Today there are a countless number of powerful and successful celebrity women. Rihanna and Beyonce, for example, are two amazing women who command attention wherever they go. However, Rihanna has captivated attention with her recent expansion of her empire.
The Barbadian singer’s first album, Music of the Sun, debuted in 2005. She went on to release many more albums and was featured on other artists’ albums as well, with songs like “Love The Way You Lie” on Eminem’s album “Recovery,” and “Take Care” from Drake’s album of the same name. While her music soared in popularity (let’s be honest—you can’t but sing along when Umbrella comes on the radio), in 2017 Rihanna began to rise further. She launched a clothing line with athletic company, Puma, and launched her own makeup brand, self-named Fenty Beauty. Rihanna didn’t stop there, however. Soon Rihanna also launched a lingerie line, called SAVAGE X FENTY, for Valentine’s Day. Not only is Rihanna making waves by expanding into other product mediums outside of music, but she’s doing it better than most retailers now.
Rihanna’s makeup line, Fenty Beauty, stirred up excitement when it was announced it would be color-inclusive. She says on her Fenty Beauty website, “Foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for women at extreme ends of the shade spectrum. There’s this middle ground that’s covered really, really well. But then if you’re very pale or if you’re very dark, there aren’t a lot of options. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered so they could be included in what I created.” Many makeup companies have apparent trouble doing this exact thing—and none have done so well as Rihanna recently. In 2018, Tarte released a foundation to match one of their best selling concealers: the Shape Tape Foundation. Then, the drama hit. There were only 10 shades: 3 slightly dark shades, with the majority being pale. Tarte apologized, but this brings to light the problems within the beauty community. There is an atrocious lack of diversity towards most other non-white races. But this is where Rihanna stepped in. Her PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation has 50 shades. She also has a concealer with the same amount of shade range. So, while other retailers are struggling to provide products to all of their customers, Rihanna’s got them covered.
Similarly, Rihanna’s lingerie line is also inclusive. Her Valentine’s Lingerie line is size inclusive from sizes XS-3XL and bra sizes including 32A-44DDD. Although it seems there has been more of an effort from retailers like Madewell, Nasty Gal, and J Crew to expand their size ranges, some retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch outright refused to stock clothes above XL. In a 2006 interview, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO said, “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” Later in 2015, Mike Jeffries, the then CEO, was suspended. Fran Horowitz, the previous Merchandising Head, took over. They seemed to realize that by alienating a large percentage of Americans, their sales dropped. Meanwhile, Rihanna stepped up to the plate immediately. Not only will fans of Rihanna flock to purchase her line, but now, as a size inclusive brand, the possibilities are open for everyone to join in the Rihanna fan club.
By: Piper Loehrke
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