Rihanna is a superstar who needs no introduction. With multiple best-selling albums, number one singles, world records and nine Grammy awards, she has become an enduring icon of the 21st century. Her fashion brand Fenty, which incorporates beauty and lingerie subdivisions, is in the house of LVMH — making her the first black women to head an LVMH fashion brand. The Fenty line was first released as a pop-up in 2018 and then transitioned towards a purely online platform. However, Savage X Fenty, the critically acclaimed lingerie brand, will now open its first brick and mortar stores in the US next year and then plans to move to Europe.
“Retail is an important part of our growth strategy. You’ll absolutely see some stores in 2022,” Christiane Pendarvis, the co-president and chief marketing and design officer at Savage X Fenty, told Bloomberg.
Savage x Fenty has achieved widespread success and media coverage due to masterful campaigns that have launched off trends and pop culture. Pop-ups and releases have been big-name affairs with guests and performers being household names such as Travis Scott, Rosalia and Lizzo, catapulting the brand into a statusitem. More importantly, and possibly the main reason for the brand’s competitive edge, is the focus on body, race and gender positivity — representing all types of bodies and identities in their sizing, collections and runway shows. Rihanna has long-framed herself as offering products (and music) to those marginalised by traditional clothing, beauty and lingerie items — offering 40+ shades of foundation in Fenty Beauty and size XS to 4XL in Fenty X Savage.
The lingerie industry, in the wake of sexual misconduct and toxic work environment allegations against Victoria’s Secret, has seen a necessary (and inclusive) revolution in Rihanna’s brand. While the previous giant of the industry is scrambling to rebuild its image, rebrand its marketing and add items for people outside the mould of a VS angel, Savage X Fenty is filling in the gaps. The opening of physical stores is the next step. VS has 871 physical stores across the US and this puts Fenty in direct competition with the flailing corporation.
“Fit and comfort are so important, there are customers who don't feel comfortable purchasing online,” added Pendarvis
The authenticity in which Fenty represents the diversity of the human condition makes the brand seem genuine and has cemented it as an influential global phenomenon. Rather than using minorities, the marginalised and the maligned to drive sales and gain social-justice clout, it seems Rihanna does Talk that Talk.