LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, which launched the fashion label by Rihanna in 2019, announced it will be placed on hold “pending better conditions” in a statement. In a separate statement on Wednesday, L Catterton, the private equity fund backed by LVMH founder and billionaire Bernard Arnault, led a US$115 million series B funding along with other investors into Savage X Fenty lingerie Brand
The funds will help power the underwear business’s next phase of growth and enable its retail expansion after it experienced an “explosive” rise in revenue in the past year, the fund’s statement said. The goal is to support “the Fenty ecosystem focusing on lingerie, cosmetics and skincare”, according to LVMH.
“Celebrity-originated brands can be very popular very quickly, but their staying power is questionable,” Luca Solca, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said by e-mail. “The risk is that they end up being a flash in the pan.”
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty make-up brand has 10.5 million followers on Instagram, compared with 1 million for Fenty ready-to-wear. The pandemic has affected the personal luxury goods sector differently, with the apparel category suffering the most, according to a study by Bain consultants.
“We are still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer,” LVMH chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony told analysts about Fenty in October. “It’s still a work in progress.”
Women’s Wear Daily first reported the suspension of Fenty’s ready-to-wear operations.
LVMH and Rihanna are suspending the ready-to-wear operations of Fenty, less than two years after its debut as the pandemic pummels demand for clothing.
“Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the ready-to-wear activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions,” the French luxury conglomerate said in a statement on Wednesday.
The news comes after Rihanna’s busy year of launching Fenty Skin, numerous collections for Fenty Beauty, another fashion show film and Valentine’s Day collection for her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty—which just secured $115 million in Series B funding as it expands its’ retail operations. All of these Fenty ventures will continue to be developed by LVMH, with the exception of the fashion brand.
Fenty’s official launch in 2019 was widely celebrated by the fashion industry, debuting with a massive show at Fashion Week. Capsule collaborations with Amina Muaddi, a pop-up party at Bergdorf Goodman, and the now-iconic reference on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills made the brand an instant part of the fashion conversation. Likely the hold stems from the line’s low sales, lack of a signature bag (a major luxury brand selling point), absence in recent Fashion Week seasons, and high price point (compared to Rihanna’s other Fenty brands).
Fenty made history as the first original brand launched by a woman and BIPOC at LVMH.