After months of speculation, the French luxury goods group Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) has announced that Rihanna’s Fenty label will soon be a reality with a launch expected imminently. The singer will become the first woman of color to lead an LVMH house as well as the first woman to create an original brand for the conglomerate.
Rihanna, who has more than 70 million followers on Instagram, has always been deeply in tune with fashion, combining high fashion with other unexpected items in her own unique style. Fenty, which will design clothing, shoes, and accessories, is the first new label to debut under the LVMH brand since 1987. It will join 70 other brands in the group, including Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Céline.
In a statement, Rihanna said that she had been awarded a "unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits." Adding, "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."
Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, said the singer would be supported with a team and resources. "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," he said. The new partnership is in part the result of LVMH’s thriving business — the company reported more than $14 billion in revenue in Q1 of 2019, a 16% increase in growth in comparison to 2018.
Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics brand launched in 2017 by Rihanna, has been applauded for its inclusivity across skin tones. The original foundation, which debuted with 40 shades, has since expanded to 50. Named one of Time magazine's best inventions of 2017, Fenty Beauty had reached nearly $565 million in sales by the end of 2018. The singer also launched Savage X Fenty, a lingerie line, in 2018.
Yesterday, Rihanna revealed her new Fenty logo on Instagram. The partnership between Rihanna and LVMH is being hailed as a turning point in French culture. “LVMH consists of many brands associated with what the French call patrimoine culturel — cultural heritage — or francité,” Rhonda Garelick, a professor and fashion historian at Parsons School of Design, told TIME.
“Rihanna enters into this line-up, taking her place alongside venerable, historic, and iconic figures. It is symbolic of a seismic shift in how we view, sustain, and rewrite the canons of European prestige and history. And it signals the growing understanding of the need to embrace new, global definitions of what constitutes prestige, history, and luxury,” she added.
Garelick says that considering France’s colonial history, it is incredibly symbolic that a woman of color, who comes from a former European colony in the Caribbean, can lead a luxury brand at the iconic French luxury house. The first Fenty collection is set to debut in Paris later this summer.