LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and musician and fashion icon Rihanna, have hit pause on the Fenty fashion house, they confirmed in a statement Wednesday. "Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the [ready-to-wear] activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions," a spokesperson said by email. The news was first reported by Women's Wear Daily.
On Wednesday, Rihanna's lingerie brand Savage x Fenty in an emailed press release also announced a "heavily oversubscribed" $115 million Series B funding round led by L Catterton's Growth Fund (co-founded by LVMH chief Bernard Arnault) and joined by Marcy Venture Partners, Avenir and new investors including Sunley House Capital.
Following the completion of that, "LVMH and Rihanna reaffirm their ambition to concentrate on the growth and the long-term development of Fenty ecosystem focusing on cosmetics, skincare and lingerie," according to the LVMH email.
In an atmosphere where luxury brands have had to come to terms with the rise of e-commerce and streetwear, LVMH may be playing it safe by sticking with its more established fashion houses, which include Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Celine and Christian Dior, among others.
Rihanna's lingerie and beauty line have been around longer than the Fenty house, gaining traction in those markets thanks not only to Rihanna's star power but also their inclusivity around sizing and skin tone, according to Jane Hali & Associates analyst Jessica Ramírez.
As noted in several press reports, the Fenty house was only the second homegrown high-fashion brand developed by LVMH, and the only one led by a Black woman. Previously the Parisian conglomerate launched Christian Lacroix in 1987.
"Ready-to-wear isn't what's moving, so I can see why they would make that move," Ramírez said by phone. "I had heard that they were working on athletic wear, but for a new brand, it does take some time to ramp up. The Fenty ready-to-wear line was only two years old and quite small. I know Rihanna has a huge following, but it still does take some time, especially when you look at the prices."