Whether stepping out for a cup of coffee or gliding across a red carpet, pop superstar and actress Rihanna is always a vision to behold. Presented with the Fashion Icon Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, her signature style continually impacts contemporary culture.

Rihanna admits that she has a “profound enjoyment of fashion,” and in an interview says, “I’m a next moment person, always searching for what’s to come.” 

This past spring, she revealed her newest project, a design collaboration with Swiss watchmaker and luxury jewelry house Chopard. The singer and Caroline Scheufele, Chopard co-president and creative director, combined their creativity and passion in developing Haute Joaillerie and Joaillerie collections presenting a blend of urban chic with classic glamour. The collections are both part of the “Rihanna Loves Chopard” umbrella.

“I have always been in love with Chopard’s exquisite jewelry, so to actually design collections with them is something I still can’t believe,” says Rihanna. “It was a really incredible process and I learned so much!”

The Chopard/Rihanna relationship was initiated several years ago, when the Geneva-based company began accessorizing the star for red carpet moments. Then, Rihanna approached Scheufele about collaborating on a collection. “Knowing that she has a very exceptional sense of style and fashion, I was instantly excited by the idea,” says Scheufele, who in the past has worked with stars like Julianne Moore and Marion Cotillard in creating single pieces. 

However, originating an entire new line with a star was a first for the luxury jewelry house. “This new collection really takes design inspiration cues from Rihanna, and there are so many visual elements in it that are very new to us,” explains Scheufele. 

The 18-month process began with an initial exchange of ideas. Scheufele quickly drafted these into sketches which were passed back and forth between the two for several months while adjustments were implemented. Rihanna made a trip to Chopard’s headquarters to review the designs and have body molds taken assuring the pieces would fit her perfectly. 

Last February at the 2017 Grammy Awards, Rihanna began teasing fans with sneak peeks of the capsule collections, wearing a radiant one-of-a-kind artfully mismatched pair of floral inspired multi-colored chandelier earrings. Fashioned of sapphires, paraiba tourmalines, rubellites, tsavorites, colored gemstones and diamonds, the statement pieces were inspired by Rihanna’s island roots, the lush gardens of Barbados and the vibrancy of Carnival. While on her finger, she sported a marquise-cut diamond solitaire ring, also from Rihanna Loves Chopard.

Then, in March, she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar wearing transformable white gold and white diamond earclips from the collection. The earrings, comprised of over 17 carats of round, oval, marquise and pear cut diamonds, can be worn with or without the double dangle. 

The full reveal was saved for May at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, where Chopard celebrated their 20th year as an official partner of the event. At a rooftop dinner party, live models displayed the collection, while Rihanna turned all heads in a classic black gown offsetting the collection’s glittering diamond pieces at her neck, throat, fingers, wrist and ears. 

Because Scheufele has a deep connection to “the art of film,” Chopard has been a longstanding sponsor of the Cannes Film Fest. “Film is really a window into our lives and a beautiful form of expression,” she says. Scheufele admits to using cinematic moments or actresses for design inspiration. “Sponsoring the Cannes Film Festival is my way of giving back to this art form that has such a positive effect on my life,” says Scheufele. The luxury brand continues to bring an elevated level of glamour to the festival with their pieces showcased on the most famous stars walking the red carpet.

As part of their collaboration, Chopard chose Rihanna to help update and reinterpret their sharp, clean geometric Ice Cube line, first introduced in 1999. The company describes the pieces as a “synergy of urban modernism and pure design.” For the first time, the collection will incorporate both ceramic and color into the rose gold rings, necklaces, bangles and earrings. The color of the ceramic, which was personally selected by Rihanna, has been dubbed “Jungle Green.”

“Rihanna and I collaborated closely on the collections so you can feel her unstoppable energy, strong creativity, and inherent sense of design in every piece,” says Scheufele. “With her unique style, she redefines the way people see and wear jewelry.”

Doing their part to make the world a better place, Chopard is a pioneer and leader in the sustainable luxury market. At a chance meeting, Livia Firth (wife of British actor Colin Firth), founder of Eco-Age consultancy, asked Scheufele where Chopard’s gold came from. “This started me thinking,” says Scheufele, “and it became important to me that we know about our supply chain.”

As part of the eco-minded “Green Carpet” movement, Chopard is now committed to using Fairmined gems and ethical gold in their ongoing “Journey to Sustainable Luxury” initiative. This assures that their jewelry is produced with the highest social, environmental and ethical standards, making selections from Rihanna Loves Chopard a win-win proposition. Not only do they make one look good, but they make one feel good too.

> Written by Francine Kaplan