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From Good Girl to Badgalriri | Rihanna’s Music and Fashion Evolution

From Good Girl to Badgalriri | Rihanna’s Music and Fashion Evolution

Rihanna Robyn Fenty, Rih, Riri – whatever we call her – it’s undeniable that she’s a force to be reckoned with. She has successfully embedded her name in not only the music industry but beauty, footwear, lingerie and clothing. It’s a fact that Rihanna can make anything that may appear to be a fashion faux pas into a real innovative look.


Rihanna has taken over the music and fashion world simultaneously and it’s clear that she has grown into the fashion trailblazer she is today. With the release of each album, the musician experiments with the look that she presents to the world and it’s always a hit.

photo via Glamour

Music of the Sun (2005)

Her debut album introduced her to the world as a fresh-faced, girl-next-door that embodied the essence of early 2000s fashion. Rihanna took the world by storm usually wearing baggy, distressed jeans and a colorful crop top, paired with Converse sneakers.


A Girl like Me (2006)

After the booming success of her debut album and turning 18 years old, Rihanna got rid of her baggy jeans and began to appear on red carpets in neutral-coloured mini gowns. Riri showed a little more skin in classic silhouettes and strappy stilettos. Her new mature look embodied the more mature album (I know we all listened to “Unfaithful” in middle school and thought we were going through it) and presented a more prim Rih.

photo Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)

Riri took the title of her third studio album quite seriously. She ditched her long locks for a sleek asymmetrical bob and replaced her pretty white dresses from last year for hot pink gowns and leather straps. This album was Rih’s breakthrough work and set her apart from the crowd. Pretty soon everyone was rocking the ‘Rihanna bob’ and her red carpet looks were bolder and always a hit. She developed a public image as a sex symbol and set out to prove she has staying power in the fashion world.

photo via Getty

Rated R (2009)

When everyone thought the ‘good girl’ didn’t really ‘go bad’, Rihanna wasn’t having it. She continued with her sultry, bold looks on and off the red carpet and it came naturally to her. Rihanna is known for shutting down the Met Gala and this is the year Rihanna began with her creative looks. She opted for a beautiful and bold menswear-inspired ensemble by Dolce and Gabbana and continued with eye-catching red carpet looks throughout the year.

photo via Glamour

Loud (2010)

With the release of Loud, like a true artist, Rihanna became the embodiment of her work. Now styling a vibrant red bob, Rih found a balance between mature fashion statements and keeping up with fun, retro looks. The star definitely used her red hair as an accessory, often wearing pieces that complimented the bold colour. Rihanna was loud with colours, large hair accessories and statement jewelry.

photo via

Talk That Talk (2011)

2011 was a really fun fashion year for Riri, especially with the release of  Talk That Talk. Rihanna recruited some party-music producers like Calvin Harris (remember when “We Found Love” was always in your head?). The musician started to look like a regular festival goer with short-shorts, mesh tights and sleeveless tops.

photo Getty

Unapologetic (2012)

In the years following the release of this album, Rihanna truly was unapologetic – especially with her fashion choices. The singer showed more sex appeal, took more fashion risks and still always came out on top. She is the epitome of the “I don’t give a f**k” attitude, and that has allowed her to make herself a fashion and music industry heavyweight. Remember her appearance at the 2014 CDFAs and her iconic naked dress? And her equally iconic, Do my tits bother you? They’re covered in Swarovski crystals, girl” to the reporter who questioned her look? She’s truly unapologetic and that’s why we love her.

Anti (2016)

With the release of this album, followed by a hiatus that feels like forever, (please release new music, Rih) Rihanna began to explore a more “avant garde” approach to her style. Although Anti is the last official musical body of work created by the artist, she has compensated by establishing a Fenty fashion and beauty empire. Naturally, since becoming a successful designer and business mogul her fashion sense has evolved. Rih now plays with more masculine silhouettes, became more accustomed to layering and donning bolder patterns. She has become the Queen of Street Style and never disappoints. So even though we don’t have an album, we’ll forgive you Rih but only because you are a fashion genius.

by Lindsay Selliah
cover photo via Sports Illustrated and
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