How the singer turned the richest feminine musician on the planet. Hint: It wasn’t from performing.
When Robyn Fenty, known to the world as Rihanna, launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, she sought to create a cosmetics firm that made “ladies everywhere (really feel) included.” A perhaps unintended consequence: The sweetness line has helped her enter one of many world’s most exclusive ranks: Billionaire.
Rihanna is now worth $1.7 billion, Forbes estimates—making her the wealthiest female musician on the planet and second solely to Oprah Winfrey because of the richest feminine entertainer. However, it’s not her music that’s made her so rich. The majority of her fortune (an estimated $1.4 billion) comes from the worth of Fenty Magnificence, of which Forbes can now confirm she owns 50%. A lot of the rest lies in her stake in her lingerie firm, Savage x Fenty, which price an estimated $270 million, and her earnings from her career as a chart-topping musician and actress.
Whereas Barbados-born Rihanna isn’t the one celebrity to capitalize on her social media presence—she has 101 million followers on Instagram and 102.5 million on Twitter—to build a beauty model, she is essentially the most profitable beauty entrepreneur to take action. Fenty Magnificence, which is a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury items conglomerate LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s second-richest particular person), launched in 2017 with the purpose of inclusivity. Its merchandise comes in various vary of colors—the basis is offered in 50 shades, together with harder-to-find darker shades for girls of coloration—and are modeled in its advertising by an equally numerous group of people.
Available online and at Sephora shops, that are also owned by LVMH, the products were an instantaneous success. By 2018, its first full calendar year, the road was bringing in additional than $550 million in annual revenues, in keeping with LVMH, beating out other celebrity-founded manufacturers like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, and Jessica Alba’s Honest Co.
“A lot of ladies felt there were no strains out there that catered to their skin tone. It was gentle, medium, medium darkish, darkish,” says Shannon Coyne, co-founder of shopper merchandise consultancy Bluestock Advisors. “Everyone knows that’s not actuality. She was one of many first brands that got here out and mentioned, ‘I wish to speak to all of these different individuals.’”
While cosmetics gross sales slowed during the pandemic, beauty firms are price a lot as ever. Shares of bigger magnificence conglomerates like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have bounced again, reaching all-time highs and trading at spectacular 7.5 (or extra) times annual revenues. In the meantime, impartial manufacturers like Beautycounter and Charlotte Tilbury inked offers with funding corporations earlier this year at billion-dollar valuations.
That’s good news for Rihanna. Because of the spectacular multiples at which beauty firms are trading, Fenty Magnificence is worth a conservative $2.8 billion, Forbes estimates. And all signs level to the company continuing to develop. In its annual report for 2020, LVMH mentioned Fenty Skin, which launched final 12 months, was off to a “very promising begin” and “generated unprecedented buzz,” and that Fenty Magnificence “maintained its appeal as a premier makeup model
Fenty Beauty isn’t Rihanna’s solely billion-dollar brand. In February her lingerie line Savage x Fenty raised $115 million in funding at a $1 billion valuation. The company, which launched in 2018 as a joint venture with TechStyle Trend Group, counts blue-chip investors like Jay-Z’s Marcy Enterprise Partners and personal equity agency L. Catterton (in which Bernard Arnault is an investor) as shareholders. Rihanna maintains a 30% ownership stake, Forbes estimates. The most recent spherical of funding will reportedly be used for customer acquisition and retail expansion.
Not that everything Rihanna touches turns to gold. In February, LVMH and Rihanna confirmed in a statement to Forbes that they had shut down their different enterprise, a high-end style, and accessories home additionally referred to as Fenty. Launched in 2019, Fenty sought to increase Rihanna’s model of inclusivity and provide styles in a spread of sizes. But like many luxury style brands, the high-priced line suffered in the course of the pandemic, releasing its final assortment in November 2020.
The only complaint some followers could have about her profession as a style and beauty mogul? It retains her busy. The singer, who used to launch an album nearly yearly, hasn’t launched a new album since 2016’s Anti.
From a monetary perspective, that could be just superb: “She is making a brand outside of herself. It’s not nearly Rihanna,” says advisor Coyne. “Even for those who do not like her music, she’s created a real type within the style and beauty space.”