Rihanna hails 'carte blanche' at LVMH with new fashion line

Paris (AFP) –


Rihanna said Thursday she had been given complete freedom to design her first fashion line for French luxury powerhouse LVMH, which is banking on the pop diva to find a new market of millennials beyond the reach of its traditional brands.

The Barbados-born superstar is the first black woman to head up a fashion house for the Paris-based firm, which owns Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy among others.

Rihanna's new line "Fenty" -- after Robyn Rihanna Fenty, her full name -- was unveiled to fashion journalists in the French capital on Thursday and is to go on sale Friday in a pop-up store near the famous Place des Vosges.

"I just want to see things from my perspective. I'm a young black woman who loves and embraces all of the young people ideas and energies, I'm so about that," she told AFP in an interview.

"It is about turning all of that into something luxurious for this fashion house which has been doing it forever."

The singer, who has 170 million followers on social media, thanked the billionaire boss of LVMH Bernard Arnault for giving her "carte blanche".

Despite its dominance, LVMH has not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.

"I appreciated that they were flexible enough to allow me to have a different perspective of how I want to do things," Rihanna said.

"They allowed me to do that, so it's great," she added.

The singer, who is working on her ninth album, was helped with the collection from designers from across the LVMH empire.

Arnault said earlier this month that a "talented and multicultural" team had been set up behind the scenes.

"Definition of my style? Very flexible, moody, just like most women. What I feel like at this moment on the day, how comfortable I want to be, how conservative, how sexy," Rihanna said Thursday.

The 31-year-old is not the only pop icon to have become a fashion industry player. Beyonce, who has her own Ivy Park and House of Dereon labels, last month signed a deal with German sportswear giant Adidas.

Black designers have also been making dramatic inroads into the fashion industry of late, with the American Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at recent Paris fashion weeks.

Abloh, whose parents come from Ghana, now heads LVMH's Louis Vuitton menswear line as well as his own Off-White Label.