In addition to making a $3.2 billion expansion into hotels, LVMH—the largest luxury group in the world, which controls Celine, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy (to name a few)—has also apparently been worming its way into a quite different universe: that of Rihanna and her increasingly vast Fenty empire.
According to a report that WWD shared exclusively on Thursday morning, LVMH has secretly been in talks with Rihanna to launch a luxury house under her name. (The news comes courtesy of "multiple sources"; LVMH has so far declined to comment, and none have hinted at any potential launch date.)
If they do decide to proceed, WWD reports, Rihanna will have already made fashion history along the lines of one of the industry's historic heavyweights: Christian Lacroix, which was the last major brand for LVMH to launch from scratch while under the leadership of Bernard Arnault, back in 1987. Plus, there's the fact that Rihanna would be the only woman of color to helm a major fashion brand at LVMH—another long-awaited step forward for the conglomerate (and the industry at large); the appointment of Virgil Abloh to menswear director of Louis Vuitton last March marked one of the only times that a black designer has ever been appointed to helm a heritage fashion house.
LVMH already owns Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, meaning Rihanna already knows Arnault—who's no small acquaintance to have made. The conglomerate's 69-year-old CEO has an estimated net worth of $72 billion, which currently puts him at number four on Forbes's list of billionaires—one slot above Mark Zuckerberg.) Rihanna has also worked with his daughter Delphine Arnault in continuing to support young designers through the LVMH Prize.
The conglomerate has reportedly already begun assembling a team so far made up of employees from Celine and Louis Vuitton—and Rihanna might have already begun publicly hinting at their joint venture herself. Of course, this being Rihanna—a master accessorizer—that hint came courtesy of a simple pair of sunglasses that she wore on Tuesday, whose Fenty logo immediately prompted speculation as to her next venture. If they're really an indicator of what's to come, well, stay tuned for something enormous and shiny. (Plus that elusive upcoming top-secret album.)