Last month, news broke that Queen Rihanna would be releasing something a little bigger than Fenty-branded sunglasses. The mogul is working with French luxury conglomerate LVMH to launch a house under her name. It would be the first time LVMH has debuted a new label since Christian Lacroix in 1987. No word on an official launch date, but thanks to Business of Fashion, we do know how the brand is referred to internally.
“Now it appears that the venture — dubbed 'Project Loud France,' a nod to Rihanna’s fifth studio album Loud — is further along than it seemed,” BoF reports. According to filing a French accounting firm obtained, Rihanna is a 49.99% shareholder and brings more the $34 million of her own money to the venture. LVMH is majority stakeholder.
While we are happy to see that Rih & Co are already investing so much money into the project, the fact that the project is called “Project Loud France,” is especially exciting. Previous reports of the fashion line speculated a debut timed with an album. Is this a clue? Should we scour Rihanna's looks from the Loud album-era for what could be used as style inspiration?
When Loud was released (with the classic lead single "Only Girl in the World"), Rihanna championed the album, saying “Loud is, the word, the name of the album definitely reflects the attitude of it, it's really sassy and flirty and it grabs your attention and that's why I enjoy it. It takes you through a really really interesting ride. So colourful the album.”
“LVMH certainly knows what they're doing,” luxury analyst Mario Ortelli tells BoF. “They have one of the best platforms in the world in terms of design, marketing, distribution, supply chain. That’s why they’ll make the bet. But whether it succeeds will depend on execution.”
“Look at, say, Yeezy [Kanye West’s partnership with Adidas]... Because the name is separate from the designer who created it, it’s easier to get longevity,” says Ortelli. "While an eponymous brand, such as, say, Victoria Beckham, is embedded with the person...What will be the final name of the LVMH and Rihanna venture? Will it be Fenty? Fenty by Rihanna? Just Rihanna? Or something else? It will be interesting to see.”