Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

File photo showing singer Rihanna posing at the second annual Diamond Ball fundraising event in Santa Monica, California 2015. (Reuters)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Rihanna to launch her own luxury fashion label

  • Rihanna is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily
  • LVMH owns brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy

PARIS: Pop idol Rihanna is preparing to launch her own luxury brand with the world’s biggest fashion conglomerate, according to reports Thursday.
The Barbados-born superstar, who already has her own highly successful Fenty sportswear label, is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).
The industry bible said the group, which owns such iconic brands as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Givenchy, is assembling a gang of top designers for the project.
LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said they could not comment.
With her huge fan base and tens of millions of social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet.
A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator.
As well as her Fenty line she upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director and has also dipped her toe into lingerie.
Her Fenty Beauty operation — which involved a hook-up with LVMH — racked up sales of more than $100 dollars (88 million euros) within weeks of its 2016 launch.
WWD said that her planned luxury brand, which will take in ready-to-wear as well as leather goods and accessories, could be launched alongside her ninth album later this year.
A new large-scale luxury label — especially one led by a black woman — would be a huge development in the fashion world.
The top end of the market has been traditionally hogged by historic French and Italian houses.
Despite its dominance, LVMH has not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Black American designers have, however, been making dramatic inroads of late, with Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at Paris men’s fashion week.
The creator, whose parents come from Ghana, now heads LVMH’s treasured Louis Vuitton menswear line as well as his own hugely cool Off-White Label.
Rihanna, 30, who shot to fame with her “Music of the Sun” and “Good Girl Gone Bad” albums, is locked in a legal battle with her father over the use of the Fenty name.
She is suing her father Ronald Fenty over the use of the family name in his company, Fenty Entertainment, according to reports on Wednesday.


Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

Updated 17 April 2019
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Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

  • Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city
  • “Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” a sponsor of the legislation said

NEW YORK: A burgeoning movement to outlaw fur is seeking to make its biggest statement yet in the fashion mecca of New York City.
Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city where such garments were once common and style-setters including Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Joe Namath and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all rocked furs over the years.
A similar measure in the state Capitol in Albany would impose a statewide ban on the sale of any items made with farmed fur and ban the manufacture of products made from trapped fur.
Whether this is good or bad depends on which side of the pelt you’re on. Members of the fur industry say such bans could put 1,100 people out of a job in the city alone. Supporters dismiss that and emphasize that the wearing of fur is barbaric and inhumane.
“Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” said state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is sponsoring the state legislation. “Fur relies on violence to innocent animals. That should be no one’s business.”
The fate of the proposals could be decided in the coming months, though supporters acknowledge New York City’s measure has a better chance of passage than the state legislation.
The fur trade is considered so important to New York’s development that two beavers adorn the city’s official seal, a reference to early Dutch and English settlers who traded in beaver pelts.
At the height of the fur business in the last century, New York City manufactured 80% of the fur coats made in the U.S, according to FUR NYC, a group representing 130 retailers and manufacturers in the city. The group says New York City remains the largest market for fur products in the country, with real fur still frequently used as trim on coats, jackets and other items.
If passed, New York would become the third major American city with such a ban, following San Francisco, where a ban takes effect this year, and Los Angeles, where a ban passed this year will take effect in 2021.
Elsewhere, Sao Paulo, Brazil, began its ban on the import and sale of fur in 2015. Fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, and last year London fashion week became the first major fashion event to go entirely fur-free.
Fur industry leaders warn that if the ban passes in New York, emboldened animal rights activists will want more.
“Everyone is watching this,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president at the International Fur Federation, an industry group based in London. “If it starts here with fur, it’s going to go to wool, to leather, to meat.”
When asked what a fur ban would mean for him, Nick Pologeorgis was blunt: “I’m out of business.”
Pologeorgis’ father, who emigrated from Greece, started the fur design and sales business in the city’s “Fur District” nearly 60 years ago.
“My employees are nervous,” he said. “If you’re 55 or 50 and all you’ve trained to do is be a fur worker, what are you going to do?“
Supporters of the ban contend those employees could find jobs that don’t involve animal fur, noting that an increasing number of fashion designers and retailers now refuse to sell animal fur and that synthetic substitutes are every bit as convincing as the real thing.
They also argue that fur retailers and manufacturers represent just a small fraction of an estimated 180,000 people who work in the city’s fashion industry and that their skills can readily be transferred.
“There is a lot of room for job growth developing ethically and environmentally friendly materials,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the city measure.
New Yorkers asked about the ban this week came down on both sides, with some questioning if a law was really needed.
“It is a matter of personal choice. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be legislated,” said 44-year-old Janet Thompson. “There are lots of people wearing leather and suede and other animal hides out there. To pick on fur seems a little one-sided.”
Joshua Katcher, a Manhattan designer and author who has taught at the Parsons School of Design, says he believes the proposed bans reflect an increased desire to know where our products come from and for them to be ethical and sustainable.
“Fur is a relic,” he said.