How the singer turned the richest woman musician on the earth. Hint: It wasn’t from undertaking.
by Madeline Berg
When Robyn Fenty, recognised to the entire world as Rihanna, released Fenty Beauty in 2017, she sought to produce a cosmetics organization that produced “women all over the place (come to feel) incorporated.” A potentially unintended consequence: The natural beauty line has helped her enter a single of the world’s most unique ranks: Billionaire.
Rihanna is now truly worth $1.7 billion, Forbes estimates—making her the wealthiest feminine musician in the planet and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman entertainer. But it’s not her audio that’s produced her so wealthy. The bulk of her fortune (an approximated $1.4 billion) comes from the price of Fenty Beauty, of which Forbes can now ensure she owns 50%. A great deal of the rest lies in her stake in her lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, really worth an believed $270 million, and her earnings from her job as a chart-topping musician and actress.
Although Barbados-born Rihanna is not the only celebrity to capitalize on her social media presence—she has 101 million followers on Instagram and 102.5 million on Twitter—to create a natural beauty brand, she is the most effective beauty entrepreneur to do so. Fenty Beauty, which is a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s second-richest person), launched in 2017 with the objective of inclusivity. Its products appear in a varied assortment of colors—foundation is available in 50 shades, including harder-to-come across darker shades for women of color—and are modeled in its promoting by an equally diverse group of individuals.
Obtainable on the web and at Sephora suppliers, which are also owned by LVMH, the solutions were an instant good results. By 2018, its initial whole calendar calendar year, the line was bringing in far more than $550 million in annual revenues, according to LVMH, beating out other celebrity-founded models like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Splendor and Jessica Alba’s Genuine Co.
“A whole lot of girls felt there ended up no strains out there that catered to their pores and skin tone. It was light, medium, medium dark, dim,” claims Shannon Coyne, cofounder of consumer products consultancy Bluestock Advisors. “We all know which is not fact. She was one particular of the 1st manufacturers that came out and explained, ‘I want to talk to all of those different people today.’”
When cosmetics gross sales slowed during the pandemic, natural beauty companies are truly worth as significantly as ever. Stocks of much larger natural beauty conglomerates like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have bounced again, achieving all-time highs and trading at spectacular 7.5 (or more) times once-a-year revenues. Meanwhile, unbiased manufacturers like Beautycounter and Charlotte Tilbury inked specials with investment decision companies earlier this yr at billion-greenback valuations.
That is superior news for Rihanna. Thanks to the spectacular multiples at which elegance organizations are trading, Fenty Attractiveness is well worth a conservative $2.8 billion, Forbes estimates. And all indicators level to the company continuing to increase. In its once-a-year report for 2020, LVMH explained Fenty Skin, which released very last calendar year, was off to a “very promising start” and “generated unparalleled excitement,” and that Fenty Elegance “managed its appeal as a leading makeup model.”
Fenty Attractiveness isn’t Rihanna’s only billion-greenback model. In February her lingerie line Savage x Fenty elevated $115 million in funding at a $1 billion valuation. The organization, which introduced in 2018 as a joint venture with TechStyle Manner Group, counts blue-chip traders like Jay-Z’s Marcy Enterprise Companions and non-public fairness agency L. Catterton (in which Bernard Arnault is an trader) as shareholders. Rihanna maintains a 30% ownership stake, Forbes estimates. The most recent round of funding will reportedly be applied for client acquisition and retail growth.
Not that all the things Rihanna touches turns to gold. In February, LVMH and Rihanna confirmed in a assertion to Forbes that they had shut down their other venture, a significant-conclude vogue and components residence also named Fenty. Launched in 2019, Fenty sought to prolong Rihanna’s model of inclusivity and give kinds in a selection of measurements. But like many luxury vogue brands, the substantial-priced line endured throughout the pandemic, releasing its very last collection in November 2020.
The only criticism some supporters could have about her career as a fashion and magnificence mogul? It keeps her fast paced. The singer, who utilized to release an album just about each individual calendar year, has not produced a new album given that 2016’s Anti.
From a economical viewpoint, that could be just good: “She is developing a brand name outdoors of herself. It’s not just about Rihanna,” says expert Coyne. “Even if you never like her new music, she’s established a serious fashion in the vogue and natural beauty house.”