Barbados PM Mia Mottley Proposes Museum To Honor Rihanna, The Nation's Famous Daughter

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley is one shrewd woman. Rihanna supported her candidacy to become Prime Minister in 2018, then joining forces with Motley as Cultural Ambassador for Barbados in September 2018.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley at United Nations September 2018.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley at United Nations September 2018.

PM Motley has raised her own international profile significantly since becoming leader of her country. AOC featured yesterday her role in activating a deliberate, fast-track move towards 100% renewable fuels by 2030. Barbados is joined by Jamaica in the lead and also Dominica in a major drive towards sustainability, now fueled with the activism, money and connections of Richard Branson, who has launched a program throughout the Caribbean post Hurricane Maria.

Now Barbados Prime Minister wants to open a museum celebrating Rihanna and her Work, Work, Work, Work, Work.

Mottley revealed in London that conversations are already underway between Rihanna’s manager brother and the Barbados government on honoring the Caribbean island’s most famous daughter born Robyn Rihanna Fenty , according to The Voice.

Anybody who could go from Rihanna’s humble beginnings to become “the most successful woman entertainer in the entire globe, in my view deserves to be recognized in her life as a living legend of Barbados as well,” Mottley said.

Rihanna is everywhere right now, becoming the first woman of color to launch a brand with luxury group LVMH with the debut of her fashion label FENTY in May.  Her song about Work, Work, Work, Work is the reference for the opening paragraph of her interview.

The backdrop of Rihanna’s global success across so many fields seems enhanced by the history of her own country of Barbados. AOC published last night an article from The Conversation J.M. Opal, Associate Professor of History and Chair, History and Classical Studies, McGill University in Toronto.

Professor Opal reminds us that instead of exploding into violent retribution when the British Empire abolished slavery in the 1830s, Barbados — “Ground Zero for American slavery and racism, a Caribbean concentration camp in which hundreds of thousands of people of African descent were tortured to make white planters very rich” — became one of the most stable, hard-working democracies in the Caribbean.

That success has continued after gaining freedom from British rule in 1967. And it’s clearly in the DNA of Barbados’ most famous daughter Rihanna and its still young in tenure Prime Minister Mia Mottley. This is a duo to watch!

Rihanna and LVMH Team UP With Potential To Create Dynamic, People-Centric, Global Luxury Brand

Rihanna at the Costume Institute Gala last year.CreditCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Rihanna at the Costume Institute Gala last year.CreditCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Vanessa Friedman asks for The New York Times: “Is Rihanna the Coco Chanel of the 21st century?” Can the multi-hyphenate talent, without an ounce of fashion training, launch a new powerhouse luxury brand?

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH, thinks so and is in serious talks with Rihanna about launching a new global Fenty brand. Friedman writes that execs at Fenty Beauty and LVMH corporate were astonished over the runaway success of Fenty Beauty, launched in a diverse array of skin tones and with a fan base of 6.3 million Instagram followers. Fenty Beauty was named one of TIME magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2017.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty IS a real, live heritage brand with a global reach. No ‘authentic’ story must be created around her image. Rihanna IS the story and she has created it — not with mood boards on Madison Avenues — but with her entire life.

Rihanna comes to the world of luxury brands having made them her canvas for a decade. Luxury fashion has brought her far beyond the limits of the music world. Styled by Mel Ottenberg since 2011, Rihanna has aligned herself with emerging designers and luxury brands like Lanvin and Ginvenchy. Rather than working with a luxury house exclusively, she used these same brands to suit her purposes.

In 2014, she was named fashion icon of the year at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, where she appeared in a sheer crystal-spangled Adam Selman dress and matching cap, a white fur wrap strategically draped around her body, setting off a so-called naked trend in red carpet dressing. The next year, at the Met Gala, she wore a giant yellow cape from the Chinese designer Guo Pei, and enshrined her skill at making an entrance.

Not mentioned in Friedman’s piece, but a key component in the forthcoming Rihanna/LVMH alliance is the social conscience of the new luxury brand. Here there is an opportunity to set a very high bar, and all my instincts say that Rihanna and Arnault understand well global politics and human suffering.

With governments in chaos worldwide, but Rihanna anchored deeply in the lives of everyday people, I fully expect a new paradigm to emerge with a Rihanna-led Fenty house that is an activist house, too. Rihanna is deeply embedded in the obligations that women leaders have assumed in creating real change in the world.

If LVMH is equally courageous and up to the task, we might see a new luxury brand DNA that moves beyond the rarified and exclusive vision of Coco Chanel to one that touches people in big and small ways worldwide. If anyone can jumpstart this new 21st century, luxury brand vision, it’s the combined prowess of Rihanna and LVMH’s Bernard Arnault.

Rihanna Becomes Key Ambassador For Barbados, Eager To Work With PM Mottley To Reimagine Barbados

Rihanna gives Oprah a tour of her childhood Barbados home.

Rihanna gives Oprah a tour of her childhood Barbados home.

Pop star extraordinaire, collaborator and founder of Fenty brand cosmetics and lingerie, Rihanna has already raised island home Barbados’ international profile and has acted as a cultural ambassador for Barbados.

Now RiRi has a new title and it’s a doozy: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. “Rihanna has a deep love for this country and this is reflected in her philanthropy, especially in areas of health and education,” Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said in the announcement. “She also shows her patriotism in the way she gives back to this country and continues to treasure the island as her home.”

Her “multidimensional achievements and global influence” will lend to her new responsibilities, which include promoting education, tourism and investment, the announcement said.

“She has also demonstrated, beyond her success as a pop icon, significant creative acumen and shrewdness in business. It is therefore fitting that we engage and empower her to play a more definitive role as we work to transform Barbados.,” Mottley said in the Thursday announcement.

Rihanna’s response to the announcement was equally weighty: “I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Mottley and her team to reimagine Barbados.”

Mia Amor Mottley became Prime Minister of Barbados in May 2018

Mia Amor Mottley became Prime Minister of Barbados in May 2018