Bobyn Rihanna Fenty is most notably known to the world by her stage name, Rihanna. From her movies to her music, and now her cosmetics company Fenty, Riri has created a space where women feel included and can accept themselves in their skin.
Therefore, it came as no surprise when her home country, Barbados, recognized her as a national treasure when it gained independence from the queen of England in 2021. Indeed, Rihanna is a worldwide icon.
The Origin Story
Rihanna was born on the 20th of February 1988 in St.Michael Parish, Barbados, to a Barbadian father and Guyanese mother.
Growing up, she listened to Caribbean music, including reggae, American hip-hop, and R&B. She loved to sing, and she started a girl group with two of her friends while in high school.
Her Musical Career
In 2004, she got the attention of Evan Rogers, an American music producer who helped her record a demo. She got signed into the Def Jam record label from the demo, then headed by Jay Z.
She was signed as a budding vocalist and decided to adopt her middle name Rihanna as her professional stage name. Her music career has spun around eight studio albums and two remix albums to date.
Rihanna not only made it as a musician, but she also acted in several movies, including Battleship (2012), This Is The End (2013), and Ocean’s 8 (2018).
She also starred in Guava Island in 2019, where she co-starred with Daniel Glover. Rihanna also voiced one of the main characters in the animated show ‘Home,’ which was released in 2015.
Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s line of cosmetics, was launched in 2017 with the sole aim of making women everywhere feel included.
By including all women everywhere, (offering 40 different types of foundation), the beauty line has propelled Rihanna into the world of billionaires.
How much money is Rihanna worth?
Having had a successful music career, brief acting career, and a whole cosmetic line, the question on most readers’ minds is, how much is Rihanna worth? Forbes currently estimates that Rihanna’s net worth is $1.7 billion. This fortune makes her the wealthiest female musician worldwide and the second richest female entertainer after Oprah, whose net worth is estimated to be $2.6 billion. The majority of Rihanna’s wealth is not from her music. About $1.4 billion of her fortune is from the cosmetic’s line value, of which she owns 50%.
Another huge chunk is from Savage-X-Fenty, a lingerie company with an estimated value of $270 million. The rest comes from her earnings as a top-grossing musician, songwriter, and actress.
Staying on Top of The Game
The fashion industry is quite cut-throat, and remaining relevant can be a monumental task. So how has Rihanna managed to stay on top of the fashion (lingerie) and cosmetics industry?
Saying that Rihanna has a huge social media following can be considered an understatement by some. She has successfully capitalized on her social media following (101M followers on Instagram and 102.5M on Twitter) to build her beauty brand.
Rihanna has also made some smart partnerships in her business. Her cosmetics company is a 50/50 joint venture with the French conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, run by Bernard Arnault.
The cosmetic line and Sephora partnerships have allowed Rihanna’s enterprise to grow tremendously. The cosmetic products are sold online and at Sephora stores. LVMH owns Sephora stores.
By 2018, the company was raking in an income of more than $550 million in yearly revenues.
Before Rihanna joined the cosmetics industry, most products came in fixed lines. Typically, there were light, dark, medium, and medium-dark skin tones products.
Such fragmentation left many women feeling left out, and when the cosmetic line came out with its range of products, most women and men who previously felt left out could now get products that catered for every skin tone.
The pandemic might have slowed down the cosmetics industry, but things have bounced back with their worth growing and their trading rates reaching all-time highs. ‘Fenty-Skin,’ a product launched in 2020, “generated unprecedented buzz,” according to LVMH.
The ripple effect was massive when the lingerie brand was started in 2018 as a joint venture with the TechStyle Fashion Group. Every celebrity and model wanted to be seen in Savage lingerie. The lingerie has something for everyone, from the housewife at home who wants to spice it up in the bedroom to the gay man who wants to look sexy. Rihanna owns a 30% stake in this endeavor.
The Savage brand raised 115 million dollars as funding when starting at a $1 billion valuation. Currently, the Savage brand of super-sexy lingerie, intimates, and lip gloss has five stores in malls all over America and has managed to garner a large customer base due to its inclusiveness, range, and design.
The stores have added technology to help their customers pick the best outfit to flatter their bodies.
The technology made by Savage in partnership with Fit: Match is called Fit Xperience, a body scanning app that LiDAR powers. At least two devices at each store give customers a 3D scan of their bodies and use it to recommend the best-suited outfits.
The stores also have different settings that allow shoppers to try out different outfits. Such uniqueness has allowed Rihanna’s brand to reach out to customers as a lingerie store and a clothing outlet.
The Downside To The Fortune
Even with the massive fan base and her influential nature, not all her business ventures have panned out. Rihanna and LVMH confirmed to Forbes that one of their ventures had been shut down due to the effects of the pandemic.
Rihanna’s music fans have also complained that she does not release new music as frequently as she used to. Before the cosmetic and lingerie line of products was started, Rihanna released new music yearly.
However, with the success of her brands, she has become swamped managing her enterprises. Consequently, her music career and her fans have suffered as a result. Her last album was in 2016 when she produced Anti.
While not everyone loves Rihanna’s music, she has created a brand beyond herself. Her products and fashion sense have revolutionized the market by creating something for everyone.
She has also allowed people to accept themselves by introducing products that do not conform to the stereotyped beauty standards.
At 33 years, Rihanna has made it as a successful entrepreneur with a regular revenue stream and an avenue to express her genius.