Meet The Bajan Designer Behind Rihanna’s Viral Crochet Dress
Photo Credit: Shanice Taylor

Photo Credit: Shanice Taylor

Meet The Bajan Designer Behind Rihanna’s Viral Crochet Dress

black owned business , Barbados
Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith Jun 1, 2021

Life is unpredictable. One day you’re learning the intricacies of crochet and the next, your design lands on the social media account of one of the most popular entertainers in the world. That’s the reality of Bajan designer Shanice Taylor, who became an overnight sensation after singer and business mogul Rihanna wore her custom cream crochet dress in a promotional post on Instagram.

The songstress paired the look with Bottega Veneta mesh pumps as she unveiled her Fenty Skin Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream. As Rihanna showed off her dewy, glowing skin, back in Barbados Taylor’s friends noticed the dress.

“To be honest, I wasn’t even on social media that day,” the 29-year-old shared with Travel Noire from her home in Bridgetown, where she ironically lives on Rihanna Drive. “It was just a normal day at home. And one of my friends saw it and she was like ‘Shanice, Shanice look! Rihanna’s got on your dress!’ When I saw it I was really amazed. I was happy, I was jumping all over the place and I ran across to my neighbors. I was like, ‘Rihanna’s got on the dress!'”

Perhaps the most stunning part of this feel-good story is that Taylor only learned to crochet seven months ago. Last November, the entrepreneur picked up the skill during some downtime in her retail store. Her friend’s mom lent her a hook and showed her the ropes. A month later another friend tasked her with making a dress. Taylor was apprehensive at first but completed the piece. From there she started making other clothing items including swimsuits.

But it was a serendipitous encounter that would take her burgeoning business to a whole new level. Taylor happened to run into Rihanna’s longtime bestie and constant travel companion Melissa Forde, who was visiting their native Barbados at the time.

“Melissa usually comes to spend some time with my neighbors,” she explained. “One day I was just sitting on the step, and she was passing. I asked her if she would mind wearing one of my bathing suits. She said yes and she wants a dress. So I came inside immediately, got my measuring tape, and measured her. I came in and started to make the dress. It took two days because there was so much on it. I got it done, and my neighbors took a picture to send it to her because she couldn’t get back down in time to get it. She was amazed and liked it. They were still here in lockdown for Rihanna’s birthday. So she said she’s going to give it to Rihanna for her birthday.”

Taylor finally saw the dress on Rihanna on May 11th when she posted it to her 96.5 million Instagram followers.

Rihanna
Instagram: @badgalriri

The design was even featured on the Vogue website. Since then, orders have been pouring in from all corners of the globe: Canada, the United States, England, Germany, and the Philippines.

Taylor is already searching for a place to set up shop, where she can create and customers can view her designs. She’s also working on a website and official social media pages.

“I see myself moving forward with this. I really want to take it to another level, create other things; things that are mind-blowing. In my imagination, I have so much going on. I also want to dress other celebrities. Hopefully, others will contact me to get a personalized piece.”

Find Shanice and inquire about her designs on Instagram.