Rihanna's pregnancy tour has encountered its first hiccup.
Sadly, though, the Bad Gal's latest maternity look missed the mark, a historic first in the star's resumé of jaw-dropping pregnancy 'fits.
On March 14, she stepped out in a leather micro-miniskirt and an oversized leather jacket, worn over a crystal bra.
Rih looked great — that (obviously) wasn't the issue. Rather, I have questions about what led the star and her stylist, Jaheel Weaver, to enlist Alexander Wang to design the custom-made outfit.
In case you forgot: at the end of 2020, model Owen Mooney alleged that Wang groped him at a nightclub in New York City. In the wake of Mooney's account, transgender model Gia Garison alleged that Wang tried to pull her underwear down in the VIP area of a club.
Wang denied the allegations as "baseless and grotesquely false."
In the months following Mooney's accusation, 10 men came forward with similar experiences. Among them were stylist David Casavant and Keaton Bullen, who was a 20-year-old student at Parsons School of Design when he met Wang.
Lisa Bloom, a high-profile victims' rights lawyer, briefly represented Wang's victims. But in March 2021, the case was mysteriously dropped.
Wang reportedly met with his accusers who, according to a statement from Bloom, "had the opportunity to speak their truth to him and expressed their pain and hurt... We acknowledge Mr. Wang’s apology and we are moving forward."
Shortly after, Wang issued a statement in seeming contradiction to his previous, emphatic denial of the allegations.
"It was not easy for them to share their stories, and I regret acting in away that caused them pain," the designer wrote on Instagram. "While we disagree on some of the details of these personal interactions, I will set a better example." (Hopefully, that includes refraining from casting R. Kelly in another campaign.)
Since then, Wang has lost much of the breathless press coverage and celebrity support he once enjoyed, save for dressing South Korean rapper CL for last year's Met Gala.
Dressing Rih, a celebrity at the height of A-list-dom, is a major moment for the American designer, once a highlight of New York Fashion Week. But is it deserved?
Between his non-apology and artful exercise in gaslighting, Wang didn't exactly take responsibility for his actions. Not that it mattered to many of his customers, anyway — as the time of publishing, the Alexander Wang Instagram account boasts over 5 million followers.
Neither Rihanna nor Weaver are responsible for Wang's alleged abuse of power, but selecting him, out of all the designers Rih has access to, holds complicated implications.
Surely, they're savvy enough to realize that dressing isn't merely an aesthetic choice — it's a political one, too.