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Let’s talk about Rihanna

Sunday May 17 2020



Rihana.

Rihana. 

CAROL ODERO
By CAROL ODERO
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Rihanna made The Rich List. This is a list of ridiculously wealthy people who live in the UK compiled by the Sunday Times.

We are talking about Rihanna because it is important to note how she grew into a movement worth £488million according to Forbes and £468million as per the Rich List.

Years back Riri declared she never wanted to be anyone’s role model. That this is not a character she intends to play. And went right ahead to do exactly whatever she wanted.

It was a lot, and it was not music. Despite ongoing protests from fans begging for more music.

Instead, she surprised everyone by launching Fenty Beauty when absolutely no one knew it was in the works. And did it by coming out strong - 50 shades strong. She sold out in hours.

FAMOUS HIGHLIGHTER

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The first product to sell out was foundation for the darker skinned woman. Then there was the world's most famous highlighter, Trophy Wife. Many a cheekbone glowed with it. Of course there was the classic lipstick range, Stunner, specifically a universal red. The three-year-old beauty company - yes, really, is now worth more than $3billion.

Fenty Beauty falls under the banner of the great Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH). More on LVMH later. For now just realise Rihanna’s brand is certainly worth more than the controversial billion made by Kylie. Robyn Fenty is also now worth more than the flamboyantly wealthy Elton John.

She did not just make money in beauty. Rihanna’s sex appeal is one of her most outstanding qualities. It was both stupefyingly obvious and shockingly unexpected that she would launch a lingerie line.

This was not just any lingerie collection. It, like her beauty brand, bore the imprint of inclusivity and diversity. Women from all shapes and sizes were taken into account. Just like she did with her beauty brand, Riri modelled her own collection of lingerie.

Her brand proved so potent that there are those who say Fenty killed Victoria’s Secret’s (VS) two-dimensional brand. I would say hold your horses.

VS still has the largest lingerie market share in the US. The beauty of her brand is her offerings with a sizing chart ranging from XS all the way to 3XL. Her bras run the entire gamut to 42H.

The appropriately named Savage X Fenty earned more funding in 2019, and as of now Forbes declares its annual revenue to be $150 million.

STRONGEST AMBASSADOR
It helps that Rihanna is her own strongest ambassador with an overall social media following that hits 100 million.

Savage is not her first dabble with fashion. She started out with the youthful Rihanna for River Island, a celebrity line made up of three collections that sold out each time.

The real surprise was saved for last. After conquering fashion and beauty, Miss Fenty embraced the world of luxury by signing a deal with LVMH. Maison, french for house, is how LVMH “organises its family of 70+ brands,” says Forbes.

Fenty Maison designs luxury products - basically the topmost tier of consumerism - and its first collection was obviously launched in Paris. To enunciate this relationship further, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line is under LVMH’s incubator, Fendo. Rihanna’s relationship is, like everything else she has done, riddled with firsts.

She is the first woman, and first black woman at that, to create an original line - as in design from scratch - for LVMH Maison. Bernard Arnault, CEO and Chairman of LVMH, has described Rihanna as “a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader.”

She owns about 50 per cent of the company creating her luxury brand. LVMH matched her, dollar for dollar in terms of investment. According to BoF, the pair helped develop a versatile, talented and multi-cultural team, supported by LVMH to work on Project Loud France, a new company the icon started under the umbrella of an existing company, Denim UK Holdings.

ENTREPRENEURAL SPIRIT

Rihanna’s genius is not just her creativity and her entrepreneurial spirit. It is also her ability to identify and negotiate powerful deals. Savage X Fenty is co-owned with TechStyle Fashion Group, a company into innovative technology, customisation and is a data-driven.

platform. Before Rihanna, their range of products included jewellery, denim, bags and shoes.

As for Sephora, it is owned by LVMH, who were the sole distributors of Fenty Beauty when it launched. Talk about a strategic mind.
Sure you could get stuck on her twerking if you really wanted to, but you would miss out on the impact Riri has had on the fashion, beauty and luxury industries simply by “doing” her.

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