Karen Fratti
May 07, 2017 8:19 am
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Rihanna does what she wants. Sometimes that means slaying the a red carpet. And sometimes that means carrying her wine straight out of restaurants into her ride. But she often shows her softer side because she’s also all about giving back to the community. And she does that in many different ways.

Most recently, she’s giving back by creating an impressive fashion partnership.

Through her Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna is helping fashion students and the people of Haiti through a new partnership, mixing her love of fashion and charity.

Rihanna and her foundation help to promote access to education and health care in impoverished countries. And now, they’re partnering with a handful of Parsons School of Design students to create a line of clothes and merch that will benefit Haiti. Donna Karan and her Urban Zen Foundation are also joining the Barbadian and the talented Parsons’ students for the mission.

It’s a really smart idea. The students will actually get to go to Haiti, through a Parsons Design Fellowship. The Fellowship is a competitive program that Karan launched in 2015 to send three fashion students to Haiti for 2-3 months each year.

And the chosen students will work with the artisans at the Design, Organization, Training (D.O.T) Center, a vocational training center that was also co-created by Karan designer Paula Coles. They’ll collaborate with the artists and artisans to create the merchandise for the Clara Lionel Foundation.

The super lucky (and obviously talented) students will be announced by RiRi and Karan themselves at the Parsons’ yearly benefit later this month.

And Rihanna will also be honored.

The Clara Lionel and Urban Zen foundations worked together before in Haiti on other projects. So this provides just another way to continue their work on the island.

Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons and a member of the team that launched the D.O.T. back in 2012, said that the school was “ecstatic” to partner with the singer and her foundation in the name of their “strong commitment to creating positive social change.” This new partnership seems to really speak to Rihanna’s interests.

The singer knows how to slay the fashion game. And she knows how to give back. Plus, she’s really smart about finding ways of empowering people and using their creativity.

We love this idea. And, of course, we love her.

So she’s not just dedicated to being the baddest, but also giving back to people who could use it the most.

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