Rihanna, Breaking New Ground, Joins With LVMH for Fashion Brand

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Get ready for the second coming of Fenty.

On Friday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, officially confirmed not only that the fashion line created by Rihanna was becoming part of its gilded stable, but also that the first products from the new company would be unveiled — in a few weeks. Thus the disruption of the status quo begins.

Rihanna will become the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison, and her line will be the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987. It joins such storied heritage brands as Dior, Givenchy, Celine and Fendi and positions Rihanna as a breakthrough designer on a number of levels.

The move is a formal acknowledgment from the establishment that a multi-hyphenate pop star/actress/image-maker now has as much global currency, name-recognition and (yes) influence as designers like Hedi Slimane and Nicolas Ghesquière. That there is no need to limit them to the street or sportswear world. And that growth in the luxury industry may no longer come just from reinventing old heritage names, but by embracing a new diverse, digital, direct communication-enabled reality.

The brand, whose logo features a graphic representation of Fenty that resembles a Greek key design, as well as the name in white letters against a blue background with a reversed “N,” will be based in Paris, include ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, and “is centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision,” according to a statement from LVMH.

It is, in other words, the first brand of the Instagram age supported by one of the three big groups that have defined the global luxury era.

“Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us,” Rihanna, 31, said in the statement. “Mr. Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together.”

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