Rihanna’s super bowl performance was iconic for a multitude of reasons. But, truth be told, was anyone expecting anything less than spectacular? Not only did the Fenty star return to the stage after 5 years, she also revealed her second pregnancy. As a final surprise, the “Lift Me Up”star looked stunning on stage donning a monochromatic red ensemble. Those who know RiRi’s penchant for creativity were quick to catch on to the layered meaning of the look. The floor-length red coat was the ultimate tribute to friend and fellow fashion icon, Andre Leon Talley. 

For the fashion world, there was much to admire about the entire look. At the top of the list though, has to be the subtle homage to friend and late fashion icon Andre Leon Talley. Rihanna’s long red coat was reminiscent of the late Andre Leon Talley, the larger-than-life style icon and fashion editor. 

Talley’s giant red coat, designed by Norma Kamali, became something of a signature look. When Rihanna hit the stage with her version, for many, it was an obvious and welcomed homage to Talley’s legacy in the fashion world. Rihanna’s jaw-dropping giant red coat was an Alaïa design by Pieter Mulier.

While Rihanna’s coat was not designed by Norma Kamali, she did opt for a black Norma Kamali coat when she was off the field, strengthening the tribute links. 

Online love for the tribute

Last night, Talley’s official Instagram page uploaded pictures of him and Rihanna in their similar red coats, with the caption, “‘When the sun shines, we’ll shine together. Told you I’ll be here forever… said I’ll always be your friend’. @badgalriri”.

For some, the tribute was instantly recognizable and that made it all the more emotional. Reality star Patricia Altschul wrote, “He will be missed by so many of us who loved him… Rihanna’s tribute made me teary”

Others commented on how the surprise giant red coat made them feel: “Such a beautiful tribute” commented designer Brian Atwood.

Making the link between Rihanna’s hit song “Diamonds” and the fashionable homage, screenwriter Mara Brock Akil noted, “I knew it! And loved it! Loved that she met Andre in the sky like the diamond he is!”

Rihanna and Andre Leon Talley’s friendship

The iconic Vogue interview revealed a mutual admiration between these two fashion stars. Talley, an ‘American Idol’ judge, complimented Rihanna’s impeccable MET Gala look many times during the 2015 interview. In the interview, Talley shines a light on how immaculate Rihanna’s outfit is, a handmade look by Guo Pei. The piece took two years to make by hand, according to the artist and fashionista. 

Talley’s official Instagram account also uploaded a video of the two sharing a moment where the two revel in each other’s presence. The genuine admiration and friendship is easy to be seen. “I love a girl who comes from humble beginnings and becomes a big star” beamed the late Talley when speaking about Rihanna’s ongoing success. In January 2022, Andre Leon Talley sadly passed away at the age of 73. 

Talley’s fashion pieces up for auction

The late fashion star’s classic loved pieces are up for auction. Starting February 15th, it will be possible to bid for some of Andre Leon Talley’s most iconic pieces. The Collection of André Leon Talley will be sold through Christie’s in a live sale on February 15. It is available online from January 27 to February 16 according to abc7NY.

Rihanna didn’t sport Talley’s coat this time but many wonder if she’ll be in to bid for the original piece. The singer and fashion mogul certainly made her mark with the stunning performance, finding time to delicately honor her friend’s legacy. 

Related: She’s Back! Rihanna Is Reportedly Going On A Stadium Tour In Addition To Her Super Bowl Halftime Show