Over the years, Rihanna has developed a keen sense for the next big thing, and no matter how preposterous her fresh fashion obsession may be, one has to trust in Miss Fenty at all times. When everyone else thought puffer coats were nothing but a practical piece you'd take skiing, she wore them throughout one summer to hammer the point home. She established athleisure light years before the rest of the A-list gym kit–loving set. When you'd never imagine that the "ugly" shoe trend could go any further, she produces a pair of furry slides so wrong that they became right and put her Puma collaboration into the fashion history books.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, it's no wonder she's also the queen of spotting fresh design talent. Rihanna has been an early adopter of young British talent, choosing pieces from Simone Rocha, Craig Green and Marques'Almeida before they've hit the mainstream. When it comes to risk-taking ensembles, Rihanna's your girl: Whether she's choosing a rave-ready prom dress or she's borrowing from the boys in an XXL suit for her latest album cover, much of her style success is down to her choosing the right (and new) designers for the job.
So to celebrate Rihanna's 29th birthday today, here's a look at the new fashion brands she's obsessed with right now.
Style Notes: For those who love Reformation as much as we do, Awaveawake is a similar international brand that's rising to the fore. The eco-friendly label specialises in conscious eveningwear, like this elegant slip dress Rihanna wore to her favourite restaurant, Giorgio Baldi. (Yes, we know everything.)
Style Notes: Cult Korean designer Kathleen Kye has gained kudos at Seoul Fashion Week since launching her own label at just 23 years old. With faux-fur coats in vibrant colours, like Rihanna's blue number here, we can see why.
Style Notes: Selman is a longtime collaborator of Rihanna's and one of the key figures in her styling crew. Since he founded his eponymous label in 2013, Selman has acted as both designer and stylist to her on multiple occasions: namely, being the genius behind that Swarovski crystal dress she wore to receive her CFDA Fashion Icon award in 2015.
Style Notes: If you're not yet aboard the Ganni train, get ready to spend a hefty chunk of your pay packet on an online shopping spree. The affordable Scandi label launched in 2000, but it has recently reached cult status—with the likes of Rihanna (and a host of influencers) Instagramming slogan tees, pretty matching prints and one particular pink jumper.
Style Notes: The Paris-born London-based designer specialises in handcrafted, ultra-luxurious denim and basics, but it was a slinky white pleated halter-neck dress that Rihanna cherry-picked last summer (with white sock boots, her Dior collaboration sunglasses, a Balenciaga stole and—naturally—a glass of wine).
Style Notes: Thanks to taking home the Best Emerging Designer British Fashion Award last December, plus fans including Alexa Chung and Susie Bubble, this LFW designer has fast become one of the industry's hottest names to know. Rihanna channelled Tinkerbell in one of her signature neon-coloured tulle frocks last summer and threw Molly's name into the American market.
Style Notes: Admittedly, Vetements is now the most buzzed-about fashion brand on the planet (for about a million and one different reasons), but Rihanna was sporting the signature haute hoodies way before everyone else caught on.
Style Notes: Could this be Rihanna's go-to denim designer on speed dial? This season, he debuted his unisex collection at NYFW (previously he created his own DIY video and zine presentations). We want one of his supersize jean jackets immediately, although you'll have to make a sales enquiry on Matthew Adams Dolan's website.
Next up, how five fashion editors nail London style.
Opening Image: Getty Images