How the singer grew to become the richest woman musician on the world. Hint: It wasn’t from carrying out.
by Madeline Berg
When Robyn Fenty, recognized to the planet as Rihanna, introduced Fenty Magnificence in 2017, she sought to produce a cosmetics organization that manufactured “women everywhere you go (come to feel) incorporated.” A probably unintended consequence: The attractiveness line has served her enter one particular of the world’s most special ranks: Billionaire.
Rihanna is now worth $1.7 billion, Forbes estimates—making her the wealthiest feminine musician in the entire world and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman entertainer. But it’s not her tunes that’s built her so wealthy. The bulk of her fortune (an approximated $1.4 billion) arrives from the value of Fenty Beauty, of which Forbes can now ensure she owns 50%. Significantly of the relaxation lies in her stake in her lingerie corporation, Savage x Fenty, really worth an approximated $270 million, and her earnings from her occupation as a chart-topping musician and actress.
While Barbados-born Rihanna is not the only movie star to capitalize on her social media presence—she has 101 million followers on Instagram and 102.5 million on Twitter—to develop a natural beauty manufacturer, she is the most profitable attractiveness entrepreneur to do so. Fenty Magnificence, which is a 50-50 joint undertaking with French luxurious products conglomerate LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s second-richest individual), released in 2017 with the aim of inclusivity. Its merchandise arrive in a numerous selection of colors—foundation is presented in 50 shades, including more challenging-to-discover darker shades for women of color—and are modeled in its marketing by an equally diverse team of men and women.
Accessible online and at Sephora shops, which are also owned by LVMH, the merchandise have been an fast results. By 2018, its initially comprehensive calendar calendar year, the line was bringing in much more than $550 million in annual revenues, according to LVMH, beating out other movie star-founded brand names like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Elegance and Jessica Alba’s Trustworthy Co.
“A lot of ladies felt there have been no strains out there that catered to their skin tone. It was gentle, medium, medium darkish, dark,” states Shannon Coyne, cofounder of customer goods consultancy Bluestock Advisors. “We all know that’s not fact. She was 1 of the to start with brands that arrived out and reported, ‘I want to converse to all of those various men and women.’”
Whilst cosmetics product sales slowed in the course of the pandemic, magnificence businesses are worthy of as significantly as at any time. Stocks of larger splendor conglomerates like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have bounced again, achieving all-time highs and trading at spectacular 7.5 (or much more) moments yearly revenues. Meanwhile, impartial brand names like Beautycounter and Charlotte Tilbury inked deals with investment decision firms earlier this 12 months at billion-greenback valuations.
That is very good information for Rihanna. Many thanks to the extraordinary multiples at which magnificence firms are investing, Fenty Magnificence is really worth a conservative $2.8 billion, Forbes estimates. And all indicators place to the business continuing to mature. In its once-a-year report for 2020, LVMH reported Fenty Skin, which released past calendar year, was off to a “very promising start” and “generated unparalleled buzz,” and that Fenty Natural beauty “taken care of its attractiveness as a premier make-up model.”
Fenty Attractiveness is not Rihanna’s only billion-dollar manufacturer. In February her lingerie line Savage x Fenty raised $115 million in funding at a $1 billion valuation. The corporation, which released in 2018 as a joint undertaking with TechStyle Fashion Group, counts blue-chip buyers like Jay-Z’s Marcy Enterprise Associates and personal equity firm L. Catterton (in which Bernard Arnault is an investor) as shareholders. Rihanna maintains a 30% ownership stake, Forbes estimates. The most current round of funding will reportedly be utilized for consumer acquisition and retail enlargement.
Not that anything Rihanna touches turns to gold. In February, LVMH and Rihanna confirmed in a statement to Forbes that they had shut down their other enterprise, a significant-conclude trend and components house also referred to as Fenty. Introduced in 2019, Fenty sought to increase Rihanna’s brand name of inclusivity and offer designs in a variety of measurements. But like a lot of luxurious fashion models, the superior-priced line endured through the pandemic, releasing its last assortment in November 2020.
The only criticism some admirers may possibly have about her profession as a manner and attractiveness mogul? It keeps her hectic. The singer, who employed to release an album virtually every 12 months, has not produced a new album given that 2016’s Anti.
From a economic point of view, that may well be just great: “She is creating a model exterior of herself. It’s not just about Rihanna,” says guide Coyne. “Even if you really don’t like her songs, she’s designed a actual design and style in the style and natural beauty area.”