News

W Magazine Dubs Rihanna 'World's Wildest Style Icon'

The issues with Rihanna W Magazine's editorial spread World's Wildest Style Icon

W Magazine's September issue features Rihanna as the World's Wildest Style Icon, an editorial styled by Ghana-born Edward Enninful. Enninful began in the industry as a fashion model before becoming the youngest fashion director for an international publication, i-D, at the tender age of 18. He claims it was his time at Vogue Italia that matured him as a stylist. Before taking over as fashion and style director at W, Enninful contributed for American Vogue. With such an impressive CV, the popularity of the Rihanna W Magazine spread comes as no surprise.


Though ornamented in headdresses, animal skins, rubies and dramatic make-up, the spread's description by make-up artist Kabuki, along with other news sources, as "tribal" is hardly warranted. Kabuki states "I got the vibe that it was slightly animalistic, but also could be interpreted as tribal or survivalist—definitely somebody using their environment as part of their style." 'Tribal' has emerged in fashion as a sort of genre or trend, but given its colonial history and implication, the statement, coming from such a reputable fashion publication, is daunting.

Somebody using their environment as part of their style is impressively sustainable and there are many emerging artists capitalizing on this practice. Sustainable fashion has emerged as a response and remedy to environmental and social impacts of the industry, and fashion designers across the diaspora are introducing eco-conscious methods through the use of environmentally friendly material and socially-responsible methods of production. There is something cognizant and environmentally conscious about utilizing natural resources to produce textiles and cosmetics. However, using a loaded word like "tribal," given its colonial context undermines these designers and their practice. While the spread itself is visually brilliant, the conversation surrounding the spread should really be dissected. Take a look at the Rihanna W Magazine spreads in the gallery above.

 

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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