Savage X Fenty Show 2021: Takeaways For All Event Organizers

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty brand is doing all the right things (once again) for their third annual product launch event.

Savage X Fenty is a lingerie brand that is consistently applauded for their fierce diversity, intentional accessibility and direct connectivity to the social consciousness. Their latest event, the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3, was released Sept 24 exclusively on Amazon Prime and is available now to stream on the platform.

The Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 is not your average fashion runway show. It is a video experience that showcases the best of the brand's lingerie alongside leading models, influencers and performance artists. Oh, and it was completely pre-recorded and designed with a virtual-first distribution strategy in mind.

A quick shout out to the show’s genius set designer and producer Willo Perron! The show was filmed over a few days entirely on location at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles.

Watch the official trailer to give you an idea of the show if you haven’t seen it yet.

We’re gonna share our Happily Producer Notes on the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 with some key takeaways for all brand marketers, executive producers and livestream broadcasters out there.

1. Go virtual-first

By going virtual-first there was no division between a privileged onsite audience and the rest of us who would traditionally watch a livestream and get a second-rate runway viewing experience.

With the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3, no matter who you are or where you are from, we all equally experienced (and can continue to equally experience) this event by watching it on Amazon Prime. The reach and impact of a virtual-first event is tenfold with the event accessible to an estimated 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers.

2. Pre-recording gives you more control of your brand’s narrative

This runway show was not an onsite event. It did not have an onsite audience and it was not live streamed. It was a completely digital-first production that was pre-recorded and premiered online for a virtual audience and the world to experience together.

By taking out the ‘live’ element and designing it to be a pre-recorded event, you have more creative control over the viewer experience. From a production, strategic, and creative standpoint, you are able to guide the viewer’s experience in a completely different way with multiple takes and editing. The final result will have a higher production value, more opportunities for storytelling, and enable you to turn a product launch event into a comprehensive brand experience.

Pre-recording content creates a highly polished viewing experience where you control every frame that the viewer is focusing on, how your product is showcased and how the brand is being represented. By the way, we see this with Apple product launch events, too.

Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 GETTY IMAGES

Image: Symone, Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race S13, slaying at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented By Amazon Prime Video. Getty Images.

3. Showcase diversity

The talent lineup of models and artists alone deserves a standing ovation. We are talking about a balanced and curated diversity of body types and sizes, diversity across the gender spectrum, a range of ages represented, a showcase of different skin colors and ethnicities. Basically Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 was a realistic representation of their consumers and a true display of their brand ethos of inclusivity.

As event professionals, you can instantly understand that diversity must have been the number one priority for the team when curating the talent. What industry professionals can learn is that this event is a gold standard of what talent diversity looks like - especially in an industry where diversity in all its forms has been infamously inadequate. If your brand can authentically embrace and understand diversity - age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status - then you will be celebrated for it.


Image: Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented By Amazon Prime Video. Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images.

4. Host a premiere press party prior to the main launch event

Essentially the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 is a film experience that was released as a product launch event. Most notably it reflected marketing that we are more familiar with in the entertainment industry and the release of a Hollywood movie.

Prior to the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 dropping on Amazon Prime, a premiere-style red carpet and onsite party was held for the press; one in Los Angeles and then another in New York City. In attendance were all the talent, models and performance artists from the show - just like a movie premier.

5. Timing is everything on social media

They announced the event via the Savage X Fenty Instagram and other socials with teaser videos exactly one month prior to the show release. Then two weeks before they dropped trailers and behind-the-scenes footage to continue to tease and generate excitement. A week before they distributed assets that each of the models/featured talent could post on their own socials to further amplify the show through their network of influencers/micro-influencers.

This is another benefit of pre-recording content - you already have engaging footage from the event to edit into little ‘sneak peeks’. You can drip feed your socials with visuals from the event to build momentum and capture an audience (and the media!) in the weeks prior.

Here are some of our highlights and favorite appearances from the show:

  • Supermodel and icon, Cindy Crawford, making a surprise guest appearance
  • Indigenous model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse
  • RuPaul Royalty, Season 13 winner Symone and runner-up Gottmik making Mother Ru proud
  • Vogue master, Leiomy, showing us how it’s done and leaving it all out on the floor
  • Model Precious Lee
  • Australian singer/songwriter Troye Sivan walking the runway
  • Normani performing in a square red room wearing a light green snakeskin print catsuit
  • Ricky Martin performing a medley of his major hits on a massive stage platform outdoors
  • Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” providing the perfect soundtrack for model Irina Shayk’s runway walk
  • Daddy Yankee bringing some Latin flavour against the backdrop of the city lights in a sequined jumpsuit
  • Hip-hop legend Nas kicking off the finale framed by the soaring towers outside of The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
  • Singer and TikTok influencer, Bella Poarch
  • Broadway star, Jeremy Pope
  • Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes Leon
  • The Canadian-Egyptian actor, Mena Massoud
  • Professional skateboarder, Nyjah Huston, making his modeling debut