#Newsbite: Rihanna to launch a luxury fashion brand with LVMH
I’m sure you’ve heard the rumours by now. If you haven’t, Rihanna is said to be launching a fashion brand with none other than conglomerate powerhouse, LVMH Moet and Henessey, later this year. As a fan of both Rihanna and LVMH, I’m beyond excited about this alleged collaboration. This is a major move for Ms. Fenty’s growing business empire which will solidify her status as a true powerhouse brand. This power play might even suggest LVMH is getting pretty serious about diversity in fashion.
Diversity has never been a hotter topic in fashion. Over the past year we’ve seen a pretty significant shift (by industry standards anyway) in attitudes towards diversity from major fashion players. To recount a few stand-out moments: that cover of Vogue under Ghanian-born editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful or the furore over Dolce and Gabanna’s racially insensitive ad campaign, to Valentino’s groundbreaking Spring 19 Couture show line-up. It only seems natural that LVMH wants to capitalise on this movement to keep up with the competition.
However, aside from Virgil Abloh’s appointment as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Menswear earlier last year, the brand isn’t necessarily known for championing diversity across its fashion portfolio. A move to launch a fashion house with Rihanna could herald a new era. Rihanna’s brands are known for their strong stance on diversity. Her Puma x Fenty catwalk shows always feature a range of models from various racial backgrounds; the Savage x Fenty lingerie line is catered to women of all shapes and sizes and who can forget the inaugural Fenty beauty ad campaign which tore up the rulebook on “normal” beauty standards? Moreover, Rihanna’s commitment to diversity has only highlighted how lucrative diversity can me. Fenty Beauty, which featured over 40 foundation shades catering to a wider than average range of skin tones, sold out in just a few months and Puma x Fenty garnered $1bn in sales. So LVMH has definitely seen the potential and is looking to leverage that.
Of course, there is the added bonus of Riri’s mega-celebrity status and, in the unlikely event that Rihanna takes a back seat, LVMH may just want to benefit from a big name. Yet, the celebrity-factor has limited success in the luxury fashion market. Kanye West’s debut collection was famously slated by fashion critics and is still categorised as “luxury streetwear” rather than “luxury fashion” and Victoria Beckham faced staunch criticism when launching her eponymous line. So, it’s likely the fashion industry will definitely be judging an LVMH-backed-Rihanna-led fashion brand on the ingenuity of the designs and not on her celebrity status. Furthermore, the luxury price point might prevent the line from reaching the same level of success of her previous ventures.
Nonetheless, Rihanna is a real fashion and beauty icon who is not afraid to push boundaries or experiment with her style. She has a certain raw edge that is hard to replicate and she’s undeniably cool. I’m intrigued to see how she translates this to the luxury fashion market under LVMH and I’m confident that RiRi will not disappoint.