Rihanna is launching a luxury fashion brand with the investment of LVMH, marking the first time that the conglomerate has launched a brand from inception since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
The French fashion conglomerate released a statement confirming the partnership on 10 May, announcing that it would be based in Paris.
"Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader," said Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH. "To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the group resources."
Rihanna added: "Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. Mr. Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together."
Here's what we know about the label so far...
What will the line include?
The line is "centred on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision in terms of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, including commerciality and communication of the brand," detailed LVMH in a statement, reports WWD. A statement from the brand said it reflected "both the spirit of Rihanna and a new approach to modern luxury: agile and dynamic; elevated yet egalitarian; bold, free, fearless".
The business is said to span both men's and women's fashion, plus childrenswear. Perhaps more surprising are unconfirmed reports that the label will also include tech products, office supplies, home decor and garden ware. Some say Rihanna debuted one of the pieces from her first collection in January, wearing a pair of oversized sunglasses which bore the Fenty brand name across her temples.
The collections won't follow the typical bi-annual fashion seasons, but rather will operate on a 'See Now Buy Now' basis. Each range will express a different part of a woman's personality.
What will it be called?
The label will launch under the name 'Fenty Maison', in reference to the singer's surname. Rihanna has previously used the Fenty labelling for her successful beauty and lingerie lines, as well as part of her previous fashion collaboration with Puma.
Before the launch was confirmed the venture was reportedly given the working title of Project Loud France, in reference to Rihanna's long-awaited and much anticipated fifth studio album, Loud.
When will it launch?
Fenty will launch online at Fenty.com on 29 May and at a Paris pop-up boutique on 24 May.
In January, WWD reported that staff from Louis Vuitton and Celine had already been hired to work with Rihanna. LVMH’s chief strategy officer's Jean-Baptiste Voisin has been appointed as Project Loud president. Bernard Arnault stated that a "talented and multicultural team" had been appointed to work on the venture.
According to French filings from December 2018, Rihanna has poured €29,988,000 (about £25.8m) worth of in-kind contributions to the venture, while LVMH has injected €30 million in cash - which would make the conglomerate the majority owner.
What's Rihanna said about it so far?
In mid-May, the musician announced that the line would promote the many sides of women, both vulnerable and empowered.
“Women are forces of this earth," said the star in a statement. "We are multi-faceted, complex, vulnerable yet bulletproof, and Fenty speaks to all of our intricacies. Some days I want to be submissive, many days I’m completely in charge and most days I feel like being both... so it was imperative that we created a line versatile enough to embrace and celebrate us in that way. The collections are easily worn together and meant to be staples in our wardrobe. I’m just hyped to see people in my clothes, man."
How successful is it likely to be?
Rihanna has had proven success with her Fenty Beauty make-up brand and also with her lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, both of which have been praised for their inclusivity and diversity. “LVMH certainly knows what they're doing,” luxury analyst Mario Ortelli told the Business of Fashion. “They have one of the best platforms in the world in terms of design, marketing, distribution, supply chain. That’s why they’ll make the bet. But whether it succeeds will depend on execution.”
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