She may be in the midst of the Valerian European press tour and about to launch her Fenty beauty line (not to mention she's constantly featuring in new music), but Rihanna hasn’t stopped working on issues close to her heart. The international pop sensation flew to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss global education initiatives, and was photographed with France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron on the steps of Élysée Palace – the official residence of the French President in Paris.
Unsurprisingly, the pair were immaculately dressed; for the occasion, Rihanna wore an androgynous-style grey suite and oversized black blazer/coat with a cross-body Dior bag (naturally) - a dramatic departure from her eclectic and flamboyant Valerian red carpet looks of late. Brigitte looked as elegant and as Parisian as ever in blue jeans, a buttoned jacket and suede stilettos.
While Rihanna may be best-known for her pop music success, she has worked passionately to drive the funding of global education forward and get it to the top of world leaders’ agendas. Last month she took to Twitter to get the attention of the likes of Macron and Trudeau to urge them to work with her on education initiatives, and was subsequently invited to Paris by Macron and the First Lady.
Rihanna is head and founder of the Clara Lionel charity foundation – a non-profit organisation that she founded in 2012 which aims to 'support and fund innovative and effective education and health programs around the world’ and last year allowed students from the Caribbean and South America to gain higher education in America. She is also an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project.
She has been recognised for her work towards great causes again and again: in February, she was awarded the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award from Harvard University for her contribution to helping impoverished areas get access to healthcare and education, and in May she was honoured at the 69th Annual Parsons Benefit for her contributions to music, fashion and philanthropy.
What is more, back in March there was controversy around Dior’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirt, with speculation that the brand was capitalising on feminism rather than fuelling activism. In response to the backlash, Dior’s artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri announced that a percentage of the proceeds from the t-shirt were to be donated to Rihanna’s charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation.
Considering Rihanna's dedication and recognition for her humanitarian work, we can be sure her meeting with the Macrons is only the start of a successful string of meetings with other world leaders. She later tweeted Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron to express her gratitude.