It is said that LVMH had begun putting together a fashion team for the brand, comprising employees from Louis Vuitton and Celine, about six months ago in Paris. The team will work together with Rihanna and her key associates on designing ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories for her label.
There's no official word out yet about if and when the label is launching, but a source suggests that the first collection will be released together with Rihanna's upcoming album coming out later this year. This will make it the first fashion brand to be launched under LVMH since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Riri herself was recently spotted in Manhattan wearing a pair of "Fenty"-branded gold shades (since dubbed the "mystery sunglasses"), which caused more speculation about her rumored fashion label. (It's worth noting that her cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty, is currently owned by LVMH as well.)
Rihanna has already proven herself to be a great fit for fashion. Her lingerie label, Savage x Fenty, made its much-buzzed-about runway debut last September, becoming one of the highlights of New York Fashion Week. Even before that, she was making waves as a fashion designer with her Fenty x Puma collections when she served as Puma's Creative Director between 2015 and 2017.
And let's not forget Rihanna's status as a style icon, to which her name on several best-dressed lists, as well as the number of likes typically amassed on IG photos of her bold, trendsetting street style, are a testament. Last year, she even played co-host at the Met Gala—AKA fashion's biggest night out—alongside Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace.
With all that said, one question remains: if Rihanna does launch her own luxury fashion label, will it also be as successful as her other business ventures? While her unparalleled celebrity influence is an undeniable factor, what really led Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty to achieve what few other celebrity-led brands have is her diversity-driven approach: she made sure her products could cater to all women, regardless of their skin colors, shapes or sizes.
For a luxury fashion label, though, that approach might be a little trickier to adopt. Traditionally, designer brands (like the ones LVMH owns) have banked their appeal on a sense of exclusivity, one that speaks directly to an older and more affluent crowd. However, in recent years, the fashion industry has been shifting its focus to a younger generation, largely thanks to the rise of streetwear.
Streetwear may be turning the tide, but LVMH has made bold moves to stay afloat. In 2018, it appointed streetwear maven and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh as Louis Vuitton's Artistic Director of Menswear, making him the first black designer to helm the house.
Abloh, who mirrors Rihanna in influence, is often regarded as the new voice of youth fashion and culture. In the world of luxury streetwear, however, there is a spot that needs to be filled that even Abloh is not qualified for: one for a female leader. Could Rihanna be gearing up to assume that very role with her new luxury fashion label? We'll have to wait and see.