Rihanna Is a Post-Apocalyptic Queen on the September Cover of 'W'

Once again, team 'W' pulled together a work of art for the biggest issue of the year.
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Photo: Steven Klein

Photo: Steven Klein

We can always count on W magazine to wow us with its September issue, whether it's with flawlessly styled fall editorials featuring supermodels in their most natural state, or artistic images of celebrities in surreal situations — like, say, a secret Studio 54-inspired house party in Los Angeles. For the September 2016 edition of the magazine, W's Creative and Fashion Director Edward Enninful truly outdid himself, with a post-apocalyptic pictorial starring the one and only Rihanna. 

The story was shot by Steven Klein, with art direction by Terry Jones — the editor, designer and photographer widely known for his work at i-D magazine, which he co-founded — who's responsible for the special graffiti-esque W logo and the graphic treatments on Rihanna's cover portrait. According to a release from the magazine, the shoot was originally conceptualized as a short film with a story by screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, who wrote the screenplay for "Se7en." 

"So she's living in a dystopian world and she's fearless, which is pretty much Rihanna’s personality," Enninful says of Rihanna's September shoot. "She's not scared, and that’s what I love about her." Riri portrays the leader of a "group of warriors fighting for freedom of expression... in a far-off world dominated by thinking machines."

The concept doesn't stray too far from her real-life badass persona and the fashion is on brand for her, too. "She's royalty. When I talked to Rihanna, I told her that I didn't think she should wear clothes off the runway because a queen gets her clothes made," Enninful explains. "So then we got designers, like Prada, Margiela, to make specific things for her." Casual.

Head to W now for a behind-the-scenes look at the epic shoot, and pick up the September issue when it hits newsstands in the coming days.

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