Rihanna becomes first woman to launch original brand with France's LVMH

Paris: Pop star Rihanna is joining French luxury conglomerate LVMH to launch a new fashion brand called Fenty, selling ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and accessories.

The Barbados-born singer will become the first woman to create a brand under the world’s largest luxury group and the first woman of colour at the top of an LVMH brand.

The label – which joins a roster of 70 LVMH brands including Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon champagne – will be called Fenty, after the singer's full name, Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

LVMH said on Friday the launch was "fast approaching" and due in spring 2019.

It will be the first new house created by the LVMH group since 1987. The rare move by the acquisitive Paris-based group to set up a new brand from scratch follows the creation of Fenty Beauty with Rihanna in September 2017, which rapidly became a sales hit.

The singer, 31, has become known for her often bold fashion statements at red carpet events and is followed almost as much for her style as her music.

Rihanna has already collaborated with other labels such as shoemaker Manolo Blahnik and has a lingerie range called Savage X Fenty.

Building a high-end brand with LVMH, which also owns storied couture houses Christian Dior and Givenchy, propels the singer's fashion ventures onto another level, however, with the might of a cash-rich industry leader behind her.

LVMH's billionaire boss Bernard Arnault said in a statement the group would support her with a team and resources, though it did not give any financial details.

Rihanna said she had been given "a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits".

The collaboration with Rihanna introduces an edgier note in LVMH's portfolio, at a time when luxury groups are vying to attract younger shoppers and moving into less familiar areas such as streetwear.

They are also increasingly promoting themselves on social media, a medium which Rihanna has used to great effect, amassing 70.5 million followers under her Instagram handle "badgalriri".

Fenty Beauty had reached nearly 500 million euros ($803 million) in sales by the end of 2018, LVMH said in January.

Reuters, Bloomberg

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