The French multinational luxury group LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and pop-singer Rihanna owned fashion house Fenty is suspending the ready-to-wear operations in less than two years after its debut as the pandemic thrashed 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.
Rihanna’s Fenty was rolled out to a huge fanfare in May 2019 with a rare contribution from LVMH to build a new fashion brand from scratch. The luxury giant has typically focused on acquiring businesses with prestigious legacies, whether it’s handbag maker Louis Vuitton or champagne producer Moet & Chandon.
With the launch of the Fenty range in 2019 spring, Rihanna became the first woman of color to lead a house under the LVMH brand. Fashion analysts say even though the pop singer has a huge fanbase, the Fenty label’s prices were too high for most of them.
Meanwhile, L Catterton, the private equity fund backed by LVMH founder Bernard Arnault, led a $115 million Series B funding joining with other investors into Savage X Fenty, Rihanna’s lingerie brand.
The fund raised will help to take the lingerie business to the next phase of growth and enable its retail expansion after it experienced a huge boost in revenue in 2020. “The goal is to support the Fenty ecosystem focusing on lingerie, cosmetics and skincare,” according to the LVMH statement.
Rihanna’s cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty has 10.5 million followers on Instagram, compared with one million for Fenty ready-to-wear. The pandemic has impacted the personal luxury goods sector differently, with the apparel category suffering the most, as per a study by the US-based management consultancy firm Bain consultants.
“We are still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer. It’s still a work in progress,” LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony told analysts about Fenty in October.