On May 23, Rihanna unveiled the first lookbook of her own brand Fenty, and today a pop-up has opened in Paris, in which things from the cruise collection can be seen live. The fact that the singer is finally launching a personalized line of clothing and accessories under the auspices of the luxury giant LVMH has been talked about for several months, but the information was finally confirmed a little over a week ago. We figure out why the opening of the next brand excited the fashion industry so much and what can we expect from the artist's new brainchild.
Text: Anna Eliseeva
Rumors that Rihanna will create her own clothing brand surfaced earlier this year. In January, the singer was spotted at a concert by rapper 718 Spank in New York, wearing huge transparent glasses with the Fenty logo. She later appeared in several suits and shoes by unknown designers. As it turned out the other day, these were the works of Rihanna for her new brainchild.
If you look at the artist's experience of cooperation with third-party brands, then the opening of a personalized brand seems quite natural. In 2013, she collaborated with British River Island, a year later was appointed creative director of Puma, creating full-fledged catwalk collections under the Fenty x Puma brand, and in 2016 she began to develop collaborations with the American lingerie label Stance. In September 2017, the singer launched the Fenty Beauty line of cosmetics in collaboration with LVMH, which proved to be more than successful - the company's revenue in its first year of sales exceeded $ 500 million. But that's not all: last year she developed her own collection of lingerie, Savage x Fenty, which has received a lot of favorable reviews thanks to its celebration of diversity and a wide range of sizes.
LVMH's portfolio includes some of the most expensive and historically significant apparel and accessories brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Loewe, Givenchy, Celine and others. The announcement of the appearance of a new youth label in the ranks of the holding really sounds unusual, if not unexpected. Firstly, it is the first brand in nearly thirty years to be created from scratch at LVMH (the last was the fashion house of Christian Lacroix in 1987). In addition, Rihanna became the first woman of African descent to stand at the helm of an entire brand under the wing of a fashion holding.
Rhonda Garelik, professor and fashion historian at Parsons School of Design, sees
in Fenty's appearance a significant shift
in the industry
and in the view
By the way, the appearance of women even among the creative directors of brands today causes no less discussion and hopes for changes in the fashion industry. Just remember the appointment of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior - she became the first woman to take such a post in a fashion house. And although the luxury brand does not hide that they create things that are both fancy and potentially commercially successful, such appointments are useful for the fashion world. Likewise, Rhonda Garelik, professor and fashion historian at the Parsons School of Design, sees the emergence of the new Fenty brand as a significant shift in the industry and in the perception of luxury in particular.
Cosmetics line Fenty Beauty distinguished itself by offering as many as forty options for foundation for different skin tones, and later added ten more to the palette. Rihanna's new brand could be expected to have the same desire for variety, although for the time being the XL is the largest size in its range. Online publication Refinery29, however, praises this step, noting that even such sizes remain a rarity in luxury brands. Rihanna explains the decision to include XL in the mesh of the brand simply. “If I can't carry my own stuff, it just won't work,” she says in an interview with T Magazine.
The publication was the first to whom the singer decided to tell about the opening of Fenty. Even in the presentation of the material, one can guess the brand's desire to be as relevant as possible, close to modern technologies (for example, a digital cover is attached to the article - the first in the history of T Magazine).Rihanna herself noted that she does not plan to hold shows, open flagship boutiques and sell goods through third-party retailers. You can find Fenty items only in the official online store, the range of which is promised to be replenished every month.
that Rihanna's clothes will be cheaper
than other LVMH brands, it still hits
to the category of luxury items
When asked why the artist chose such a scheme of work, she answered bluntly: "I am a millennial." In an age when young people make most of their online purchases, this position seems to be the most profitable. Instead of wasting resources on offline sales, you can direct them to competent marketing, which will ensure an influx of buyers - moreover, in the case of a star of this magnitude, you can attract an audience without much trickery. Rihanna's Instagram account alone has over 71.2 million subscribers, and the first video of the Fenty ad campaign has been watched by over 2.6 million subscribers. “Rihanna’s value to LVMH also lies in her huge following on social media. Not only because of her talent, fame and beauty, but because she projects a very real, genuine self and is serious about what her subscribers say and think,”says Garelik.
This is not LVMH's first attempt at capturing the attention of a new, progressive audience. The appointment of Virgil Abloh as creative director for Louis Vuitton's menswear proves the influence of a street style once loved only by subcultures, even luxury. And the holding was right: its profit in the first quarter of 2019 exceeded 12.5 billion euros, which is 16% more compared to the same period last year - according to the report, it was Louis Vuitton that made a significant contribution. Edi Slimane's appearance at Celine is also explained by the conglomerate's desire to make the old fashion house more commercially successful.
Although Rihanna's clothes will cost less than other LVMH brands, they still fall into the luxury category. Prices promise to start from two hundred dollars for a T-shirt and go up to one and a half thousand for outerwear. According to T Magazine, the goods will be developed in Paris and manufactured in Italy.
According to the singer, when creating a design, she is primarily inspired by herself. At the same time, Rihanna chose not to call the brand by her name, so as not to oversaturate the market with it and differentiate her projects. “I used Fenty (the singer’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. - Ed.) So that you don’t have to hear the word“Rihanna”every time you see something done by me,” the artist added. And this is worthy of special praise.