There is a reason the New York Times refers to Adam Selman as Rihanna’s secret weapon. He’s designed everything from tour costumes to red carpet dresses for the award-winning singer. Most recently he worked with her on the first Rihanna for River Island collection and in a few days we’ll get to see what he’s cooked up for the Diamonds World Tour. Since teaming up with Rihanna, Mr. Selman’s career has been on an upward trajectory with many wishing they could get their hands on his custom looks. Adam took time from his insanely busy schedule to do a brief interview with Haus of Rihanna.
How did you start working with Rihanna?
I made a pair of panties for a photoshoot that Mel Ottenberg [Rihanna’s stylist] did for Purple Magazine. When Mel first started working with Rihanna, he showed her a picture of the photoshoot, and she instantly wanted to wear the panties for her upcoming LOUD tour. So I was brought on to help with the tour and I just kept getting called back after the tour for different projects with her. Mel has been a huge supporter of mine from the beginning. I wouldn’t be working with Rihanna without him.
You two seem to have a great relationship. What’s it like working with her?
We do! She really is amazing, she is very particular and I completely respect that. I think it’s also a combo of working between Rihanna, Mel and myself so the whole picture really comes together in a great way.
Was she the one to approach you about working with her on this line for River Island?
Yes. She asked me to help design it with her on her birthday last year and I was thrilled. From then on, every time we saw each other, we would throw around ideas for the line. She was constantly telling me her ideas and visions and inspirations for how she saw the line and pieces she wanted to create.
Fans always want to know where they can get your stuff. Why haven’t you worked on your own line before?
It’s just all happened so fast! I’ve been fortunate enough to have steady work and an amazing team to help me accomplish everything. When I first started working on Rihanna’s clothes I had a 200 square foot studio with one sewing machine and my friend Laren Leblanc was helping me sew and make patterns, she is my right hand. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to grow my studio and team into a larger space. My goal is to work on a collection soon, maybe this Fall? Fingers crossed.
When you two were designing for River Island, what kind of woman did you have in mind? Who is going to be attracted to this collection?
We wanted to keep it young and fresh, unfussy, familiar, but still special. I think a lot of women will get into this collection, there’s a little something for everyone.
What is your favourite piece from this collection?
It keeps changing to be honest. I really like the overall top with the double denim jeans. I can’t believe we got away with doing the jeans, I’ve wanted to do those for a long time.
What can we expect to see from you in the future? I know you have to be working on Diamonds World Tour costumes. Give us a hint.
I am definitely working on the tour costumes. I am working with Mel on the tour, just trying to make sure it all gets done. I can’t give away any details, but it’s going to be good!
Do you have any advice for young people trying to get into the fashion industry?
Be ambitious, say “yes”, and be ready.
Click through the gallery below to see a few of the designs Adam has created for Rihanna over the years.