Since giving up her apartment in So Ho, New York, last fall, Rihanna spends most of her time in either London or Los Angeles, though to hear her tell it, she basically lives on a plane.
I witnessed her pushed up against her limits just a few days earlier, when, hours before the cover shoot for this issue, she was suddenly taken ill.
For the first time in her life, she’s fully committed to a healthy work-life balance. It’s even tougher now that she’s not only the face of her personal brand but also the CEO of a burgeoning global beauty-and-fashion empire.
“Even mentally, just to be away from my phone, to be in the moment, that has been key for my growth,” she says. Pulling double duty as both badass rock star and savvy businesswoman across a working orbit that spans California (home base for her new lingerie collaborators) and Europe can take a physical toll on even the most intergalactic of superstars.
And when you’re Rihanna, and the world is your oyster, then time is elastic.The setting couldn’t have been more breathtaking—a villa overlooking Es Vedrà, the mythically charged, rocky island off the southwestern coast of Ibiza that’s said to be the third-most-magnetic place on the planet.But not even adamantine willpower could overcome the exhaustion that Rihanna was feeling in that moment.“Come sit here; you gotta teach me how to do this swipe thing.” Rihanna is all curled up in a cozy hotel bathrobe and has a pair of comfy Fenty Puma slides on her feet, and yet she radiates flawless glamour—hair tousled in loose waves, skin luminous.Though I have taken great pains to put together what I think is a Rihanna-worthy look—Jacquemus blouse, vintage Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo pants—it’s hard not to feel like a tarnished penny next to a freshly minted gold coin as I sidle up to her on the sofa. ” she asks, pausing on my profile picture, a bathroom selfie taken in a swanky Hollywood hotel.