The ‘S&M’ singer has come under fire for sporting the outfit at the public launch of her new Reb’l Fleur fragrance in London in August, with a PETA spokesperson accusing the star of “flaunting stolen property” and exploiting the suffering of animals for her fashion choices.
They also said they hoped that Rihanna, as “a victim of abuse herself”, would be able to empathise with the suffering experienced by animals which are exploited by the fashion industry.
PETA spokeswoman Sandra Smiley told the Daily Star:
Rihanna is flaunting stolen property, in this case feathers possibly plucked right off their rightful owners’ backs. She has shown little regard for foxes, cows and reptiles, now she’s adding birds to the list of species exploited for her dubious looks. Feathers are often ripped off chickens, geese, ostriches and emus in live plucking. This can result in gaping wounds that are sewn up with a needle and thread without anaesthetic.
She went on to add:
We keep hoping that Rihanna, a victim of violence herself, will learn to open her heart and start empathising with the suffering of others. That includes animals who are beaten, gassed, electrocuted and poisoned to be turned into fashion accessories.
Rihanna is not the first artist to come under pressure from PETA for their fashion choices. In January last year, Kelis drew criticism from the animal rights group for wearing fur in public, but responded with a public letter in which she claimed that it was not as serious an issue as “women being maimed”, the continued use of sweatshops or women’s rights in America, all of which should take priority.