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FIT graduate: Melissa Battifarano, VP of Design for Savage x Fenty

By Aileen Yu

9 Oct 2019


At the recent New York Fashion Week, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie show was hands down the hottest event of the season. Not only was it an invitation-only concert with chart-topping artists such as Migos and Halsey performing, but the collection also presented a strong anti-Victoria's Secret message of body-inclusivity.

The Vice President of Design for Savage X Fenty is none other than Fashion Institute of Technology's alumni, Melissa Battifarano, from the class of ’01. “It’s for everybody. We really embrace all body shapes and make our customer feel sexy,” she stated on FIT’s newsroom.

Battifarano leads a Los Angeles-based team of around 14 designers, quality assurance experts and production managers to create the pieces released each season. Even though Rihanna has the final say in everything, Battifarano is responsible for the creative direction and making sure the product stays true to Rihanna’s vision.

Before her current role, Battifarano had been working for many years as a sportswear designer for Puma. In 2014, she was introduced by her former boss to Rihanna and the two collaborated together on the Fenty x Puma streetwear collection. They hit it off and now four seasons later, Rihanna appointed Battifarano as the VP of Design for Savage x Fenty.