Rihanna Is Pregnant. Here’s Why the Photo Shoot Is Next-Level. - The New York Times
The art form known as the “celebrity pregnancy photo shoot” has a new winning entry. Rihanna and ASAP Rocky have announced their first child with the release of a street shot by Miles Diggs, a.k.a., Diggzy, a.k.a., the 20-something photographer named by Vogue as “fashion’s favorite paparazzi.”
The series of pictures, posted on Instagram and sold to a variety of media outlets, including this one, feature Rihanna in a long pink puffer coat with jeweled gold buttons over extra-long ripped jeans puddling in the street and held up by a gold and leather Chanel chain belt. Her stomach, framed by the coat (which British Vogue identified as vintage Chanel, though Chanel declined to comment) and which is closed by a single button at the breastbone, is covered only by a jewel-encrusted costume jewelry cross on a long pearl necklace. Her hands are tucked into the pockets of her jeans, her hair in loose waves. ASAP Rocky is wearing leather pants, a Carhartt denim jacket, hooded varsity sweater and black beanie.
In this, the Rihanna snap is the latest stage in a photographic tradition that can be traced back to the Demi Moore pregnancy cover on Vanity Fair in 1991.
That portrait, featuring the actress cradling her distended stomach, nude save for a giant diamond ring, was so scandalous when released that it was banned from certain stores despite being mailed with a paper covering. The shot started an image-making trend that extended through Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, Ciara and Gigi Hadid — though all of them were topped by Beyoncé’s 2017 pregnant-while-wearing-lingerie-in-a-bower baby-bump photo shoot. That snap set a new standard for managing the public pregnancy reveal, becoming not only Instagram’s most-liked photo of the year when it reached 11.1 million likes, but also the first of an entire series of high-concept maternity photo shoots dropped by the star.
Already, according to the online shopping site Lovethesales, searches for “pink padded coats” increased 200 percent in the hours after the photos were posted; for “ripped bluejeans,” 175 percent; and for “pearl necklaces,” 80 percent. (ASAP Rocky also caused a spike for men’s sweater vests, leather trousers and Carhartt jackets.)
All of which suggests that when it comes to maternity style — not to mention baby kits — this may be just the beginning.