Rihanna on Her Viral Tree Outfit, Her Favorite Style Era, and More

Complex spoke with Rihanna at the Fenty x Puma Earth Tone Creeper Phatty event in London.

Pierrick Rocher / Pierrick Rocher/BFA.com


Rihanna has experimented with every style imaginable throughout her career. From showstopping yellow ball gowns at the Met Gala to bedazzled Awake NY hoodies, she wears it all well. And it’s tough to predict what she will step out in next. Even so, we never expected her to dress up like a tree and still make it look fashionable.

The unconventional look was part of the campaign for her latest Fenty x Puma launch, a three-pack of earth-toned Creeper Phattys ($140). The “Totally Taupe,” “Green Fog,” and “Warm White” pairs are set to hit retailers on April 25. Rihanna took the forestial inspiration literally with her ghillie suit-esque garments. 

“Going with the theme of earth tones, we wanted to do something a little bit different for the sneaker campaign,” Rihanna tells Complex at a launch party for the “Earth Tone” Creeper Phatty at Tobacco Dock in London. “Philippa [Price] is a fantastic photographer and director. She’s such a brilliant creative and she pushed it.”

She goes on to say that the special outfit was discovered by her stylist Jahleel Weaver.

“It was just fun to be in a new silhouette that didn’t feel sexy. You had to bring it out,” says Rihanna. “If you’re going to dress like a tree, there’s only so much you can do with that. It was a challenge to push it through, but it was fun. I loved it.”

The Tobacco Dock warehouse was also transformed into a Fenty forest. Creeper Phattys were displayed on mossy pedestals and halls were lined with foliage and dirt. Creeper Phattys hung from a ceiling above a circular garden, which was the focla point. Images of clear blue skies on the wall made for the perfect photo op. 

Rihanna saved the unorthodox garb for the photoshoot. For the London event, she went with a baggy tan suit by Peter Do and a taupe pair of Creeper Phattys. She accentuated the look with bleach blonde hair, red nails, and red lips. Her jewelry, ASAP Rocky’s “Grim” ring on one hand and a signet ring that reads “Mom” on the other, keeps her family close despite their absence on this particular night.

When asked what her favorite style era of her career is, Rihanna pauses and ponders thoughtfully before giving her response: her maternity era. 

“That was a challenge and it was very fun to figure that out,” says Rihanna. “I feel like maternal fashion has always been presented in one way and I was a rebel at that. I wanted to have fun with my pregnancy.”

Now with two sons, RZA and Riot, the stylish fits aren't just for her. She’s having a blast getting them dressed everyday. She takes heavy cues from their father’s wardrobe (of course she is. It’s ASAP Rocky). She says hunting for children’s vintage gear is particularly exciting, citing pieces she's come up on like Avirex jackets, Ecko jeans, and Power Rangers T-shirts.

“Vintage is a hard find for kids,” says Rihanna. “I’m obsessed. It’s shocking to see all the good stuff they made back in the day.”

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