LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Rihanna are said to be expanding their partnership beyond her hot-selling Fenty Beauty to a full-fledged fashion line. Women’s Wear Daily is exclusively reporting that the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate (which is parent to Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Celine, and Marc Jacobs, among other brands) and the multi-hyphenate Grammy winner “have been in secret discussions to launch a luxury house under her name.”
While no one from either camp would confirm or deny the reports, WWD’s sources reveal that “LVMH has already handpicked a clutch of employees from within [its ranks], including some from Louis Vuitton and Celine, to work on the project in tandem with Rihanna and some of her key associates.”
The potential new venture comes after 30-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.
Keeping in line with her focus on diverse offerings, the Savage collection “currently offers bras in sizes 32A to 38DD, underwear up to a size 3X, and other lingerie from extra small to extra large.” And according to Vogue, the company has “stated plans to increase their size range even further very soon.”
As for the allegedly impending luxury venture, “It is understood her collection with LVMH will span ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories, and could be released in tandem with her ninth album, expected out sometime later this year,” one source told WWD.
Commenting on the rumored partnership, Quartz’s Marc Bain wrote on Thursday, “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.”
UPDATED (February 26, 2019): It is happening. According to British Vogue, French accounting firm Ledouble obtained filings that illustrate the soon-to-be announced partnership between Rihanna and LVMH, entitled Project Loud France. “Transactions filed show that Rihanna has invested €29,988,000 [$34.17 million] worth of in-kind contributions to the business, and LVMH has pledged over €30 million to the brand.”
According to Vogue, “A document on the recent cash flow (€29,960,000 [$34.13 million] was deposited on December 20, 2018, in addition to the initial equity of €40,000 which dates back to June 29, 2017) was signed by Antoine Arnault on behalf of a company called LV Group.”
While LVMH is reported to be the majority owner of the venture, Rihanna is not far behind as a 49.99 percent shareholder in Project Loud France by way her company Denim UK Holdings.