Among the future Rihproducts filed with a potential future are the following:
This move to trademark her own “goods and services” comes on the heels of having endorsed or co-branded similar items for much larger brands. Rihanna’s very first go at a MAC lipstick sold out just three hours after its debut on shelves; she continues to be a face of the brand. Her perfume lines (apparently a pre-requisite for any singer who wants to become a “brand”) have all been hits, allowing the singer to introduce a sixth to the market…this time for men.
If beauty items are the cash crops, apparel’s where Fenty will make a cultural impact…from a street marketing standpoint, anyway. Even before the serial ‘Vogue’ cover star was honored with the CFDA Fashion Icon award, Rihanna proved that her name can drive apparel sales;she singlehandedly resurrected the suffering BOY London mark, and made the River Island brand “more famous than it was a year ago,” said its CEO.
But does a well-crafted image and a legion of fans immediately equal success for Rihanna, or Fenty, on her own? As Vanessa Friedman pointed out in a recent NYTimes piece, the power of Beyonce’s name couldn’t keep the House of Dereon from crumbling. Similarly, Jennifer Lopez’s staying power couldn’t keep her “Sweet Face” line afloat, and Lindsay Lohan’s tabloid placements couldn’t stop her leggings business from wearing thin. And don’t even get me started on Kanye West.
So can Rihanna turn fans into a lucrative brand business? While she and her team might think so, there are some worries. Not only did critics slam the singer’s Rihanna for River Island collection at London Fashion Week for being “underwhelming” and hackneyed, the huge spike in traffic she drove to the retailer’s site didn’t necessarily bring in the bank. According to Yahoo finance, “the retailer’s sales increased 0.4pc to £802m, while pre-tax profits rose 12.5pc to £97.8m,” but the company still failed to top their prior year’s sales for in-store and online. Not a good look for her potential fashion upstart.
BUT, if Jessica Simpson can crush the fashion commerce game, there’s hope for Fenty nails, Fenty tees, Fenty bras, and Fenty makeup. And, hey, if all else fails, the mogul might want to think about registering a Hollywood gaming app trademark. We hear there’s lots of money there.