Rihanna took to the stage at the 2020 NAACP Awards to humbly receive the President’s Award for her exceptional philanthropic efforts.
The singer turned fashion mogul, who started a non-profit organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, received a standing ovation for her speech, in which she spoke about unity. “Imagine what we could do together,” she told the crowd.
Rih Rih wore a purple Givenchy gown with Manolo Blahnik custom satin heels, Chopard gemstone earrings, and a "Haute Joaillerie" sapphire earring. She pulled the entire look together with her hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail accented with two Goddess braids on top.
We spoke to Rihanna’s longtime hairstylist, Yusef Williams, about her NAACP Awards look. He's been slaying the superstar’s tresses for more than a decade, so there isn't a style they haven't tried, but he was excited for this look.
“What sets this look apart is a bit of a tricky because we have literally done everything you could possibly do to hair, but there is something about this effortless yet a bold approach to this pony tail that made it stand out from all the rest,” says Yusef.
Yusef was inspired by the couture dress Rihanna wore, and wanted to create a chic look around it. "Her amazing dress inspired the hair. When I saw it, I noticed was how voluminous it was and wanted to create something sleek with a bit of texture, I think the beauty of this look is that it is not super hard to achieve. It took an hour and 45 minutes to do this hair from start to finish, if she sits still lol," he explains.
Rihanna's style has evolved over the year's and so has her hairstyles. She's done blonde, red, pink, a pixie cut, faux locs, and extensions in all lengths. We asked Yusef how his approach to doing the star's hair evolved over the years.
"I think it is an effortless sprain now it’s not a lot of thinking but more doing. I believe that Rih and I will forever keep evolving."
Yusef used Sauve Naturals and his Y by Yusef line to achieve Rih's sleek yet fun style. "I think the fact that it is not a complicated product to use is why I’m drawn to it and the ending result is phenomenal. Which is exactly what I needed for tonight’s look."
(Photo: Robin L Marshall/Getty Images for BET)