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Rihanna Will Be Dior's 1st Black Campaign Star in Recent Memory

To our knowledge, she's the first black celebrity ever to represent the almost 70-year-old house.
Rihanna at Dior's Cruise 2015 show. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Rihanna at Dior's Cruise 2015 show. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Just when we were placing our bets on how long it would be before Dior-obsessed "Cinderella" star Lily James would get a contract with the iconic French fashion house, Dior signed on a less obvious new face: Rihanna.

The superstar singer was shot this week by Steven Klein at Versailles for the fourth installment of Dior's "Secret Garden" campaign; each part thus far has been set at the royal chateau and has starred a model rather than a celebrity. A rep for the brand confirms that Rihanna will indeed star in a short film and print ad set to debut this spring. WWD originally reported the news.

It's her first campaign for Dior, and while she has sat front row at a couple of shows since Raf Simons took over (and looked amazing while doing so), she doesn't typically wear the brand on the red carpet. But that's not the only reason why this casting choice is somewhat surprising: Rihanna is also Dior's first black campaign star in recent memory, and certainly the first under Raf Simons, who was under fire not long ago for his failure to cast black models. In fact, he waited seven Dior collections before he cast a single one in a runway show.

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When it comes to Dior's celebrity faces — Charlize Theron, Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence — we can't recall a single woman who wasn't white. Kudos to the brand for finally breaking that trend.