Rihanna Rocks Cornrows on Cover of Vogue Australia's May Issue

Rihanna is exuding power, glamour, and sexiness in the new cover shoot for Vogue’s magazine May issue. In the accompanying feature, Julia Gillard, former Prime minister of Australia, speaks about her unlikely friendship with the global superstar.

Rihanna never stops. Even when she’s not releasing music—to her fans’ dismay—the 31-year-old Barbados singer keeps slaying the game as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry.

With her Fenty Beauty line, and now her Savage x Fenty lingerie collection, Rihanna has made it her mission to empower women all around the globe, no matter their race, age, culture or body type.

She is promoting self-love in the purest form, by aiming to make women feel free in their skin.

THE COVER SHOOT

In her Vogue Australia shoot, which took place in London, Rihanna wore a variety of statement looks from Louis Vuitton’s men collection, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and Olivier Theyskens.

Still, she made sure to add her touch to the shoot by rocking several pieces from Savage X Fenty.

“Rihanna was incredibly enthusiastic about running buckets of water here and there, and mixing bricks and making bricks. She just really wanted to get right in there and get her hands dirty, and she did."

The cover features the singer sitting on a chair while slightly inclining to the side with her legs crossed. She flaunted straight-back cornrows in her natural hair and wore a pink Savage x Fenty slip with a baby blue, embellished trench coat and pointy turquoise shoes.

Styled by the magazine’s fashion director, Christine Centenera, Rihanna showed a variety of looks with a versatility proper of a global superstar.

THE UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP

However, instead of an interview with the singer, the spread features a mini-essay written by Julia Gillard, the first ever female Prime Minister of Australia, who has the privilege of calling Rihanna her friend, despite how unlikely that may sound.

Gillard, an honorary chairwoman for the Global Partnership for Education, helped recruit Rihanna as a Global ambassador for the organization a few years ago.

They first met at a casual dinner in New York, where Gillard was left impressed by Rihanna’s humbleness and willingness to help and learn.

A year later, they were doing the groundwork in the African city of Malawi, where they visited several local schools to get a first-hand experience of how education works in some of the most impoverished areas of the continent.

“Rihanna was incredibly enthusiastic about running buckets of water here and there, and mixing bricks and making bricks. She just really wanted to get right in there and get her hands dirty, and she did,” Gillard recalled.

THE POWER OF EDUCATION

For Rihanna, Gillard says, promoting education is crucial because she never got to finish school after being discovered and pushed into the spotlight so young.

“I believe Rihanna sees education as a real enabler,” says Gillard. “She left school young because she was discovered young, so she’s conscious that she didn’t finish her own schooling.”

And continued:

“She talked to me about her brothers and how determined she’d been that they finished school, so I think she’s got this very personal sense that individual education really matters, and that’s why it’s so heartbreaking for her to see some children miss out, simply because of poverty and because of where they were born.”

Although both women have incredibly different upbringings and experiences of the world, Gillard admits she has become a fan of Rihanna after getting to know her. Not only for her music but also the efforts she’s making to help uplift the education of every child around the world.

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