Barbados-born superstar Rihanna, who already has her own highly successful Fenty sportswear and Savage lingerie labels, has linked up with LVMH, the world’s biggest fashion conglomerate.
Rihanna, 31, said designing the new high end line “is an incredibly special moment for us. I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together”.
The new fashion house, or “maison”, will be simply called Fenty. It is unclear how this will impact her other existing Fenty lines.
Rumours have been rife for months that the French giant LVMH, which owns such iconic brands as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy, was assembling a group of top designers for the project. LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said the brand will make ready-to-wear clothes, shoes and accessories.
“Mr Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits,” Rihanna said.
With her huge fan base and near 170 million social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet.
A new large-scale luxury label – especially one led by a black woman – is a huge development in the fashion world. The top end of the market has been traditionally hogged by historic French and Italian houses. Despite its dominance, LVMH has not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Fashion insiders say the first creations for her line are likely to be unveiled later this month. A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator.
New Album Imminent
As well as her Fenty line, Rihanna upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director, and has also dipped her toe into lingerie. Her Fenty Beauty operation – which also involved a hook-up with LVMH – racked up sales of more than US$100 million (RM416 million) within weeks of its 2016 launch.
The fashion industry bible Women’s Wear Daily has speculated that the luxury brand could be launched alongside Rihanna’s ninth album. The singer has been teasing the release of her long-awaited follow-up to her double-platinum 2016 album ANTI for months.
She told a BBC television chatshow last June that she was in the studio working on it and her best friend Jennifer Rosales said in March that the album was finished.
Black designers have been making dramatic inroads into the fashion industry of late, with American Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at recent Paris fashion weeks.
Rihanna, who shot to fame with her Music Of The Sun and Good Girl Gone Bad albums, is locked in a legal battle with her father over the use of the Fenty name.
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, she is suing Ronald Fenty over the use of the family name in his company, Fenty Entertainment. Forbes magazine put the singer’s net worth last year at US$210 million (RM873 million). – AFP Relaxnews