LVMH Launches New Fashion House With Rihanna

Date : 10/05/2019 @ 22h57
Source : Dow Jones News
Valeur : Lvmh Moet Hennessy Vuitton SE (MC)
Cours : 376.65  2.05 (0.55%) @ 17h39
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LVMH Launches New Fashion House With Rihanna

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By Eric Sylvers 

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said it has created a new luxury fashion house with Rihanna, betting the recording star and social media powerhouse can bring the same cachet to a brand as the industry's celebrity designers.

Fenty is the first new fashion house for LVMH since it created Christian Lacroix more than three decades ago. It is also the first time the Paris-based luxury conglomerate has named a woman of color to lead one of its brands.

The collaboration between Rihanna, who has more than 70 million followers on Instagram and 91 million on Twitter, and LVMH consecrates a shift that has been accelerating over the past several years as social media drives sales at even the most high-end brands.

Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados, developed the new label, the style and how the brand will be promoted, said LVMH. The brand will debut with a Spring 2019 line. News of the new fashion label was reported in January though there hadn't been confirmation from Rihanna or LVMH.

"I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader," Bernard Arnault, LVMH's chairman and chief executive, said of Rihanna.

In the past, Mr. Arnault has concentrated growth efforts on buying existing fashion labels. In recent years, some of fashion's most famous names such as Bulgari and Loro Piana have been absorbed by LVMH, which has become an industry giant that last year generated EUR6.35 billion(about $7.1 billion) in net income and EUR46.8 billion in revenue.

Rihanna is the most downloaded recording artist of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. She has already marshaled that and her huge social media following to build a business empire selling lingerie, sportswear and cosmetics. But moving into the world of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories will be a new step.

"Rihanna has a massive network of followers (and) people will buy from her, because she has an emotional connection with them," said Milton Pedraza, the chief executive of the Luxury Institute, a research and consulting firm. "That is what matters in commerce today."

The pop star has become one of the most well-known social media influencers -- people with large online followings who are courted by brands with free products and other perks in exchange for promotion.

Rihanna already has a relationship with LVMH, which owns a majority stake in Fenty Beauty, Rihanna's cosmetics line and one of the industry's fastest-growing brands. She also has a collaboration with German sportswear maker Puma and a lingerie line called Savage X Fenty.

Financial terms of the agreement between LVMH and Rihanna to create Fenty weren't released.

Analysts have said they expect Fenty to embrace the streetwear look that has been successful for many of the fastest-growing luxury labels including Balenciaga and Gucci, which sell sneakers that can top $1,000 a pair.

"It's a breath of fresh air," said Gabriella Santaniello, the founder of A Line Partners, a retail research firm. "Rihanna will bring LVMH a new audience and new exposure."

Suzanne Kapner contributed to this article.

Write to Eric Sylvers at eric.sylvers@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 10, 2019 16:42 ET (20:42 GMT)

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