Rihanna‘s adventure in the world of luxury has come to an end. The French giant LVMH has announced the Fenty brand’s closure, launched less than two years ago. The label was no longer active on social media as early as January 1st, and the latest collection presented on its website dates back to last November. “Rihanna and LVMH have made a joint decision to suspend ready-to-wear operations based in Europe, pending better conditions,” said an LVMH statement reported by WWD. This does not mean that relations between Rihanna and LVMH have cracked. Indeed LVMH, which has also invested in Savage x Fenty and therefore in the lines of Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin, has announced that they will continue for now.
But the truth probably lies in the brand’s disappointing commercial performance in Paris: Fenty’s prices were indeed very high-end. For a brand founded entirely on Rihanna’s public image and therefore on her huge fanbase, they may have proved unattainable.
The problems were also logistical. Rihanna, who lives in Los Angeles, is involved in the American launch of Fenty Beauty. A line of cosmetics that recorded $ 30 million in sales over four months. Naturally, this line was given priority over a luxury brand that should have produced eight collections a year. Furthermore, it is more complicated to travel with the current restrictions and reach the brand’s headquarters in Paris and its production centers in Italy.
In reality, the crisis at Fenty had already been talked about since December 2020. At that time, the artist was trying to raise funds with the help of Goldman Sachs to further expand the line in Europe and enter the sportswear market. Although the brand generates approximately $ 150 million in revenue, sources close to it claimed it had yet to achieve real profit.
Rihanna’s brand should have represented a historic turning point, as LVMH’s first brand was created from scratch since the 1980s with a black woman. According to a Business of Fashion op-ed, Fenty marked the end of the pure designer. “In the age of social media, with fashion evolving into entertainment, designers may not be as good as true celebrities like Rihanna and their ability to gather a community and drive sales.”
All in all, the last word has not yet been said. Fenty would, in fact, only be on hiatus. It is not excluded that one day it will be revived by the same board of directors that has now closed it.