The art form known as “Celebrity Maternity Photoshoot” has a new winning entry. Rihanna and ASAP Rocky announced their first child with the release of a street shot Miles Diggsaka Diggzy, aka, the photographer in his twenties named after Fashion as “the fashion world’s favorite paparazzi”.
the series of images, which was posted to Instagram and sold to a variety of media outlets including this one, shows Rihanna in a long pink puffer coat with jeweled gold buttons over extra long ripped jeans laying on the street and held up by a gold and leather Chanel chain belt . Her belly, framed by the coat (the British Vogue identified as Vintage Chanel, although Chanel refused) and which fastens with a single button at the sternum, is capped only by a jeweled costume cross on a long string of pearls. Her hands are tucked into the pockets of her jeans, her hair in loose waves. ASAP Rocky wears leather pants, Carhartt denim jacket, varsity hooded sweater and black beanie.
In one photo, they stroll down a street in Harlem, seemingly under elevated subway tracks, and hold hands; in another, he kisses her on the top of her head, forming an affectionate circle of two. In none does anyone else seem to be around.
(Her hair looks like it’s just speckled snow, suggesting the pictures were taken before the weekend’s snowstorm and freezing temperatures and were released on a planned schedule.)
The frame is carefully calculated in its feigned intimacy, both off-duty and on-message. “Caught” to make you feel like you’re peeking into a private moment, albeit in a way that’s fully choreographed right down to the vintage diamond signet ring on her finger.
The Rihanna snap is the latest step in a photographic tradition that dates back to Demi Moore’s pregnancy cover Vanity Fair in 1991.
This portrait, in which the actress cradles her bloated stomach, naked save for a huge diamond ring, was so scandalous upon release that it was forbidden from certain stores, although they are sent with a paper sleeve. The recording started an image trend that has spread across Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, Ciara and Gigi Hadid – although all of them have been outperformed beyonce‘s baby bump photoshoot 2017 pregnant-while-wearing-lingerie-in-an-arbor. This snap set a new standard for managing public pregnancy disclosure, and not just became Instagram’s most popular photo of the year when it reached 11.1 million likes, but also the first in a slew of high-profile maternity photoshoots to be dropped by the star.
Now, Rihanna has brought tradition back to earth and combined it with two contemporary phenomena. First, the evolution of street style photography from guerrilla reportage to a new breed of fashion photography (the visual equivalent of Casual Friday); and second, the increasing use of social media as an image-building exercise. It’s a way for celebrities to communicate with their fanbase and community, offering seemingly personal and unvarnished glimpses into their lives in as clear and controlled a way as possible.
Indeed, Mr. Diggs, whose signature highlights his subjects against a black-and-white background to bring them into focus, told Vogue that part of his success has been his desire and willingness to present his subjects in their best light to refrain from doing so he surprises her on a day off.
Contrary to the Moore tradition, which often revolved around being as naked as possible, or the Beyoncé image that steeped itself in art history, Rihanna chose a look and composition that felt like a sly nod to fashion itself appears – especially that of Anna Wintour first Vogue coverin 1988, in which Israeli model Michaela Bercu laughed in the street wearing old Guess jeans and a Christian Lacroix jacket with an intricately jeweled cross on the front, her hair tousled and wavy in the wind.
It was considered revolutionary at the time: a way to let fashion go out of style, demonstrating a rougher high-low era in fashion and heralding the emergence of a new power at the top.
At this point, it underscores Rihanna’s ability to appropriate establishment imagery and rework it for her own purposes. Not to mention her ability to move products, both of which have helped transform her from a mere fashion icon into a billionaire entrepreneur.
According to the online shopping site already Lovethesales, searches for “pink padded coats” surged 200 percent in the hours after the photos were posted; for “ripped blue jeans,” 175 percent; and for “strings of pearls” 80 percent. (ASAP Rocky also boosted Carhartt sweater vests, leather pants and jackets.)
All of this suggests that when it comes to maternity style — not to mention baby kits — this could just be the start.