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Rihanna is stepping into the socks business with Stance.
Named contributing creative director as part of a three-year deal, the pop singer is designing socks and leading campaigns for the San Clemente, Calif.-based company. She’s also becoming one of Stance’s brand ambassadors, joining celebrities like artist Langley Fox Hemingway and former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson as the so-called “Punks and Poets.”
While her first full collection for Stance won’t hit stores until fall, Rihanna is releasing two styles that she designed on the company’s Web site today. Numbered like a limited edition from one to 1,500, the crew socks come in men’s and women’s sizing at a retail price of $30. There are 1,000 of the over-the-knee style, which sells for $26. Both made of combed cotton, the designs feature sublimated prints in red, white and black of newsprint typography and vintage movie art. Rihanna put a personal stamp on the product by emblazoning the phrase “Bad Gal” all over the designs, which hints to her Instagram account with 22.5 million followers. She also printed her surname Fenty in a Gothic typeface on the back of the crew socks. The singer snapped up the first in the series of crew socks.
“I’ve had a great relationship with Stance for a long time and I am happy to be working with them on such a fun and creative project,” said Rihanna, whose relationship with the brand dates back to 2012, when the company custom-made socks for her cover photo shoot with Complex magazine.
The fashion gig is the latest endeavor piled onto the packed resume of the multitasking media maven, who already holds the lofty titles of global brand ambassador and women’s creative director at Puma. When not topping the music charts with tunes such as “Umbrella,” “SOS” and “B—h Better Have My Money,” the Barbados-born singer has designed for fast-fashion retailer River Island and modeled for fashion and beauty labels including MAC, Balmain and, lately, Dior. She also catapulted Guo Pei into the global spotlight after donning the Chinese designer’s golden gown with a dramatic fur-trimmed cape at this year’s Met Gala.
Stance doesn’t worry about getting lost in the mix, though instead, it aims to ride the momentum to the next level. Introduced in 2012, two years after the men’s business, its women’s division makes up between 20 and 25 percent of total sales. It’s the fastest-growing group at the company, which also makes kids’ socks and plans to expand into men’s underwear this fall. For instance, Rihanna’s fall collection slated to arrive in stores in September includes a thigh-high style, a first for Stance.
“She creatively pushes the boundaries in everything she does,” said Candy Harris, senior vice president of Stance’s women’s division. “It’s nice to work with out-of-the box ideas for our brand.”
Stance plans to make a strong digital ad play for Rihanna’s fall collection, which will retail from $18 to $28. Rihanna served as creative director of the fall campaign. The company usually sells its wares at retailers such as Colette, American Rag Cie, Nordstrom and Shopbop.com, but it has yet to finalize the list of retailers that will carry Rihanna’s 18 styles for fall. Her holiday collection is due in November.
“There are very few women in fashion whose personal style can go from street to couture in a blink,” Harris said. “She does it with such credibility and authenticity. It makes her an original.”