Fenty, the joint venture between luxury conglomerate LVMH and singer Rihanna, is being put on the shelf less than two years after it was announced.
“Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the ready-to-wear activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions,” LVMH said in a statement.
The news was first reported by WWD.
Fenty, which had planned to venture into jewelry, was notable for several reasons. It was one of LVMH’s few attempts to create a brand—or as it prefers, maison—from scratch rather than work with an existing name. It was also the first LVMH sub-brand to be headed by a Black woman.
According to Business of Fashion, the brand’s original business plan called for the singer to have 49.99% ownership of the venture, and for LVMH to provide 30 million euros in backing.
Following Fenty’s launch, Louis Vuitton veteran Véronique Gébel was reportedly named to head the brand. Last September, reports appeared that Nike exec Bastien Renard had taken over as managing director, though his LinkedIn profile says he joined the brand in December 2019.
On an earnings call last October, LVMH chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony admitted the brand was still figuring out what it wanted to be.
“On Fenty fashion, we are obviously still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer,” he said, according to WWD. “It’s not something that is easy. We were starting entirely from scratch.
“Obviously, we have the great help from Rihanna on this, but I would say it’s still a work in progress when it comes to really defining what the offer will be. We have successes, we have things that have worked less well, so we have to sort in between the two and really decide what should be the core strengths of the offer in the years to come.”
LVMH said in a statement that a company-based private equity fund, L Catterton, has taken a stake in Savage x Fenty, the brand’s lingerie line.
“LVMH and Rihanna reaffirm their ambition to concentrate on the growth and the long-term development of Fenty ecosystem focusing on cosmetics, skincare, and lingerie,” the company said in the statement.
L Catterton currently owns the John Hardy brand.
(Image courtesy of Fenty)
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