Via WWD: Rihanna is getting ready for her next act in fashion, and with the world’s largest luxury group as her partner, WWD has learned.
According to multiple sources, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the music sensation have been in secret discussions to launch a luxury house under her name. That would make it the first fashion brand industry titan Bernard Arnault has launched from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
LVMH has already handpicked a clutch of employees from within, including some from Louis Vuitton and Celine, to work on the project in tandem with Rihanna and some of her key associates, sources said.
Details about the launch and its timing could not immediately be learned. LVMH officials declined comment Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Internet lit up with speculation about the origins of the bold, gold shades Rihanna wore while stepping out in Manhattan — her Fenty brand name spelled out across the temples. Sources said the music star was simply test-driving a prototype, while dropping a colossal tease about her next major foray beyond music.
It is understood her collection with LVMH will span ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories, and could be released in tandem with her ninth album, expected out sometime later this year, one source said.
For LVMH, the Rihanna line signals a further move outside its comfort zone of heritage brands as it continues to diversify its holdings, having recently invested $2.6 billion in luxury travel operator Belmond Ltd., owner of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train and hotels including the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro.
Kendo, which functions as an incubator making products that end up being retailed by LVMH’s Sephora perfumery chain and other outposts, signed on Rihanna in 2016. Her Fenty Beauty products racked up sales north of $100 million in a matter of weeks, and was hailed as a transformative brand.
Sources inside LVMH describe her as a hands-on type who is extensively involved in product development.
It is understood LVMH started assembling her fashion team about six months ago in Paris, with the project being overseen by Sidney Toledano, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Fashion Group, a stable of fashion houses that includes Givenchy, Celine, Kenzo and Marc Jacobs.