Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty will soon have a home in physical retail stores.
The singer announced in a Friday Instagram post in 2022, that brand will open stores in five cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. She shared an image of what appeared to be a mock-up of what a physical store.
“We coming in HOT! we bout to bring you a whole new #SavageXFenty experience with the launch of our brick-and-mortar retail stores!” Rihanna wrote in the caption. The Savage X Fenty Instagram account posted the same picture with the announcement as well.
In a late September interview with Bloomberg, Savage X Fenty’s chief marketing and design officer, Christiane Pendarvis, said that the $1 billion brand would open its own stores in 2022 throughout the U.S., with plans to open up stores in Europe in the future.
“We know that in intimate apparel specifically, because fit and comfort are so important, there are just customers who don’t feel comfortable purchasing online and they want to be able to go physically try the product on, touch, feel, make sure they found the right size and the right fit for them,” Pendarvis told Bloomberg. “So retail is an important part of our growth strategy.”
Pendarvis did not disclose details regarding the specific locations of the stores or the timeline for opening.
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After a round of Series B funding in February, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty brand hit a $1 billion valuation. In August, Forbes reported that Rihanna was worth an estimated $1.7 billion.
As legacy lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret continues to struggle, newcomers such as Aerie and Savage X Fenty are taking a different approach to appealing to intimate wear consumers. While Victoria’s Secret has faced years of criticism for its sensualized messaging and limited size offerings, Savage X Fenty is known for its body positive marketing, fashion shows, and size and gender inclusivity.
Victoria’s Secret currently operates close to 1,400 retail stores worldwide. Savage X Fenty operates a robust digital business, but Pendarvis is excited about the possibilities that await the brand in its brick-and-mortar expansion.
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“We’re incredibly excited about bringing this brand to life in physical form,” she said.
Social media photos displayed a storefront with the brand’s signature bright colors and Savage x Fenty logo. The lingerie brand declined to comment on additional details regarding the upcoming store fleet, but did say in a statement that “On the heels of the brand’s incredible growth since first launching in 2018, this new direct-to-consumer experience is the next step to bringing a fuller expression of the brand to consumers in key markets.”
Rihanna co-created the size-inclusive Savage x Fenty lingerie brand with TechStyles Fashion Group, the same firm that launched Kate Hudson’s Fabletics.
In its three-and-a-half year lifespan, the intimates business has continued to gain traction in the innerwear world, thanks in part to Rihanna’s star power, as well as her promise to deliver a bra and underwear brand for all body types at a time when lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret faced backlash for exclusive marketing messages.
The third installment of Rihanna’s much-watched fashion show, Savage x Fenty Vol. 3 — which aired on Amazon Prime in September — featured models of various shapes, sizes, ages and skin tones. It also included pregnant models, models with physical disabilities and men modeling innerwear. (Men’s basics were added to the Savage x Fenty assortment in September 2020.)
Sources inside the company confirmed last fall that TechStyle spun off Savage x Fenty as an independent, stand-alone firm at the end of 2019 while also closing the lingerie brand’s series A round of investments.
Rumors began circulating in December 2020 that the fashion entrepreneur was courting potential investors to the tune of an additional $100 million in an effort to expand the Savage x Fenty business with activewear. In early 2021, the SavagexFenty business completed a $115 million series B round led by LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton to help the lingerie brand scale.
Around the same time, it was revealed that the ready-to-wear partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which made Rihanna the first Black woman to head a luxury fashion house, was being paused.
In addition to Rihanna’s successful singing, songwriting and fashion career, she also created Fenty Beauty in 2017, helping revolutionize the beauty industry. At the time, Fenty Beauty had an unprecedented 40 shades of foundation.