Image: Savage

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand has landed a reported $50 million in new funding, “bringing the total amount invested in the company to roughly $70 million,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Savage X Fenty – which is a joint venture between the singer-slash-budding retail mogul’s brand and Techstyle, the retail group that owns Kate Hudson’s Fabletics and ShoeDazzle, debuted to much fanfare in May 2018, and in just over a year has been able to steal market share from established names like on Victoria’s Secret with its modern offerings, including a wide range of sizes.

With sales that are approaching $150 million and growing, investors, such as Jay-Z’s venture firm Marcy Venture Partners LLC and growth-equity firm Avenir Growth Capital, are betting big on Savage X Fenty, and Rihanna’s ability to “convert [her] massive fan base into customers,” the WSJ asserted on Tuesday. The appeal of famous faces with sizable pools of fans is nothing new, but it is proving to be especially attractive, Nicole Quinn, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, told the WSJ, since “it’s becoming increasingly expensive to acquire on Facebook.” It is “much easier,” she says, “to move a fan to being a user than to acquire a brand new user.”

Savage X Fenty is just one of the brands under 31-year old Rihanna’s umbrella. The star launched her eponymous Fenty Beauty in conjunction with Kendo, LVMH’s incubator for cool new makeup brands, in September 2017, reportedly racking up a staggering $100 million in sales within its first 40 days on the market, and spawning waiting lists at certain makeup counters that continued for months. Since then, the Grammy winner has also launched a direct-to-consumer fashion collection with LVMH, which sees them offering up luxury-level apparel and accessories by way of capsule collections that drop every few weeks.

The funding news comes on the heels of an announcement that Rihanna has partnered with Amazon for a Savage X Fenty special, which will debut next month. The impending Amazon special will give Amazon Prime subscribers “a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how this year’s show came together through the eyes of Rihanna, who served as an executive producer for the runway documentary.” The special, itself, will make Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty runway show – which will take place during New York Fashion Week next month – available for fans and consumers in more than 200 countries to stream.

In addition to sending Savage X Fenty’s latest wares – such as its bras, which range in size from 32A to 46DDD – down the runway, the event will feature performances by Halsey, Migos, Big Sean, and DJ Khaled, and will include special appearances by Carla Delevingne, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Normani.

If the runway spectacular sounds familiar, that is because Victoria’s Secret staged a music-filled, televised runway show for 20 years before ultimately falling out of favor, revealing plummeting viewing figures, and pulling the plug on the show as of this year. The difference? Rihanna’s venture, rife with 31-year-old’s Rihanna “reputation for immense savvy,” as the Guardian so aptly put it, sounds a whole lot better and a whole lot more relevant and modern.

While “casting relatable women in beauty and lingerie campaigns, and offering products that cater to all body shapes and skin tones, and at affordable prices, may seem obvious,” the Guardian asserted this week, “it remains a groundbreaking model for the industry,” one that Rihanna has been happy to adopt. “This year, Rihanna is making no bones about occupying the space created by the fast-declining but still dominant Victoria’s Secret,” according to the Guardian’s Nosheen Iqbal. Here’s to that.