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As a multiplatinum artist, fashion entrepreneur, and frequent face of Dior, Rihanna could probably make diamond-encrusted shoes if she wanted to. Instead, she prefers something of a high-low mix: For her first Manolo Blahnik collaboration announced in March, she whipped up thigh-high boots and strappy pumps in light-wash denim, and for her second collection, she and Blahnik put their spin on the classic Timberland work boot.
Fans of Rih’s style won’t be surprised by this; she’s a big Timberlands devotee and has worn them with a pink fur coat, a gray Hillary Clinton T-shirt, and seemingly everything in between. The new Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik boots will lend themselves to her chameleon-like style, too. A few pairs come in soft brown or tan suede with luxe shearling trim; one bootie has a stiletto heel, lace-up front, and thin lug sole, while an over-the-knee boot makes a bolder statement with even more fur.
Don’t expect Rihanna to ditch her classic Timbs, though; we have a feeling she’ll keep going back to the 73 originals, particularly when the weather gets bad. Few other shoes will keep your feet as warm or dry. Aside from function, Timberlands are also a symbol of ’90s and early-aughts hip-hop: The Notorious B.I.G. referenced them in his lyrics; Big Boi wore them on the cover of Outkast’s ’03 album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; and Kanye West wears them, too. Before Rihanna inspired girls to try them, Beyoncé, Aaliyah, and Jennifer Lopez made the case for Timbs, as well. Today the yellow boots make a sort of normcore statement, similar to Birkenstocks or white sneakers; they’re cooler than a rain boot or heavy-duty winter boot, perhaps because Timbs were never really trying to be cool.
While you consider a new pair for the polar vortex ahead, start saving your pennies for the Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik versions, which will be available online at manoloblahnik.com and in select Manolo Blahnik stores starting Wednesday, November 16.
Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and more of Rihanna’s Navy pay tribute to “Work”: