Tom Ford Talks Rihanna And Fashion Flamboyance With ‘WWD’

Rihanna wears Tom Ford at the 2012 Met Gala.
Photo: Getty Images

As the presumed man behind Justin Timberlake’s slick makeover for The 20/20 Experience, it’s not exactly a secret that Tom Ford likes to dip his fingers into the music world every now and then. But it turns out JT is only one in Ford’s lengthy love affair with performers. In a new interview with WWD, the designer tells editor Bridget Foley about his re-entry into the runway world, how he handles critics, and why shocking audiences can sometimes be a good thing. And really, who’s better proof of that last point than Rihanna?! Ford dishes that the singer is one of his favorite muses because she can rock the eponymous label’s signature eye-popping looks with serious swagger. Recalling a tricky head-to-toe pink patchwork look from his Fall 2013 collection, Ford says, “And if you’re Rihanna, if you’re that kind of person who can pull off matching hot-pink boots, skirt and jacket, and patchwork multimaterials, I think it’s great.” Great. Yet another skill Rihanna magically possesses that 99% of the population can only DREAM of having…

This division between the “Rihanna customer” (a.k.a. those few ladies who can sport all-over outrageousness without batting an eye) and the “regular customer” (everyone else) becomes even more pronounced throughout the interview, with Ford noting that his runway shows are a “hyped-up” version of reality…and Rihanna is at the center of it. He even likes to brainstorm scenarios (starring Rihanna, duh) to put each outfit into context. “Whenever I’m working on a collection, everything does have to be real, and those outfits are real to me,” he says. “If I think, ’OK, who is wearing this and where is she going?’ And I think, ’OK, that’s Rihanna, and she’s going to her lawyer’s office in that all-black outfit and she’s hung over and that’s why she’s wearing those glasses. Yet she’s still a rock star.'” *sigh* No argument there, right? Rihanna’s no stranger to wearing Tom Ford’s creations… but does this WWD shoutout mean that we’ll see even more of Ford’s designs on the pop star in the future? Fingers crossed!

For now, check out Tom Ford’s WWD interview here.

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