WWD: What’s the first thing that pops to your mind when you hear Puma?

Rihanna: My childhood. Some of the first sneakers I owned were Puma, and I wore them to death, until they had holes in them. They were sleek running shoes, I had them in pink with the black Puma stripes on the side. They also made them in Jamaican colors and so in the Caribbean it was like: What? Jamaican colors? That was the it-shoe in Barbados — if you didn’t have those, [that was it]. You know how kids are.

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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WWD: How many pairs of sneakers do you own, and do they outnumber your stilettos?

Rihanna: I have too many [sneakers] if that’s even possible; they are mostly in storage now. [Rihanna catalogues all her performance looks in a 4,000-square-foot storage unit, of which roughly 1,000 square feet is dedicated to shoes.] They are probably on par with my stilettos. I love a heel but recently I’m tending more to sneakers. Being in the studio, traveling, touring — you cannot do that in heels, unless you are Posh Spice [she laughs]. She is in the airport with four kids and she gets it done. She is so legit’.

WWD: How does music, your core activity, relate to fashion?

Rihanna: Music and fashion go hand in hand. I think music inspires all types of arts; it inspires life, emotion, mood, and all of those things are reflected in my fashion and my style. One doesn’t go without the other.

WWD: How serious are you about your designing career? Are you ready to take it deeper?

Rihanna: I love designing. I’ve always enjoyed it. The thing I love most is the unexpected result between my brand and theirs, the combination, the marriage — it’s like having a baby, you put two things together and all of the sudden it bursts into a new thing. It’s life. At River Island I was able to see stuff come to life, draw up an idea from scratch, and that made me want to take on a bigger challenge. And MAC was an amazing experience — from creating packaging to going through textures. I would love to do cosmetics, because I love beauty: choosing colors, creating shapes. It’s like painting, you just get to play. The same way I treated MAC, I will attack Puma.

WWD: What’s next for Rihanna in 2015?

Rihanna: Releasing an album. I don’t know when exactly, but you will know when I know it.

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