"Customers don't care anymore about reviews or hard-copy publications," Tom Ford recently told Style.com's Tim Blanks. "They care what picture Rihanna just Instagrammed…That's what they respond to." Agree or disagree with Ford's assessment, there's something to it. The CFDA just named Rihanna its 2014 Fashion Icon.
When it comes to clothes, this has been RiRi's year. Heck, Paris fashion week was dubbed #PaRih thanks to her parade of head-turning ensembles. "Her influence inspires and penetrates everyone around her and beyond," says Alexander Wang. "Everyone. Period." Here, some of RiRi's favorite designers, from Jeremy Scott to Stella McCartney to Balmain's Olivier Rousteing, weigh in on the singer's sartorial prowess, singular persona, and what makes her an indisputable fashion star.