Pop icon and businesswoman Rihanna graced the August cover of Harper’s BAZAAR China, which was revealed on Instagram along with a series of photographs from the shoot. On Instagram, the all-Chinese team behind the photo shoot described the star in the following way:
“There is always a brave truthfulness on Rihanna( @badgalriri ). She doesn’t care about judgments from others, justing keep in doing what she loves. After four years, Rihanna is back to be our cover star and again shows when western style icon meets eastern aesthetic.”
On the cover, Rihanna is seen dressed in Iris van Herpen, paired with her distinctively Chinese makeup and hair-style. Throughout the shoot, Rihanna’s look continues to borrow elements from traditional Chinese dress, makeup, and hair-styles. Reactions to the images have been mixed, with some calling the shoot out as ‘cultural appropriation’ due to Rihanna’s non-Chinese heritage. Others have reacted positively to the shoot, arguing that the shoot was an instance of genuine cultural exchange since the team behind the shoot were all Chinese, who mentioned in their Instagram post that they wanted to show an East-meets-West fusion of cultures.
It’s not cultural appropriation because the entire team behind Harper’s Bazaar China is Chinese and it’s specificated in their Instagram post. THEY, Chinese people, dressed Rihanna like that. pic.twitter.com/AHhZjD89aN
— 𝙓𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙜 𝙔𝙪 香玉 (@duraznochino) July 9, 2019
Below, view the images from the divisive photoshoot, so you can form your own opinion.