Rihanna’s River Island Co-Designer on What it’s Really Like to Work With the Superstar

Spencer Cain
Photo via Adam Selman's Tumblr

Photo via Adam Selman’s Tumblr

After a successful inaugural collection that debuted at London Fashion Week last February, Rihanna‘s back with her second line for British high-street label River Island—and we’d be lying if we said there weren’t more than a few pieces we can’t wait to scoop up. In order to make her clothing dreams a reality, RiRi works closely with Adam Selman, who’s been her costume designer for over two years. As the man responsible for many of her killer onstage (and red carpet) looks, no one knows Rihanna’s style better than him.

In honor of the Rihanna for River Island summer collection now available, we chatted with the line’s co-designer Selman, who filled us in on what it’s really like to work with the superstar.

StyleCaster: What is your creative process like when designing for River Island?

Adam Selman: With Rihanna’s hectic schedule, the process is always evolving. We’re constantly discussing ideas and pieces that she wants to include in the range. She wanted pieces that were affordable and still fashion forward.

Tell us what it’s like working with Rihanna—how is she when it comes to design?

She knows what fabrics she likes and doesn’t like, and she has specific ideas for what she wants to do. I make sure the technical aspects are seen through. She is super-particular in fittings. “Take this in a quarter of an inch and move this up an inch,” she’ll say. If you don’t do it, she knows!

You’ve styled and dressed Rihanna a lot—is she easy to work with? Is there anything she won’t wear?

Our working relationship is seamless, and Rihanna is so particular and hands-on with everything, which works well for me. She often describes what she wants for a show or for her collection and I execute it the way she has asked. There isn’t much she won’t wear if she can visualize and conceptualize it.

What’s your favorite stage costume you’ve designed for her?

There’s a favorite in each moment we’ve done together. It changes all the time, but my favorite at the moment is when she performed on “American Idol” [in 2012.] It was such a good look!

What’s your ultimate goal when designing with Rihanna for River Island?

I think it’s definitely trying to capture Rihanna’s style and make her fans feel like they can incorporate inspiration from Rihanna’s style into their own.

What are your favorite pieces from the new summer collection?

I love all the pieces from the collection, but the fishnet skirt and tank top is my favorite. It’s perfect for the beach.

Why do you think you guys work so well together?

Mutual creative respect for one another.

What’s it like backstage at one of Rihanna’s concerts?