Rihanna and LVMH Make a Deal and, Possibly, History

The pop culture phenomenon and the luxury group are teaming up, and it’s about a lot more than fashion.

Is Rihanna the Coco Chanel of the 21st century? Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton LVMH, the parent company of Dior, Givenchy and Fendi, apparently thinks so. It is in the midst of a deal to back her in a fashion brand, making her the first female designer of color at the largest luxury conglomerate in the world.

The news, confirmed by sources within the group who were not authorized to speak for the company, was first reported by WWD. Neither LVMH nor Rihanna would comment, though the singer has recently been photographed on the street wearing a “mystery” pair of oversize Fenty-branded square sunglasses hinting at what may be to come. While the details of the agreement remain unclear, it is a turning point in both fashion and fame.

The combination of Fenty and LVMH will be the clearest expression yet of how celebrity, social media and influencers have redefined the power balance between culture and consumption, changing the way brands of all kinds relate to their audience.

It is not insignificant that despite the number of well-known and respected designers currently unemployed in the fashion world, including Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati and Peter Copping, the dominant luxury group decided to put its money where a pop star was. By Vanessa Friedman | nytimes.com


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