It is official. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced on Friday that it is following months of speculation, it is, in fact, launching a new luxury label this spring with Rihanna. According to the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate, Fenty Maison will include ready-to-wear apparel, shoes and accessories. The parent to Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs, amongst some 70 other luxury brands, has not revealed any further information in terms of the debut release.
Rumors have been swirling that LVMH and Rihanna were set to expand their partnership beyond her hot-selling Fenty Beauty, which is a joint venture with LVMH, to include a full-fledged fashion line, with the luxury goods group and the multi-hyphenate Grammy winner having engaged in “secret discussions to launch a luxury house under her name” since early this year.
“Rihanna will become the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison, and her line will be the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987,” according to the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman.
The new venture comes after 31-year old Rihanna Fenty launched her eponymous beauty line with Kendo, LVMH’s incubator for cool new makeup brands, in September 2017, to smashing success. Known for its industry-distrusting selection of a whopping 40 shades of foundation (the industry norm is a much smaller number that tends to favor lighten skin tones), the collection spawned waiting lists at some cosmetics counters, and is said to have brought in a whopping $100 million in its first 40 days of operation, helping to put Fenty Beauty “on track to beat out blockbuster revenues of Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Beauty [which as of August 2017 had sold a total of $420 million products] and Kim Kardashian’s KKW.”
The songstress and budding lifestyle mogul has also put her well-established stamp on a since-completed collaboration with Puma for a collection of garments and footwear, and most recently, an undergarments line, called Savage, in connection with which Fenty debuted underwear in nude hues for a huge array of skin tones, and boasts one of the more inclusive size selections on the market.
Commenting on the unique partnership early this year, Quartz’s Marc Bain stated, “The celebrity clothing line is a well-worn concept, but a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH would be something else … The reported tie up emphasizes the extraordinary potential LVMH sees in Rihanna, with good reason. Beyond the obvious advantages of her high marketability and her recognized status as one of the most adventurously fashionable stars of her time, Rihanna has repeatedly proved herself as a brand founder able to connect with young shoppers, both through her eye for sellable fashion and her inclusivity.”
As for Rihanna, she said in a statement on Friday, “Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. [LVMH Chairman Bernard] 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.”