It’s live! Fenty.com opened for business on Wednesday, the public consummation of the much-hyped commitment between Rihanna and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Vocal reaction to the nascent partnership has been mostly euphoric, the deal touted as indicative of fashion’s expanding borders, a major step for Rihanna in her ongoing evolution from global pop star to global pop-culture mogul, and a salient move by LVMH for having brought this creative juggernaut into its fold, a pro-diversity milestone laudable in an industry not as worldly woke as it likes to fancy itself.
No question, the deal puts Rihanna on a well-funded path to potential luxury mogul-hood and puts yet another LVMH brand firmly in the limelight. Yet one aspect of this partnership has been under-discussed: What it represents for the larger industry, in particular, for the pure creation side, and for the future trajectory of the traditionally trained designer.
The celebrity infiltration of fashion didn’t happen yesterday, nor did it start in the design studio. It first emerged on the cover of magazines, when models got shoved aside in favor of actresses. That was long ago, and a great deal has happened since (that models have made something of comeback even as magazines
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