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Dior may still be without a creative director, but the Parisian megabrand is keeping its name in the headlines anyway, thanks to a surprise collaboration with brand ambassador (and pop megastar/style icon) Rihanna.

Rihanna worked with the luxury house on a space-age, futuristic set of shades, which WWD reports was inspired by Star Trek‘s Geordi LaForge.

Rihanna, naturally, hasn’t been shy about the collab – she recently repped the “PHUCK” (her words, not mine) out of her new shades, pairing them with gear from her PUMA Fenty project.

When you reppin da PHUCK out yo own shit!!!

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

While most collaborations of this size are preceded by long, elaborate campaigns, RiRi’s set of luxe shades seem to have come out of the blue — they hit stores in a few weeks — which has led a few people to wonder if they’re simply a well-timed PR stunt, to cover up the fact that the house is finding it extremely hard to find a new creative director, over six months after Raf Simons’ exit.

Simons wasn’t shy in explaining just how stressful working at Dior was — he produced six collections a year, in as little as five weeks — so it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that his former employer is struggling to find a replacement to helm up the house.

Business of Fashion recently speculated that “part of the reason his [Raf’s] seat is still vacant is the limited control offered by the 70-year-old label compared with similar roles at rivals such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Coach.” The publication further added that “Dior’s desire for someone charismatic and current, with a strong vision but who will be happy to be confined to a relatively narrow role, could be a tall order, several fashion industry sources said.”

A surprise collaboration with one of the biggest celebrities on planet Earth keeps Dior’s name in the headlines, and is a handy way of distracting from the fact that it’s struggling to find a new director. This is all purely speculation, of course.

Rihanna’s new shades will hit Dior flagship stores in June. The silver, pink, blue, green and red styles will retail for $840, while an opulent 24-karat gold-plated version will sell for $1,950.

For more fashion news, find out who H&M’s latest high fashion collab is with.

Words by Alec Leach
Freelance Writer/Editor/Consultant

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin