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Rihanna Is British Vogue’s March 2023 Cover Star
Not long before she gave birth last May, I had dinner with Rihanna in Los Angeles. Needless to say she was in the throes of doing pregnancy her way: wearing a hot-pink, body-hugging minidress trimmed with feathers. There was a palpable joy in her eyes as she discussed her plans for the coming weeks while she awaited the birth of her son.
The next time we met in person it was seven months later, when I walked into a motorhome on a clifftop overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, to find the nine-time Grammy Award winner and era-defining fashion icon in the midst of changing a nappy. “Everything changes when you have a baby,” Rihanna tells Vogue this month, speaking in depth for the first time about her early months of motherhood.
And it’s true. Everything had changed. Alongside her partner, A$AP Rocky, the trio had embarked on a journey like no other, albeit one that will be familiar to many. Cocooned in exhausted bliss, the young family has spent much of the past year falling in love with each other, secluded away from the eyes of the world. But now Rihanna is returning to the limelight – and how.
At last Sunday’s Super Bowl, the star performed solo and live for the first time in seven years to jaw-dropping effect. “I’m going to say yes to the Super Bowl in the middle of postpartum…” she tells Vogue’s European features director, Giles Hattersley. “What the heck am I thinking?” This being Rihanna, she didn’t stop there however. She also took the moment to announce to the world that she is pregnant again, as more than 100 million people watched at home. Like everyone else, I was in awe. “If Rihanna can do the Super Bowl Halftime Show while pregnant and mother to a nine month old, I wonder what else I can get done today,’ I joked with my team. Next up is her Oscar nomination for “Lift Me Up”, the song she recorded for the recent Black Panther movie, as well as the promise of new music and her ever-expanding beauty and fashion empires. “Everything is full throttle,” she says.
To herald the beginning of this new chapter, one that is ushering in a new kind of life, Rihanna and Rocky wanted to do something special. So it was that, along with photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, I arrived in Malibu to take the first portraits of the new family. For Riri it was never going to be without edge, though naturally we spent most of the day cooing over the baby. I’m so proud to introduce to you the definition of a modern family.
This March issue is also a fashion bonanza. Our bountiful Trends section heralds the key moods for the new season, from laid-back luxury to the Vogue spin on contemporary grunge, metallics and popping colour. Do not shop without it. Meanwhile, we meet a cross-section of the activists, lawyers and policymakers working tirelessly to tackle the ever-present spectre of gendered violence against women. Their brilliance and commitment truly give me hope.
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