“It’s every designer’s dream to have their collection be carried at Bergdorf Goodman,” Rihanna proclaimed Tuesday afternoon at a frenzied personal appearance for the retail unveiling of her fall Fenty by Puma collection.
The Barbadian singer was joined by Bergdorf president Joshua Schulman and “homegirl Linda,” senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation Linda Fargo — as a contingent of Rihanna fans swarmed the retailer’s fifth floor, tunes blaring.
The majority of attendees appeared to be students from nearby fashion universities, including the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Parsons School of Design.
While scheduled for 3 p.m., the event didn’t start until nearly two hours past its call time — leaving some attendees with a dilemma.
Ariana, a 20-year-old student at FIT, said she was “debating if I should skip class, I have merchandising math at 5:10.” Spotted an hour later, it appeared that she had.
“I want to get the creepers,” Ariana said of her intentions for staying — noting that the continuously sold-out style is a must-have item amongst the FIT student body. “Before this, no one was buying Puma. [Rihanna] managed to make it big again,” she added.
Aasha, a 19-year-old New School student and intern for Alastair McKimm — who styled the fall Fenty for Puma campaign, already has a pair of creepers. She was in the room to nab one of the collection’s fur hoodies. “I like the collection — it is a mix of edgy and girliness at the same time.”
Whitney Lam, founder of the women’s lifestyle blog Nitrolicious, summed up Fenty’s popularity: “Anything Rihanna touches becomes popular. There is not really women’s streetwear like this produced with a big brand.”
Within 15 minutes of Rihanna’s ribbon-cutting, Bergdorf’s stock of shoes had sold out, as well as much of its apparel.
Schulman in his opening remarks at the event said, “The whole world is talking about ath-leisure, but here at Bergdorf’s we are all about ath-glamour.”
Discussing the decision to welcome Rihanna to Bergdorf’s, Schulman told WWD, “For us, Rihanna is an icon and when we first saw the [Fenty fashion] show Linda Fargo and I were so excited about it because we really felt that our customer would love this. It’s a very sexy, very modern approach to activewear.
“Ultimately for all of us, the celebrity association is nice, but it’s all about the product and we knew this type of product would speak to our customer.”