For ESSENCE’s January/February 2021 issue, Rihanna continues lighting our way forward. As a first in our brand’s 50 year history, we commissioned the esteemed Lorna Simpson to interpret modern-day beauty in collaboration with the global star. The result: A series of original photographic collages for the cover and 12-page portfolio entitled, “Of Earth & Sky.”
“Lorna is a legend,” said Rihanna, 32, of the artist whose lauded career spans three decades. Although teaming with Simpson was an idea conceived with her creative director, Jahleel Weaver, Rihanna was trepidatious about taking the first step. “Honestly, I just didn’t think I could get her,” Rihanna laughed. “But I like reaching for the stars and I like challenging myself.”
“[Collaborating] with Rihanna and ESSENCE magazine is quite incredible,” Simpson said while on set. “As an artist, I’m able to deliver these unusual images of someone who is so well-known and so recognizable… It’s an amazing opportunity.”
The January/February 2021 issue will be on newsstands and digital platforms starting January 19.
[Photographic Collages: Lorna Simpson for Essence Magazine]