FROM THE ARCHIVES: BOY London Really Hearts Rihanna

There is something to be said for the power of celebrity every so often.  The uniquely unisex grunge glamour of the British brand BOY London has been around since the 1970s, going hand in hand with the seedy cavalier spirit of the legendary SEX boutique spearheaded by iconic designer Vivienne Westwood and music impresario Malcolm McLaren, and the punk rock movement of artists like The Sex Pistols and The Clash.  Though a secretive, treasured gem to lovers of DIY fashion in the U.K., after all these years, the brand earned a rapid boost in sales and overnight popularity with an entirely new generation when pop star Rihanna appeared in skirt to hat wearing BOY London gear for her appearance on the English talk show The Jonathan Ross Show.

It wasn’t Rihanna’s first flirtation with this BOY, as since promoting her latest album Talk That Talk she wore leggings from the label in her “You Da One” music video; yet her interview and performance on Ross while wearing the brand all at once made a stylish statement.  In following days to the delight of the department retailer Selfridges, they recorded a %45 boost in sales from receipts and about 100 orders made online since the interview aired on the official brand website.  Rihanna continues to rock the BOY baseball cap with her casual outfits and in personal Instagram photos.

Viewed as a relevant fashion icon to millions of girls and young women, though Rihanna has been heralded as a de facto pop culture trendsetter, her BOY London outfit has been one of the more memorable outfits she’s worn.  The plain colors of black and white, the word “boy” and an eagle sporadically illustrated on the flowy skirt and mock turtleneck shirt were resiliently edgy, and interestingly tangible to an eager to be different fashion crowd.

Seemingly, Rihanna’s camp got in contact with BOY London’s designer Stephane Raynor who customized the look for the singer.

‘They asked if I would design for her, and perhaps recreate an original Boy look from the ‘80s, so we chose to design the roll neck and ra-ra skirt

The line is available for online purchases online only for those not in the U.K. (the brand is especially hard to find in the U.S., being virtually unsold) at

—Shardae Jobson

this writer can be reached at


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