When Robyn Fenty, better known as Rihanna, established Fenty Beauty in 2017, she aimed to establish a cosmetics business that "made women worldwide (feel) included)." However, possibly unintentionally, the beauty line has assisted her in joining one of the most elite social strata: billionaire.
According to Forbes, Rihanna is now worth $1.7 billion, making her the richest female singer in the world and the second-richest female entertainment behind Oprah Winfrey. But she hasn't become that wealthy because of her music. She has an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion, and Forbes has confirmed that she owns 50% of the company Fenty Beauty. The majority of the remaining money comes from her $270 million stake in the lingerie brand Savage x Fenty and her earnings as a successful actress and musician.
Rihanna, who was born in Barbados, is not the only celebrity to use her social media following—she has 101 million Instagram followers and 102.5 million Twitter followers—to develop a beauty brand, but she is the most prosperous one. In 2017, Fenty Beauty was introduced with the intention of being inclusive. It is a 50/50 joint venture with the French luxury goods behemoth LVMH, which is led by Bernard Arnault, the second-richest person in the world. Its products are available in a wide variety of colors—foundation is available in 50 tones, including deeper shades that are more difficult to find for women of color—and are shown in its advertisements by an equally wide range of people.
The products, which are offered online and at Sephora shops that are also owned by LVMH, were a huge hit. According to LVMH, by 2018, the label has generated more than $550 million in yearly sales, outpacing other celebrity-founded companies including Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West's KKW Beauty, and Jessica Alba's Honest Co.
Many ladies believed there were no lines available that suited their skin tone. According to Shannon Coyne, cofounder of consumer products advisory Bluestock Advisors, "there was light, medium, medium dark, and dark." "That's not reality, as we all know. One of the first companies to declare, "I want to talk to all of those diverse people," was hers.
Despite the pandemic's slowdown in cosmetics sales, the value of the beauty industry has not changed. Larger cosmetic conglomerates' stocks, such those of Estée Lauder and L'Oréal, have recovered and are now trading at spectacular multiples of 7.5 (or more) times annual revenues. Independent companies like Beautycounter and Charlotte Tilbury, valued at billions of dollars, signed agreements with investment groups earlier this year.
The news is fantastic for Rihanna. According to estimations from Forbes, Fenty Beauty is worth a conservative $2.8 billion due to the outstanding multiples at which the market for beauty products is trading. And all indications are that the business will keep expanding. Fenty Skin, which debuted last year, is off to a "very promising start" and has "generated unprecedented buzz," according to LVMH's annual report for 2020, and Fenty Beauty has "maintained its appeal as a premier makeup brand."
There are other billion-dollar companies than Rihanna's Fenty Beauty. Savage x Fenty, her lingerie company, raised $115 million in investment in February at a $1 billion valuation. Blue-chip investors like Bernard Arnault's private equity firm L. Catterton and Jay-Marcy Z's Venture Partners are among the company's shareholders. It was founded in 2018 as a joint venture with TechStyle Fashion Group. According to Forbes, Rihanna still owns a 30% share in the company. According to reports, the most recent round of money would be utilized for retail growth and consumer acquisition.
Rihanna doesn't necessarily make everything she touches shine. In a letter to Forbes in February, LVMH and Rihanna acknowledged that their other business, a high-end clothing and accessory label also called Fenty, had been shut down. When Fenty was introduced in 2019, it aimed to expand Rihanna's inclusion message and provide styles in a variety of sizes. However, the pricey line suffered during the pandemic, just like many other luxury fashion labels, and its final collection was released in November 2020.
Is that the only criticism some of her followers may have of her work as a fashion and cosmetics tycoon? She's kept busy by it. The singer hasn't put out a new album since 2016's Anti, when she usually always released an album.
Financially speaking, that might be perfectly acceptable: She is developing a brand that is independent of her. According to consultant Coyne, it's not just about Rihanna. Even if you dislike her songs, she has developed a distinct style in the fashion and beauty industries.