her Fenty empire has the potential for subversive praxis and resistance against Eurocentric beauty standards.
Rihanna’s emphasis on inclusivity is foundational to what her labels stand for and has secured her success.
Set against such white supremacist industry ideologies, Rihanna’s FENTY, places women of color at the center, as seen in her Cameo collection. With FENTY as well as Fenty Beauty and SAVAGE X FENTY, Rihanna demonstrates how dark-skinned beauty is foundational to her work, which incorporates Latinx, Asian, light and dark-skinned black, brown, and white women. Even the inclusion of hijabi, disabled and amputee models, expands her brands’ market.
The Cameo collection ranges in price from $340 to $530 USD and is already available for purchase via the FENTY website. The line joins past accessories created by the singer that included sunglasses and shoes. Rihanna hasn’t yet revealed whether she’ll be working on any other FENTY collections in the future, but as she’s shown with her music, makeup, and now clothing line, she’s always ready to use her platform to share meaningful messages.
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