Skip to main content

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.
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."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

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.

Want the latest fashion industry news first? Sign up for our daily newsletter.