Meet the Vintage Dealer Behind Rihanna’s Pregnancy Shoot Jewelry

When news broke earlier this week that Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are expecting their first child, the world went into overdrive. The queen of street style, whose outfits always make headlines, curated perhaps the coolest pregnancy announcement outfit ever. Photographed looking radiant, while cozied up to her boyfriend in his birthplace of Harlem, Rih wore a hot-pink Chanel fall 1996 coat with a Christian Lacroix gemstone crucifix necklace draped over her bump. 

The collector behind that special piece of jewelry is Kerry Bonnell, the longtime vintage connoisseur and founder of Archive vintage. “I purchased that necklace from an auction specifically for Rihanna; it reminds me of the ’80s in a wonderful way,” recalls the collector, who first connected with one of Rihanna’s stylists, Nini Nguyen, in a Dallas store in 2019. “Nini’s super sweet and knows what Rihanna wants. After working with them for so long, I feel like I do too.”

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A Christian Dior necklace and Christian LaCroix necklace worn by Rihanna from Archive.

The vintage seller, who’s been running online and brick-and-mortar stores since 2006, didn’t follow the traditional route into fashion. After a stint at Parsons, Bonell, who hails from New York and started thrifting from a young age, found herself in Dallas, unsure of her next career move. “I had to decide on whether or not I was going to work at a newly opened Barney’s or take a risk with my vintage store. Luckily, it all worked out,” The dealer quickly cultivated an online network of sellers and collectors, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2022, and Bonnell has accumulated a sumptuous collection of Gucci dresses, Jean Paul Gaultier outerwear, Chanel sunglasses and Dior accessories—all of which the self-proclaimed bad gal loves. “Whether it’s tomorrow or a year from now, it’s always a joy to see Rihanna in the pieces I’ve sourced – she loves crosses and anything unique,” says Bonnell. “Just last week, she wore a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier parka I found a while ago, which has wonderful orange quilting inside. It looks so cool in person!” The superstar is also a fan of Bonnell’s collection of form-fitting gowns. 

As for her online tips for first-time eBay users who want to bag Gucci sunglasses or a Fendi coat for themselves? “Memorize pieces from the runway and don’t always search the term vintage first,” Bonell concludes. “Items often aren’t marked as vintage online, but are still extremely rare.”

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