At this point, it’s become clear that when it comes to Rihanna, you can never quite know what you’re going to get. Will it be a nineties-era R&B chick, all low-slung jeans and body chains? A prep throwback in a shirtdress and sneakers? A full-on red-carpet sweeping glamazon, or Josephine Baker–style coquette? Perhaps most importantly, is she going to tie you up in the backseat of her brand-new foreign car? (Don’t act like you forgot.)
That, according to Candy Harris, the vice president of the women’s division of Stance Socks, might be the key to her enduring appeal. “She’s one of the few women in fashion whose style can go from street to couture in the blink of an eye,” says Harris, and today Stance is unveiling Rihanna as its latest “Punk and Poet” (the brand’s term for spokesperson) and contributing creative director. To celebrate, Stance is launching a very limited-edition selection of “Murder Rih Wrote” over-the-knee and crew-cut socks designed with the superstar today (the inspiration, Harris notes, is newsprint typography and horror movie poster art, “very Rihanna.”). “I know a lot of people are probably saying ‘Why socks?’ And that’s really the beauty of it,” says Harris, “and that’s why Rihanna’s perfect, because she’s constantly innovating and looking to see what’s next. Socks are not really a trend; they’re a fashion staple.” With multiple collections in the works—after the initial launch, eighteen styles will drop in September, followed by a similarly sized holiday collection in November—and a multiyear agreement on the books, it might be time to see Rihanna in a whole new light: as the creative force shaping your sock drawer. And one thing’s for sure: If anybody can make socks exciting, it’s Rihanna.