This past week, news broke that Rihanna’s Fenty line is now officially part of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the largest luxury group in the world.
According to the New York Times, 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.
Just to put into context how big of a deal this is for Rihanna, hip-hop, and people of color in general, Fenty now joins a lineage of larger-than-life brands like Dior, Givenchy, Celine, and Fendi. Automatically making her a breakthrough designer in the highest regard.
Rihanna, born of Barbados, signed by Jay Z and who broke through to stardom through urban appreciation, now holds a seat at the table of fashion’s elite. With this move, we now have to group Rihanna with the likes of designers like Hedi Slimane and Nicolas Ghesquière.
The deal signifies that there aren’t limits in the luxury industry anymore and it’s the glass ceiling Kanye was so desperately trying to break. Remember how he ranted in his interviews back in 2013?
It’s an opportunity to reinvent old heritage names and it opens a door for many others after her. Yet, people are still badgering Rihanna and giving her a hard time about not releasing music.
I’m gonna need a new Rihanna album before the end of this month.
— gemini (@qowicome) May 12, 2019
Party & Rihanna somewhere just not giving a single damn about making music smh
— Agent of Chaos (@TheTrillAC) May 8, 2019
It’s going on four years since Rihanna’s last album Anti and while that is a significant time for artists in this era, she has eight albums worth of music in her catalog. Besides, since when aren’t artists trying to become businessmen and women nowadays?
If anything, for a lot of these artists, rap is how to get your foot in other avenues you’d otherwise have no shot to break through. Will Smith started off as a rapper. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is the play of Fresh Prince, the artist, and, although he did win a Grammy, Will is globally recognized as an actor.
Same goes for Ice Cube, Ice T, Joe Budden, and even Diddy in many regards. For years, hip-hop has been a vehicle to getting people of color the resources to explore the full extent of their ambitions. If singing was a longshot of a dream that came true, why wouldn’t we expect them to explore the other ones?
Surely you and I don’t have one singular aspiration.
This is not saying Rihanna has quit music. While withdraw symptoms are humanly understandable, she did confirm a 2019 album last year so we should be patient and let her plot out these billions. Because she’s definitely not sitting on her hands.
Her Fenty Beauty line which launched last year made over $100 million in the first 40 days and is recognized as one of the first cosmetic lines to include shades representing all girls of color.
She has dealt with Puma and Dior. She’s the official Global Ambassador for Barbados and her contributions to raising money for global education have reached a staggering $2.3 billion to date. That doesn’t include acting appearances in Oceans’s 8 and Donald Glover’s Guava Island.
Clearly, she has more on her mind than music.
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wow! the response to #GuavaIsland has been quite overwhelming. So happy you guys felt the beauty in this film! @childishgambino you are a true gem to the culture. I’m so proud of you and the work you put into making this film. I felt how close this was to you and your entire team! Thank you for trusting me with this role! It was the greatest experience being in Cuba, phones off, present with life and art! It was humbling! I loved watching every second of it! Go to @amazonprimevideo to watch if you haven’t already! #GuavaIsland
According to a press release, the new luxury house “is centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision in terms of ready to wear, shoes and accessories, including commerciality and communication of the brand.”
“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.”
With the first products from the new company to be unveiled in a few weeks, I think her fans should be proud of her. They shouldn’t be pressing her for music.
If it wasn’t for music, maybe Rihanna wouldn’t have the position and power to do what she’s doing outside of it. Still, that doesn’t mean she’s bound to ballads and recording.
We’ll get the Rihanna music when we get it. But for now, let’s appreciate the doors she continues to open and the inspiration she’s sparking in the minds of the ones who look up to her.