The verdict? Neutral tailoring in strong-shouldered, cinch-waisted silhouettes; sharply-cut denim, even sharper-toed sandals and bumper tinted sunglasses chocka with metallic hardware. Among the commenters were DJ Khaled – “Beautiful” – and Snoop Dogg – “Go RiRi, go RiRi”.
“Women are forces of this earth,” the bad gal said in a press release published shortly after the frenzy-inducing Insta posts. “We are multifaceted, complex, vulnerable yet bulletproof, and Fenty speaks to all of our intricacies. Some days I want to be submissive, many days I’m completely in charge and most days I feel like being both... so it was imperative that we created a line versatile enough to embrace and celebrate us in that way. The collections are easily worn together and meant to be staples in our wardrobe. I’m just hyped to see people in my clothes, man.”
Fenty will operate on a see-now, wear-now basis, with each new product release focused on a specific product designed to “express a new facet of a woman and her wardrobe,” according to LVMH. Products will be sold strictly via Fenty.com, but supported by “ephemeral boutiques”.
“Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us,” the entrepreneur said upon confirmation of the label, which sees Rihanna become the first woman to launch a brand with the luxury conglomerate (the group's first new house since Christian Lacroix in 1987) and the first woman of colour to helm an LVMH house. “Mr Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together”.
She added a personal message on Instagram, writing: “Big day for the culture. Thank you Mr Arnault for believing in this little girl from the left side of an island, and for giving me the opportunity to grow with you at @LVMH. This is proof that nothing is impossible. Glory be to God.”
“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader," LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault reciprocated of the partnership. “To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success.”
On what she has learned from the latest expansion of her Fenty empire, Rihanna told T: “Everything was a collaboration, so I’ve plugged my DNA into theirs, but there was already a blueprint. I’m learning so much: about the tailoring, the fabric – I’m seeing fabrics that I’ve never seen in my life.” The aforementioned tailoring is crafted from a material called Weapon – “All the techniques are, like, ridiculous” – and is complemented by intricate boning – “I love a corset. We put a corset in a suit, a dress, a shirt, a denim jacket and a T-shirt dress.”
“I use myself as the muse,” she added of her creative process. “It’s sweatpants with pearls, or a masculine denim jacket with a corset. I feel like we live in a world where people are embracing every bit of who they are. Look at Jaden Smith, Childish Gambino. They dare you to tell them not to.”
It was in February that French accounting firm Ledouble showed that a venture – entitled Project Loud France after the popstar’s fifth album Loud – was firmly in motion. Transactions filed revealed that Rihanna had invested €29,988,000 worth of in-kind contributions to the business and Project Loud France, the majority shareholder controlled by LVMH, had pledged over €30 million into the brand. A document on the cash flow (€29,960,000 was deposited on December 20 2018, in addition to the initial equity of €40,000 which dates back to June 29 2017) was signed by Antoine Arnault on behalf of a company called LV Group. Rihanna is a 49.99 per cent shareholder in Project Loud France via her company Denim UK Holdings.