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The Business of Being Rihanna : Music, Fenty Beauty, FENTY x LVMH & More

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The Business of Being Rihanna : Music, Fenty Beauty, FENTY x LVMH & More

Robyn Rihanna Fenty widely known as Rihanna is currently the richest female musician in the world. The Umbrella hitmaker was recently given the title as she made her way into millions. Raking in the staggering US $600 million fortune. She is now wealthier than mega artists like Madonna and Beyoncé. Up until now, she has sold 60 million albums and 215 million digital soundtracks. Making her the second best-selling digital artist ever.


Rihanna has been quite the businesswoman apart from being a seasoned musician. She has turned her creativity into a full-grown business and a profitable one at that. Before her own cosmetics company Fenty Beauty, become one of the most talked-about brands on the market. Rihanna had already done a handful of interesting and profitable collaborations.


In her initial business ventures, Rihanna experimented with fragrances. In 2005, she collaborated with Secret Body Spray. After this, she created her own fragrance line; launching her first fragrance called “Reb’I’Fluer” in 2011. The success of this fragrance led her to release more fragrances, including male versions. She also made her debut in fashion the same year with the Italian powerhouse Armani. Launching a line of denim and lingerie. This was followed by her women’s spring collection, summer collection, and autumn collection. With British high street brand River Island in 2013. 


The 31-year-old musician made history in 2015, when it was announced that she was the new face of Dior, making her the first black woman in the position. She also designed a range of futuristic sunglasses for the iconic fashion house. The collection had one frame available in six different colors – silver, blue, pink, green and red. Each was priced at the US $840 and there was also a special 24-karat gold-plated version, that sold for the US $1,950. Even at such hefty prices, Rihanna’s collaborations proved to be a solid foundation ground from a business perspective apart from the fashion viewpoint. “She is an artist, an entertainer, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a style icon for today’s generation,” said Dior CEO Sidney Toledano about collaborating with Rihanna.


After an array of successful collaborations, Rihanna was named the Creative Director of the German sportswear brand Puma. In the fall of 2015, her collection named ‘Fenty x Puma’ was launched which included clothing and footwear. The sneakers in this line sold out within minutes of the launch, representing how Rihanna had turned into a pioneer in the business field. After the immense success of her footwear line, she became the first woman to receive the coveted Shoe of the Year award.


All these partnerships added to Rihanna’s business acumen and the highly acclaimed cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty was launched in September 2017 under French luxury goods giant LVMH’s Kendo Brands. The partnership was worth the US $10 million and launched several beauty products including foundations in over 40 shades, bronzers, blush, compacts, lip glosses, and highlighters. Time magazine named, Fenty Beauty as one of ‘The 25 Best Inventions of 2017’. “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: For women of all shades, personalities, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line”, said Rihanna about the creation of the brand.

Way before working on a fashion brand, Rihanna had been slowly evolving in the fashion world. First, she was a consumer and eventually grew into a tastemaker who was recognized for her style. Then came the collaboration deals. “I never wanted to put my name on things and sell my license. I’m very hands-on, so I wanted to take it slowly and gain respect as a designer,” she said. Riri’s business sense can be regarded as steady and strategic. Thanks to her status as an icon for the youth and how she connects with customers online, all her products are considered a hot property.


In May 2019, Rhiaana launched a new Maison (French for ‘house’) named FENTY.  This has positioned her as a breakthrough businessperson and designer on many levels.  LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault commented on the historic partnership with Rihanna, “Through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader, she naturally finds her full place within LVMH.

Rihanna has grown from the 16-year-old singer signed by Def Jam Recordings to the multi-hyphenate that she is. 

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