Rihanna is making history as the first black female designer to launch a line with luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Fenty is the first new house introduced in decades by LVMH, and Rihanna’s collection is now available at fenty.com.
The singer debuted Release 5-19 by opening the doors of a discreet pop-up in the French capital to lines of adoring fans for a weekend-long shopping extravaganza before the collection went online. The direct-to-consumer format essentially disrupts the traditional fashion model of seasonal runway shows and hints Rihanna can reveal a surprise collection the way she might drop a song.
Price tags start at $180.
All items available to buy on Fenty’s website come with luxury price tags ranging from about $180 to $1,360. Rihanna acknowledges that only a few of her tens of millions of fans would be able to afford an $1,100 dress. Luxury couldn’t be something that cost 30 bucks,” she has said in an interview. “It has to be something more. The lower priced pieces are in there, too, and that was so important to me, but so was building a business based on quality. And real quality costs.”
Rihanna said including a wider range of sizes than most traditional luxury houses was a priority. Her debut collection goes up to an American size 14.
The collection has been described as a visual homage to the work of Kwame Braithwaite, a photographer who captured images of black female fashion activism in New York during the early 1960s. Rihanna also has said her design is inspired particularly by her journey as an immigrant from Barbados to the United States and now London and Paris.
The silhouette is big, bold and tailored.
Some of the clothes won’t look entirely new to those who’ve been tracking the street style the pop star has been test-driving during the past few months. One of her clear favorites is the corseted denim minidress that she wore during a Fenty launch event in Paris. The piece can be styled over matching raw Japanese denim jeans or all on its own.
She’s also been spotted wearing the salmon pink suit with coordinating fanny pack that any fashion CEO would covet.
At the heart of the Release 5-19 collection is a silhouette that’s consistently oversize, bold and tailored. Other signatures are power shoulders and corset construction as seen in a corset blazer dress with exaggerated shoulders. There’s a coral pink blazer with structured feminine curves and a series of Japanese denim jackets with cargo pockets and split flare pants.
A Collection that hints at a grownup sensibility.
Variations of big structured pants were more relaxed, as were crisp white poplin or striped shirts. Some shirts were designed with mutton sleeves while others were teamed with matching shorts and skirts.
Fanny packs doubled as waist-cinching sashes. The new Fenty stilettos were designed with cutouts and a ferociously pointy toe. However, a broad variety of heel heights revealed a grownup practicality. That practical sensibility was reflected in many of the collection’s designs. Fashion-forward toe sandals start at $600 and futuristic shades at $420.