Watch Rihanna receive the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian Award of the Year at 1:13:54.
Before launching the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, Rihanna demonstrated an unrelenting giving spirit from the outset of her career. That commitment runs even deeper as the icon continues to leverage her influence to address a diverse group of global issues.
Today, CLF supports groundbreaking and effective education, health and emergency response programs around the world. With the voices of Rihanna and her fans, CLF also engages in global advocacy with the goal of improving the quality for young people everywhere. Current programs include the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program, the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and the Barbados Micro Grants Program.
Rihanna formed a partnership with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and international education and advocacy organization, Global Citizen in 2016, to tackle the global education crisis on a broader scale through advocacy. In the lead up to headlining the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, she called on her fans to ask the Canadian and French governments to increase their commitments to education. As a result of these efforts, Canada pledged to invest $20 million in the Education Cannot Wait Fund.
In January 2017, she traveled to Malawi in her role as Ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and in partnership with Global Citizen to spend time with the key educators, government officials, mentors, and students who are working collaboratively to build a better future for the next generation of Malawians.
Rihanna’s philanthropic journey began in 2006 when she founded the Believe Foundation at just 18-years old. The goal of the organization was to help terminally ill children by providing critical, emotional, educational, financial and medical support. Over the ensuing years, she performed a series of charity concerts on behalf of the Believe Foundation. Through generous support from sponsor and advertisers, Rihanna’s “A Girl’s Night Out” concerts provided medical and school supplies as well as toys.
Rihanna has supported DKMS, an organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders by helping to find bone marrow donors for patients in need of transplants. She was honored by the organization in 2011 for her efforts.
The singer’s indelible footprint in the fashion world has also helped boost awareness for the battle against HIV/AIDS. In 2008, Rihanna joined a handful of public figures in the designing of a clothing line for H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS charitable project. A percentage of the proceeds from the line are donated annually to Designers Against AIDS and YouthAids.To date H&M Fashion Against AIDS has raised more than $10 million. She was also at the helm of the two Viva Glam lipstick campaigns with MAC, the first of which raised $60 million in 2013 to benefit women and children living with and affected by the disease.
Over the past five years, Rihanna’s charitable impact has encompassed a vast international scope. She has served as an ambassador for UNICEF’s Tap Project, which raises funds to bring clean water and sanitation for children around the world. She has also made generous donations to the Food Bank For New York City in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy as well as UNICEF’s “There for the Philippines” campaign to support survivors affected by Typhoon Hayian.
In 2008 she performed the original song “Just Stand Up!” with 15 other female artists live during the 2008 “Stand Up To Cancer” televised special. All proceeds from the single benefited cancer research and the special helped raise over $100 million. Performing at the House of Blues in Los Angeles in 2012, she helped raise money for the Children’s Orthopedic Center and the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program at Children’s Hospital in L.A. In addition, Rihanna has supported various other foundations and campaigns. Among them: The Alzheimer’s Association, City of Hope, The Entertainment Industry Foundation, Grammy Foundation, Live Earth, Hope for Haiti Now, Kids Wish Network, MusiCares, Red Cross, Cartier Love Charity Campaign and Chime for Change.
In 2012 she purchased modern radiotherapy medical equipment to install in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados. The center was later renamed the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine in honor of Rihanna’s late grandmother.
Rihanna’s second capsule collection for Manolo Blahnik is called Savage and was inspired by Timberland boots.
Rihanna and Manolo Blahnik have put their heads together once again, creating a collection of winter boots, inspired by Timberland. It’s the second time this year the two have collaborated, following their Denim Desserts debut in May. The new collection, Savage, features three boot styles and launches Nov. 16.
They are inspired both by Rihanna’s penchant for suede and shearling and her love affair with the Timberland work boot. One of the new Savage models, the Fallon, is a rework of the Timberland-style boot that Blahnik first designed — with a stiletto heel — in the Aughts.
It was beloved of the R&B and hip-hop scenes. Beyoncé rocked it in her “Bonnie & Clyde” music video, and Jennifer Lopez also worked the look in the video for “Jenny From the Block.” The latest iteration has furry trim, and comes in shades of ivory and coffee.
The Dominique is a thigh-high sheepskin-lined boot made of black ponyskin, which can also be worn folded at the top. The skin has been laser-cut in a macro floral brocade design, similar to the Marie Antoinette-inspired Fenty x Puma collection Rihanna showcased during the latest Paris Fashion Week.
The Alexis is a knee-length, lace-up with fur trim running around the top and down the laces. It comes in ivory and cinnamon.
Rihanna sent Lopez a pair of the thigh-high, belted 9-to-5 denim boots from her first Manolo Blahnik capsule line. Lopez was so enamored that she gave them a starring role in her “Ain’t Your Mama” music video.
All three styles from the Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik Savage collection are limited and will only be available to purchase in select Manolo Blahnik stores and online at manoloblahnik.com starting Nov. 16.
Three hours: That’s how long it took for Rihanna’s first shoe for Puma — the Creeper — to sell out when it debuted last fall and it continued to gain momentum during this year.
The Fenty Puma Creeper was the only choice for the 2016 Shoe of the Year: The sought-after honor will be presented at the 30th annual Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York on Nov. 29.
“In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined an honor like Shoe of the Year,” Rihanna told FN. “It means so much to me to make a mark like this in the shoe and sneaker industry and to have so many people share my love for the Creeper.”
FN selects the shoe of the year based on retail sales, consumer feedback, social media prowess and overall buzz. The award has been handed out just three times: Kanye West took it home last year and accepted it in person with a heartfelt and funny 20-minute speech about his fashion rise and hit Yeezy Boost 350 sneaker with Adidas. In 2014, tennis legend Stan Smith was on hand to accept the prize for his own hot signature shoe with Adidas.
“Shoe of the Year is the most coveted award because it truly reflects industry dominance,” said Michael Atmore, FN’s editorial director. “Like Stan Smith and Kanye West, Rihanna made a statement shoe that drove global excitement and generated huge sales. Rihanna and Puma pushed the market in a new direction with an overnight sensation that has real legs.”
This year, Rihanna’s Creepers have flooded Instagram feeds, caused site crashes and popped up on eBay the moment the shoes sell out. Fans of Rihanna’s bold, devil-may-care approach to fashion have scrambled to get their hands on a pair of Creepers, which have released in an array of mostly neutral colorways over the past year. But it’s not just female fans who are scooping up the style: Rihanna and Puma have also released the Creepers in men’s sizing with success.
The Creeper — which has been worn by Cara Delevingne, Gigi and Bella Hadid and The Weeknd, among other celebrities — is a twist on Puma’s classic styles, decked out with a Creeper-style sole. Rihanna, who serves as creative director for the athletic brand, designed the shoe with input from menswear brand Mr. Completely, which had previously made her custom Adidas and Nike sneakers.
Since the release of the Creeper, Rihanna and Puma have dropped a laceless trainer and faux fur slides. She’s also put on two Fenty x Puma runway shows, most recently for spring ’17 at Paris Fashion Week in October.
As Rihanna steps into the shoe spotlight, FN is also acknowledging the continued success of West and Adidas, which is why Adidas North America president Mark King will be honored with the Person of the Year award.
Other honorees at the event, affectionately known as the Shoe Oscars, include Designer of the Year Paul Andrew, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Aldo Bensadoun, Icon Award winner Iris Apfel and Hall of Fame inductee Linda Fargo, fashion maven at Bergdorf Goodman.
Stay tuned for more of the 2016 winners, including Company of the Year, Brand of the Year and Style Influencer. The FN Achievement Awards are sponsored by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY), Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), Zappos Luxury and Two Ten Footwear Foundation.
Rihanna’s upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 FENTYxPUMA collection is currently previewed exclusively at the Puma Black Store in Tokyo. Head over to our gallery for a closer look of the collection, set to release next year.
Rihanna was seen at a beautiful location in Paris today (Sep 27th), where she will present her FENTYxPUMA collection tomorrow. Watch a video below of a sneak peek of the show, and a Snapchat video of Rihanna getting ready.
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