LVMH Reveals Rihanna’s Fenty Clothing Line Is A ‘Work in Progress’

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PARIS, FRANCERihanna‘s beauty empire is taking off quick, but her fashion label is still a “work-in-progress,” the luxury conglomerate admitted on Thursday.

On May 10, 2019, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton officially confirmed a luxury label with Riri, under the Fenty banner (see it here).

Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, has long professed his admiration for the singer, noting that her Fenty Beauty color cosmetics racked up sales north of $100 million within weeks of their launch via a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH-controlled Kendo.

He has been noticeably silent on the Fenty clothing line, leading to speculation that the direct-to-consumer collection is underperforming. The label recently recruited Bastien Renard, who worked for 19 years at Nike in Europe and in the U.S., as managing director.

Speaking to analysts after LVMH published third-quarter sales, chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said Rihanna’s luxury maison was still finding its footing.

On Fenty fashion, we are obviously still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer. It’s not something that is easy. We were starting entirely from scratch,” he said. 

Obviously, we have the great help from Rihanna on this, but I would say it’s still a work in progress when it comes to really defining what the offer will be. We have successes, we have things that have worked less well, so we have to sort in between the two and really decide what should be the core strengths of the offer in the years to come,” he added.

Sources suggested Renard, a dynamic and agile executive adroit at all things digital and cutting-edge, could tweak the positioning of the brand, celebrated with pop-up events in such marquee stores as Bergdorf Goodman and Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty holds the titles of founder, chief executive officer and artistic director of Fenty.

Her fashions, sold principally online at Fenty.com via see-now-buy-now drops, have skewed more to the dressy and designer end of the spectrum. The latest fashion volley is focused on denim, including oversize jackets and shirts, plus waist-cinched dresses.

When D.M. Fashion Book first broke the news that Riri was releasing a label back by LVMH, we were so proud of Riri and still is.

Bernard Arnault believed in a woman of color from the left side of an island. This is proof that nothing is impossible.

Rihanna became the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison, and this marked the first time LVMH — whose forte is modernizing legacy brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Bulgari and Dom Perignon — has launched a fashion brand from scratch since it set up a couture house for Christian Lacroix in 1987.

LVMHhandpicked a clutch of employees from within, including some from Louis Vuitton and Celine, to work on the project in tandem with Rihanna and some of her key associates. Among them are Veronique Gebel, previously ready-to-wear director at Louis Vuitton, according to market sources.

The Bajan beauty’s proximity to LVMH stretches back to at least 2015, when we reported that Rihanna was the first Black girl to front a Dior campaign. She also partnered with Dior on a line of futuristic, reflective sunglasses back in 2016 (see it here).

In 2016, we also reported that Rihanna inked $10 million beauty deal with LVMH for her, Fenty Beauty (see it here). The official collection launched in September 2017 (see it here).

Photos Credit: Instagram Reproduction

Additional Reporting: WWD

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.