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Rihanna’s latest Savage X Fenty campaign stars Black breast cancer survivors

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Rihanna is using her latest Savage X Fenty campaign to shine a spotlight on Black breast cancer survivors.

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the singer’s lingerie brand asked three “survivors and thrivers” to model new styles from a capsule collection that will directly benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, a charity founded by Rihanna in 2012. A press statement said that Savage X Fenty will donate a portion of the proceeds — up to $250,000 in total — to help the organization fund cancer research and support for Black people diagnosed with the disease.
Leiva, one of the three models, wanted her scars to be shown in photos. "I do not see my scars as scars," she said in an e-mail. "I look at them as my handmade jewerly pieces ... reminding me and others I am here and thriving."

Leiva, one of the three models, wanted her scars to be shown in photos. “I do not see my scars as scars,” she said in an e-mail. “I look at them as my handmade jewerly pieces … reminding me and others I am here and thriving.” Credit: Courtesy of Savage x Fenty

The campaign photographs feature Cayatanita Leiva and Ericka Hart, both 34, and Nykia McKenzie, 26, wearing the collection’s sporty new styles against draped pink fabric. Each model had a hand in how they were presented, either taking the pictures themselves or with the help of a loved one.

Hart, who posed in a gray bralette and panty set, was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer at once: HER2-positive and triple-negative. The model credited the Black femme and queer communities with being a source of support.

“The Savage X Fenty campaign was affirming of my experience as not just a breast cancer survivor but all of my intersections of identity as a Black, queer, non-binary femme,” Hart said in an email interview.

“Many cancer campaigns focus on one aspect, your chronic illness but not how your various identities play a role in how you navigate cancer … I also loved that the campaign didn’t focus on poses that focused on strength as the sole image for living with breast cancer, but rather is just showcasing people who want to share their experience to make a difference for someone else.”

McKenzie, 26, models for the new Savage X Fenty campaign.

McKenzie, 26, models for the new Savage X Fenty campaign. Credit: Courtesy of Savage x Fenty

Rihanna has focused on Savage X Fenty’s inclusive appeal since launching the lingerie brand, a follow up to Fenty Beauty, in 2018. The product range caters to a variety of “nude” skin tones, and offers a wide range of sizes. Her two runway shows to date, both held at recent editions of New York Fashion Week, grabbed attention for their theatrical performances and representation of diverse body types, ethnicities and genders, in stark contrast to the kind of lingerie shows the industry is accustomed to.
“My vision for the Savage X brand has always been having women feel confident and expressing themselves,” she said earlier this year, in a behind-the-scenes video following the second of her brand’s runway shows.

A striking disparity

As well as offering visibility to three individual Black breast cancer survivors, the campaign also brings attention to what it calls

Autumn season workouts with Teddy Savage from Planet Fitness

11-Fitness: Autumn workouts with Teddy Savage from Planet Fitness


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WITH A CHANCE FOR SHOWERS DEVELOPING FROM I DAY. JENNIFER: THANKS, TAYLOR. IT’S TIME FOR 11 FITNESS. JOINING US THIS MORNING, TEDDY SAVAGE FROM PLANET FITNESS. YOU HAVE A PUMPKIN WITH YOU TODAY. >> YES, INDEED, JEN. I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU ALL EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO SPICE THINGS UP RIGHT NOW WITH THE PUMPKIN AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT SPICED LATTES EITHER. JENNIFER: YOU CAN PUMPKIN SPICE UP YOUR WORKOUT. WHAT DO WE DO? >> FIRST AND FOREMOST, GO AHEAD AND GRAB YOUR ORANGE TOOL FOR TODAY. IT’S GOING TO BE THE PUMPKIN. THE FIRST THING, WE’LL DO PUMPKIN JACKS. I WANT YOU TO SQUEEZE IT, KEEP THE ELBOWS IN TIGHT. AS YOU HOP THE LEGS OUT, PRESS THAT PUMPKIN UP ABOVE YOUR HEAD. PMAKE SURE YOU STAY ON THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET TO OFFSET INJURY. BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE AND OUT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. JEN, YOU’RE LIKE MAN, THIS PUMPKIN IS TOO HEAVY, LET ME PUT IT DOWN. WE PLACE IT DOWN AND DO A COUPLE OF TOE TAPS. I’M GOING TO TAP MY TOES AND GO SIDE TO SIDE. JENNIFER: YOU GOT MOVES. >> OH, YEAH. GOTTA HAVE THE MOVES EARLY IN THE MORNING. YOU’RE LIKE OKAY, AWESOME. I GOT MY HEART RATE UP, MY HIP FLEXORS ENGAGED. WE WANT TO DO PUMPKIN HIP SWINGS. WE’LL HAVE THE PUMPKIN HERE, SWING BETWEEN THE LEGS AND UP. JENNIFER: LIKE A KETTLE BELL. >> EXACTLY RIGHT. YOU SPEAK MY LANGUAGE. WE GOT PUMPKIN POWERED KETTLE BELL SWINGS. LASTLY, YOUR CAV THE PUMPKINS, BUT KEEP IT AWAY FROM YOUR SIBLING, A PUMPKIN DASH. JUST RUN AWAY WITH THE PUMPKIN. BUT DON’T RUN TOO FAR. IT’S A GREAT WAY TO HAVE FUN WITH PUMPKINS AND SPICE THINGS UP WHILE HAVING FUN ON THE HOLIDAY. JENNIFER: GRAB IT AND RUN RIGHT TO COLUMBIA, BECAUSE THERE’S A REASON THAT YOU’D WANT TO GO. >> ABSOLUTELY. ON OCTOBER 22, WE HAVE A GRAND OPENING EXTRAVAGANZA IN THE COLUMN COLUMBIA, MARYLAND LOCATION. YOU CAN WIN PRIZES, GET BLACK CARD AMENITIES FOR FREE. BRING A BUDDY FOR FREE. IF YOU UPGRADE YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW OR REFER A FRIEND, NOW UNTIL OCTOBER 22, YOU GET THE REST OF THE YEAR FOR FREE. JENNIFER: OOH, THAT’S A GOOD BARGAIN. I’M ALL ABOUT FREEBIES. WHAT ARE THE — YOU SAID THE BLACK CARD UPGRADES OR AMENITIES? WHAT ARE THOSE. >> YOU GET FREE ACCESS TO THE BLACK CARD SPA AREA WITH HYDRO BEDS THERE THAT GIVE YOU A GREAT MASSAGE, TOTAL BODY. JENNIFER: FREE? >> FREE. I’M TALKING ABOUT NO MONEY AT ALL. AND RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN ACTUALLY SIGN UP IN COLUMBIA, ZERO DOLLARS DOWN, TEN DOLLARS A MONTH AND YOU GET A MONTH FOR FREE AS WELL. SO THOSE BLACK CARD AMENITIES INCLUDE, ALSO, TOTAL BODY ENHANCEMENT AND SO MUCH MORE. BUT I IMPLORE YOU, DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. COME IN