Rihanna has made a number of unexpected items fashionable recently. Leaving a restaurant with a glass of white wine is no longer a crime, if you’re cool enough to get away with it. She’s traded knee high boots for a thigh high version, and, much to the delight of your parents, she’s made thick-soled creepers chic again. Her recent appearance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards was no exception, as she graced the stage in four different outfits that all showcased a unique side of her fashion identity.
Helping Rihanna to shape this identity is none other than Ya Jun Lin, BFA Fashion ’16, who designed the oversized black feather filled down jacket, gridded with wool ribbon, that the pop star wore during her third performance of the evening. The Parsons alum designed the jacket as part of her senior thesis collection, “White Noise,” which earned her the prestigious Kering Innovation Award this past May.
“Rihanna has always been my muse and idol through all my designs,” Lin says. “I love her attitude, her voice, and her looks. I can’t imagine anything better than to see her in my designs. She pulls everything off, and it’s been an honor for me that she wore a jacket I designed.”
Rihanna’s stylist, Mel Ottenberg, was a judge on the panel for the Kering awards, where Lin made a huge impression. When Ottenberg’s assistant saw Lin’s work in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue in June, she knew she had found Rihanna’s next style.