Beloved as she is, Rihanna has been causing her fanbase quite a bit of frustration of late, from the notable absence of new music by her to her notable absence on the red carpet at this year's Met Gala on Monday. By the end of the week, though, she'd more than made up for it: Friday finally brought official confirmation that Rihanna is indeed teaming up with LVMH on a new luxury fashion label, confirming the rumors that have been circulating since January.
In more welcome news, this time around, there's pretty much no wait time: Rihanna is presenting her first Fenty collection less than two weeks from now, on May 22. And rest assured, Rihanna means business; this is no short-lived collab or line of glorified merch. Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, has already taken to calling it "Fenty Maison"—no small endorsement, coming from the head of the largest luxury group in the world, which is home to Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Celine, and plenty of other industry heavyweights.
Of course, this being Rihanna, she's already managed to take a step further than the rest: Hers is the first major brand that LVMH has launched from scratch since 1987, when it founded the namesake label of the legendary couturier Christian Lacroix. What's more, as the New York Times notes, Rihanna is the first woman create an original LVMH brand—and the first woman of color to helm an LVMH maison.
Relatively speaking, Rihanna might be a newcomer to the industry, but she's found success in it from the start nonetheless. That began when Fenty was first introduced in 2016, when it was known as Fenty x Puma and owned by Kering, LVMH's longtime rival. Almost immediately, she was warmly welcomed into the roster of designers who show during both New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, making her presence known via her inspirations—spring 2017 imagined what "Marie Antoinette would wear if she was going to the gym"—and presentations, like her last ready-to-wear runway show, which came complete with motocross racers doing backflips over giant pink piles of sand. There's no denying that Rihanna's been keeping busy ever since; since then, she launched a successful, size-inclusive lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, as well as carried over her dedication to inclusivity through the empire that is Fenty Beauty, which is also under LVMH.
Naturally, Arnault couldn't be more thrilled. "Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO, and a terrific leader. She naturally finds her full place within LVMH," he said in a statement. Rihanna confirmed just how much faith he's placed in her in a statement of her own: "Mr. Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits." In that case, the Fenty ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry, and sunglasses that she's about to roll out couldn't sound more promising.