Our Favorite Lines from Rihanna’s Vogue Cover

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She’s listening to a remix of Sia’s “Chandelier,” occasionally belting out a lyric in that inimitable Bajan tone: “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist! Like it doesn’t exist!”
  
In this gloriously crowded arena, Rihanna transmits something unique. Not afraid to show us her flaws, Rihanna inspires us to, as her friend Cara Delevingne puts it, “go with your instinct and go with your gut, and if people don’t like you, fuck ’em.”

The chorus has Rihanna singing, “I got to do things my own way, darling.” It’s “like a PSA,” she tells me. She recognizes the risks: “It might not be some automatic record that will be Top 40. But I felt like I earned the right to do that now.” “I can only do me,” the singer says. 

  “Higher,” reveals a woman who’s been burned by love. Rihanna compares it to “a drunk voice mail.” She explains, “You know he’s wrong, and then you get drunk and you’re like, ‘I could forgive him. I could call him. I could make up with him.’ Just, desperate.” The candor is heightened by a husky, soul-inflected warmth. “We just said, ‘You know what? Let’s just drink some whiskey and record this song.’ ”

Rihanna loves fashion, and fashion designers love her. Tom Ford describes her style as “daring, fearless, and constantly evolving.” (Rihanna, in turn, says of Ford admiringly that he “knows how to make a woman a bad bitch.”) Olivier Rousteing of Balmain likens her to Michael Jackson, David Bowie, and Prince: “Whether masculine or feminine, she makes it sexy. She has this strength and modernity.”

  “I just liked it better without the lines underneath. Could you imagine the CFDA dress with a bra? I would slice my throat. I already wanted to, for wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled. That’s the only regret I have in my life.” Wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled is your greatest regret in life? “To the CFDA Awards. Yes.”

Inspirations for the show, which include Japanese street culture (“Every time I go to Japan, it’s like, ‘Wow’ ”) and nineties music and fashion. “All my favorite artists and fashion icons and models are from the nineties,” she says, citing fellow glamazons Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, as well as Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Gwen Stefani, Jean Paul Gaultier, and John Galliano. “Everybody was just so fearless.” 

“I was already proud to be a Dior woman, but to be a black Dior woman and the first: It did something else for me.”

  “Women feel empowered when they can do the things that are supposed to be only for men, you know?” she says. “It breaks boundaries, it’s liberating, and it’s empowering when you feel like, Well, I can do that, too.”

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