Rihanna has covered VOGUE magazine umpteenth times, however, this is her FIRST time gracing the cover pregnant! The fab mom-to-be dishes on her sweet & salty pregnancy cravings, long cross-country trips with her man A$AP Rocky and how they became “family.” Get the highlights inside…
*cues up Rihanna’s “We All Want Love”
Over the years, the Bajan beauty has graced the cover of the fashion bible on numerous occasions, however, THIS cover holds a special place in the singer’s heart.
Just like in her street fashions and red carpet appearances, Rihanna covers VOGUE magazine’s May 2022 issue baring her belly in a custom red lace bodysuit and gloves by ALAÏA accessorized with Chopard jewels, photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
”our lil fashion killa on da cover of VOGUE!!,” the mom-to-be captioned the cover on her IG, tagging her child’s father, A$AP Rocky.
The billionaire Fenty mogul totally slayed her spread, baring in growing bump in Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik heels, Rick Owens, Jean Paul Gaultier and of course, Savage X Fenty.
The 34-year-old is madly in love with her boyfriend A$AP Rocky and their love story reads like a romance novel.
At first, he was strictly in the "friend zone."
"People don’t get out of the friend zone very easily with me,” she told VOGUE magazine. “And I certainly took a while to get over how much I know him and how much he knows me, because we also know how much trouble we can land each other in.”
Some of us will recall exactly what kind of trouble she means, starting with their first encounter at the VMAs in 2012 when Rocky joined Rihanna for a performance of her hit single “Cockiness.” Midway through the performance, as they were dancing side by side, Rocky pulled a surprisingly cavalier move. “He grabbed my ass on stage. That was not part of the rehearsal!” she says. “I was like, What are you doing!?” Her team braced themselves for an upset Rihanna. Instead, she let it go. “My manager was like, Oh, God, she must like this guy a little bit. She never lets this shit slide.”
From there, RiRI began to let her guard down and their love began to blossom. Being on lockdown during COVID also brought them close together. The couple took an epic road trip in summer 2020 from Los Angeles to New York where they became “family.”
Meandering across the country on a big tour bus, they were able to get away from the glare of the public eye. They’d park and Rihanna would grill barefoot while Rocky tie-dyed T-shirts picked up at the gas station. “I cooked our food on this little janky grill I bought from Walmart,” she remembers. “I still have it, too. It works like nobody’s business.” No matter where they stopped, they always had fun. “I love the simple things but also the grand adventures,” she says. “There’s no pretentious my-brand-your-brand bullshit, it’s just us living,” she says of their existence together. “I just feel like I can do any part of life by his side.”
By the time the holidays rolled around, she was ready to bring him home. Barbados had been closed to visitors for much of that year, and Rihanna was dying to see her family. Now she knew she’d have company. “It was us who were going home,” she says. “We were going home.” Her mom, according to Rihanna, is usually a tough nut to crack, but she warmed to Rocky right away. “My mother has a really good read on people. She observes first and then she’ll move slowly. I guess I’m like that too,” she says. “There are some guys that I’ve dated that she won’t even look at to this day. But she was charmed by him from the jump.”
The Grammy winning singer shared what she loves most about her relationship with the Harlem native.
As if on cue, her phone starts to buzz. It’s Rocky on FaceTime. She turns the camera around to give him a view of the scene. “Look, can you see how everything in here has been Virgil-ified?” They exchange I love yous before hanging up, their ease and warmth palpable. “What I love the most about us? Transparency with everything: how we’re feeling, what our goals are, what our fears and insecurities are. The vulnerability to be able to say what you feel about each other.”
While a baby wasn’t exactly in their plans, they both weren’t opposed to welcoming a new life into the word. The singer said she and Rocky were just having fun together and then IT happened.
Like everyone else in the world, I’m also curious to know if they’d been planning to have a baby. “Planning? I wouldn’t say planning. But certainly not planning against it. I don’t know when I ovulate or any of that type of shit. We just had fun,” she says. “And then it was just there on the test. I didn’t waste any time. I called him inside and showed him. Then I was in the doctor’s office the next morning and our journey began.”
As for cravings, she wants everything sweet sprinkled with SALT.
These days, she says, her cravings tend more sweet than salty. “I usually hate desserts, but all of a sudden you come close to me with a chocolate- covered donut and you’ve got my heart forever,” she says, giggling. Tangerines are a thing too. She eats them by the dozen, sprinkled with salt. Yes, salt. “It has to be with salt and only with salt, because in Barbados we take our fruits to the ocean and soak them,” she insists. “Trust me, it really is a thing.”
That journey is unfolding one day at a time. Rihanna had assumed that she would suffer from morning sickness like her mother, but so far so good. The mood swings have, mercifully, also been easier to manage than she had anticipated. “I was bracing myself for something insane because I knew I wouldn’t have my usual coping mechanism: I can’t just go and smoke a joint right now,” she says. “But I was pleasantly surprised that I’ve been able to manage.” Still, there will be times when an innocuous Instagram post will trigger a flood of tears.
When it comes to the actual act of giving birth, Rihanna betrays little apprehension, partly because she’s supported several of her closest female friends and family on their way to motherhood. “She made time for me when I was having my baby,” says Sonita Alexander, one of Rihanna’s best friends since childhood, a doctor who lives in Barbados. “The baby was sick, so she came back three weeks later and was supportive the whole time. I would say it was the most important moment in our friendship. She’s a great auntie.” Rihanna wishes all of her nearest and dearest could be in the room with her, but with COVID restrictions that seems unlikely. “Maybe I’ll just have a party bus parked outside or something,” she says, only half joking. After learning about the benefits of breastfeeding, it’s something she’s ready to try. “I’m praying my body allows me to,” she says. So what frightens her the most? “Postpartum depression. Will I feel out of control emotionally? Those are the stories I hear from other women that scare me.”
Despite her fears, Rihanna is single-handedly rewriting the rules of “maternity” clothes wearing any and everything she would wear if she weren’t pregnant - that includes crop tops. She has no plans on covering up.
“My body is doing incredible things right now, and I’m not going to be ashamed of that. This time should feel celebratory. Because why should you be hiding your pregnancy," she said.
Who can argue with that? Read more from her cover story here.
Go behind-the-scenes of her VOGUE photoshoot below:
What do you think she's having? We're predicting a GIRL!