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Rihanna delivers inspiring speech to young fashion designers


James Devaney/WireImageRihanna was honored at Parsons School of Design’s annual benefit Monday night, and she delivered an inspiring speech to the future generation of fashion designers.

“I don’t think you get celebrated enough,” she told the crowd. “You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, your persistence and your determination…for being different, for not being given enough credit. For not having to use eye cream.”

She added, “We often tear our youth down when we should be building them up. You are all the next generation. We need to invest in you.”

And Rihanna will be doing just that. She’s launching a design fellowship that will send three Parsons Design students to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this summer to work with local artists on a line of merchandise that will benefit her Clara Lionel Foundation. The foundation helps impoverished communities across the world with education and healthcare, among other things.

Rihanna concluded her speech by telling the students, “I’m here to say that I’m listening, I’m watching, and you’re up next.”

Rihanna has long been a supporter of Parsons students, even wearing their designs on multiple occasions. 

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