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LVMH Opens a New Fashion House

June 14, 2019

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LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton made waves recently with its announcement of the fashion house, Fenty, led by Rihanna. This was a first in many aspects for LVMH. What stood out the most to me was LVMH was investing in someone whose original profession was not that of a designer. Yes, Rihanna was widely accepted in the fashion world as a trendsetter and had various collaborations under her belt, but she was not a traditional designer.

This got me thinking. If LVMH was willing to take on this investment in Fenty, had I underestimated the power of celebrity and overestimated what originally drew me into fashion? A recent article in WWD by Bridget Foley summed this all up quite well. Here's an excerpt.

“'It used to be that it was all about the product and it was all about the craft and all about the workmanship and the training and the background and devoting your singular focus to just that,' said Robert Burke, founder of consultants Robert Burke Associates, [and] name-checking a quartet of greats — McQueen, Galliano, Oscar, Saint Laurent. 'Today it’s not. I think it speaks to how society has changed, how the consumer has changed, how luxury has changed. I think ultimately the product is key. But the product alone today is not enough to carry it…it’s not enough to appeal to the consumer.'"



Foley herself explores various view points in the article, including how this move helps fashion reach the masses and how we need to be open to the fashion industry evolving. 

Of course this is not the first time a celebrity has moved into the designer realm, but, this marks LVMH's first investment in a celebrity turned designer. As Foley pointed out, Victoria Beckham and Ashley & Mary Kate Olson both made their way into the fashion world. Yet, they made fashion their "day jobs", as Foley noted.
With this said, I'm eager to see what happens next. Will others luxury groups follow suit? Will this be the first of more to come? Or, will this only work because it's Rihanna, someone that is well-known in the fashion industry? Of course, we have yet to fully see how Rihanna will take on her new role. Maybe she'll look to carve out her own definition of what a creative leader of a French-held fashion house is to be. Retail is one of continual evolution. It is possible this could be the next chapter for celebrity, fashion and fashion houses...
Stay tuned!

- Aimee


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