Via Business of Fashion: We now know the value of the Fenty Effect: 500 million euros.
That figure represents the sales generated by Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range in its first full year in business, LVMH reported last week. The brand, created in partnership with the French luxury conglomerate’s Kendo Beauty division, launched in September 2017, and the “Fenty Effect” was born. Fenty Beauty’s 40 shades of foundation (since expanded to 50) now act as a litmus test for the beauty industry. Morphe’s foundation (60 shades) was celebrated on its launch last month. Debuts from Tarte and It Cosmetics last year featuring more limited ranges for women of colour were subject to online pile-ons.
The Fenty Effect
The cultural impact has been well documented. Let’s take a closer look at what Fenty Beauty means for LVMH, and its globe-spanning beauty retail giant, Sephora. Rihanna’s cosmetics launched exclusively at Sephora and did a reported $100 million in sales in its first 40 days. By comparison, white-hot brands not fronted by an international pop star, like Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills, needed years to hit that milestone.
Sephora needs a cash cow like Fenty Beauty more than ever. LVMH acknowledged that the chain’s growth slowed in the latter months of 2018 following a “tremendous” first half. Competition from rival Ulta Beauty and direct-to-consumer brands is heating up. […]
Rihanna is benefitting from what one venture capitalist described to me as “arbitrage 101” for LVMH, which owns both Sephora and the retailer’s best-performing products. Fenty Beauty can take Sephora’s sales data and use it to develop new products, which the beauty retailer can then give prime exposure online and in stores. […]
But LVMH’s ownership of Fenty Beauty could also prove to be golden handcuffs for the singer. While Sephora is, well, Sephora, there are limits to how much one can scale while staying exclusive to a single retailer. Another person who works in the financial space said it could become “challenging” if Rihanna ever wants to expand beyond Sephora’s shelves.
What route will Fenty Beauty take? All we can do is wait and see what happens.