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Pop star Rihanna was way ahead of the curve when she launched her Fenty Beauty cosmetics line in 2017. Noticing that there weren’t many cosmetic products designed for non-white skin, Rihanna said she wanted to launch her own cosmetics “so that people everywhere would be included”. The Fenty brand – which takes its moniker from Rihanna’s surname – launched with a range of foundations, highlighters, bronzers, blush compacts, lip glosses and blotting sheets. Fenty Beauty, which she launched as a $10m partnership with luxury giant LVMH, offered a diverse range for all skin colours. Time magazine named Fenty Beauty as one of “The 25 Best Inventions of 2017”.

Meanwhile Rih Rih launched a Savage x Fenty lingerie brand in 2018 that became so successful Goldman Sachs was engaged to lead a $100m fundraise in 2020. Savage x Fenty plans to launch physical stores across the US in 2022 as part of its push to become a front runner in the global lingerie market that’s expeected to hit $325bn by 2025.

Not content with her own beauty and lingerie lines, Ri-Ri expanded Fenty into a couture label alongside LVMH fashion labels Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Christian Dior. However, the catwalk is littered with failed fashion ventures and Fenty’s clothing line closed its doors in February.

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...

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