Bad Girl Does Good: Rihanna Earns Praise From PETA—but Is More Intent on 'Saving the World'

Illustration for article titled Bad Girl Does Good: Rihanna Earns Praise From PETA—but Is More Intent on 'Saving the World'
Photo: Robin L Marshall (Getty Images for BET)

As the entertainment industry continues to find new and innovative ways to respond and adapt to the COVID-19 crisis, Rihanna’s primary focus has been providing relief to those in need. In fact, after already donating millions of dollars to various philanthropic efforts and rallying famous friends to do the same, the last thing on the entertainment mogul’s mind is entertainment. Rih said as much during a stream on Instagram Live on Friday, when she gave a playful scolding to fans still fixated on the release of her long-anticipated ninth album—since there are far more vital things to be concerned in this present moment.


“If one of y’all motherfuckers asks me about the album one more time when I’m trying to save the world, unlike y’all president...” she said, demonstrating the type of proactive leadership we need right now.

But while the bad gal’s common sense is clearly firmly in place during this crisis, she recently received a little love for her fashion sense, as well. Last week, Fenty Maison’s latest drop—an all-faux leather capsule collection—deservedly garnered kudos from PETA, which celebrated Rihanna’s cruelty-free offering with its Compassion in Fashion award.

“PETA recognizes and thanks Rihanna for making her new FENTY capsule collection completely leather-free, showing off chic and cruelty-free vegan clothing that is both animal-friendly and better for the planet,” read an announcement on PETA’s website.

PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange further praised the entertainer-turned-fashion mogul, saying: “Rihanna should take a bow for this stunning cruelty-free collection... With her new vegan collection, Rihanna shows how easy it is to create a killer look that no animal had to die for.”


It’s a far cry from the last gift the organization gave Rihanna; after she wore fur to a Dior fashion show in 2017, PETA reportedly sent her a faux fur jacket to demonstrate how she could get the look with less guilt. And of course, the ever on-trend megastar is also in step with a growing effort within the fashion industry to use fewer animal products in its offerings. Since the early-aughts, the movement has grown from early pioneers like Calvin Klein and designer Stella McCartney, an avowed vegetarian who has always refused to use leather or fur in her designs to a slew of luxury labels that have banned fur from their collections in recent years. Coach, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Diane von Furstenberg and many more are among a cadre of high-end designers that have disavowed fur, while even more have begun to experiment with alternatives to leather, long considered a luxury material.

As for Fenty’s foray into the faux game (offered at the very luxurious price point of $540 to $1,030), Rihanna boasts that the fabrication of her seven-piece collection is “as soft as everyone says” (which sounds like a typically Rihanna boast to make—and we love her for it). And while PETA’s tactics may not always be our type of hype, we stand in agreement that the bad gal has done a good deed in providing her fashion following a cruelty-free alternative—that is, if you don’t count the significant hurtin’ on their wallets.


Of course, our favorite do-gooder modeled Fenty’s latest offerings wearing her favorite accessory of the moment, the designer du-rag (which we’ve searched in vain for on Fenty’s site, but to no avail, thus far). Suffice to say, “y’all president” could never.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?