Rihanna has maintained her remarkable popularity in the music industry (with her nine Grammys and sold-out international tours), claimed her throne as queen of the beauty and makeup industry with Fenty Beauty (sorry Kylie Jenner!) in 2017, and has now stepped head first into the world of luxury fashion with her upcoming line, Fenty Maison. It’s safe to say that everyone’s excited. Rihanna has had an immeasurable effect on pop culture — from her risk-taking persona, savage lyrics, and lively performances, her transformation of the beauty industry in diversifying colour and skin tone offerings, to her one-upmanship of lingerie powerhouse Victoria’s Secret with Savage x Fenty, her own size- and gender-inclusive undergarment line.
Rihanna has dipped her toes in the fashion industry before. In her role as Puma’s creative director, she designed a line of comfortable sportswear and several sell-out shoe lines. She also successfully collaborated with high-fashion brands Dior and Chopard on collections of sunglasses and jewelry respectively. But with Fenty Maison, she’s bound to take over the world. The line is backed by LVMH, the multinational, multi-industry luxury goods conglomerate that supports historic fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Celine, and Fendi. Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, says that he “discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader” in Rihanna whilst partnering with her for Fenty Beauty in 2017. He shows continued support today, giving the star this “unique opportunity… with no artistic limits.”
With this radical move and Rihanna’s rebellious reputation, bad gal’s Fenty Maison could steer the fashion industry to an interesting place.
This is a truly bold move for the luxury conglomerate, as it hasn’t launched a previously established brand since Christian Lacroix in 1987, gifting Rihanna with a spectacular chance to succeed with their boundless support from the start. It’s also worth noting that Robyn Rihanna Fenty will be the first black woman to manage a LVMH brand. With this radical move and Rihanna’s rebellious reputation, bad gal’s Fenty Maison could steer the fashion industry to an interesting place. The collection uses sourced, high-quality materials like Weapon (a cotton canvas) and a direct-to-consumer retail model where pieces arrive every 6 to 8 weeks — changing up the typical garment production schedule and allowing consumers to view, like, and buy the collection immediately. In keeping with its disruptive nature, it will have no runway show.
The line debuts this spring, with the first installment on sale May 29th, followed by the next at the end of June. The excitement surrounding the collection is palpable: Fenty has been teasing millions of fans with a Greek-styled logo, Basquiat-esque and power-posed Instagrams, and a campaign promo shoot resembling Baz Luhrmann’s dreamy abandoned location shots from 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. The corresponding promotional video is multifaceted and complex, just like the line’s ideal female consumer — Rihanna herself. She leaves the switch of artificial backgrounds, bringing of props by the production team, and fixes of minor wardrobe or hair details into the final edit, truly embracing and celebrating the greater idea of authenticity of her creation. The line is honest to Rihanna’s character and radical personality. Acting as her own muse, Riri has created a line as versatile and fun as her own personal style; she’s often spotted wearing sweatpants and an oversized, Texan denim jacket one day, stilettos and a tailored power suit the next.
Acting as her own muse, Riri has created a line as versatile and fun as her own personal style.
Fenty’s first drop, which was presented in a pop-up store in Paris earlier this week, consists of ready-to-wear, shoes, and accessories. Strong, oversized silhouettes with snatched waists to complement the female physique, corsets and fanny packs mixed with trouser-suits, pointed-toe strappy sandals, and tinted statement shades are all featured in the collection. Prices range from €200 to €1,100. While the garments are sold through a luxury house, Rihanna nonetheless promises iconic streetwear looks — executed in a high-end style, similar to Demna Gvasila’s Triple S sneaker, Louis Vuitton’s sell-out collaboration with Supreme, or Kanye West’s Yeezy.
With the impact that Rihanna has had in the worlds of music and beauty, Fenty Maison is bound to be highly successful, with the potential to open new doors in luxury fashion. Shop the first drop at Fenty.com on May 29th.