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The Impact Rihanna is Having on the Fashion and Beauty Industry

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Words by Georgie Blank

Rihanna is a woman of many talents.

She is a makeup brand owner, fashion icon, fashion designer, musician,philanthropist and actress. However, above all else, Rihanna is a game changer and is single handedly changing the fashion and beauty industry.

Fenty Beauty

In September 2017, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty with diversity and inclusivity at the brand core. Forty foundation shades were released which was unprecedented for any makeup brand. For far too long, makeup brands were not diverse or inclusive. Fenty Beauty came in with a BANG and changed the beauty industry forever. Everyone applauded Rihanna for this decision and the brand has become a massive success.

After the launch of Fenty Beauty, there was an influx in brands releasing more diverse and

inclusive makeup lines. Obviously, this proved to be very innovative. However, it took a woman with Rihanna’s talents to set the standard for the beauty industry to change.

Savage x Fenty Fashion Show

In September 2019, Rihanna showed off her second Savage x Fenty lingerie collection. This show was a game changer in a multitude of ways. The fashion show is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. It is unheard of for a fashion show to be streamed on a streaming service, a game changer in itself. Rihanna explains in the introduction of the fashion:

Every woman deserves to feel sexy. We are sexy, we are multi-faceted, and I want women to embrace that to the fullest.”

Rihanna’s beliefs about representing all women, no matter their race, height, religion, size or sexual orientation, is a vastly different belief to that of her competitor ‘Victoria Secret’.

In 2018, Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Officer of Victoria Secret explained why the brand does not use transgender or plus size models:

"The show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute”.

Although Ed Razek is no longer the Chief Marketing Officer (thank goodness), the damage has been done. The 2019 Victoria Secret Fashion Show was cancelled, sales are down and their stores are closing at a rapid rate. A recent investigation by The New York Times exposed the culture of misogyny within Victoria Secret. This has not helped the brand gain back their reputation. Victoria Secret can try to do as much damage control as they want, however to no avail.

They recently released a campaign that included a transgender model and plus size model (after Savage x Fenty). Victoria Secret has been perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards for far too long. Savage x Fenty has been inclusive and diverse since its conception and continues to rise to the top, while Victoria Secret is on the decline and may potentially collapse.

It took Rihanna’s Savage x FentyFashion Show to give Victoria Secret a wakeup call about what consumers require.

Fenty Beauty House

This next example is a prediction I made back in March of this year. Rihanna launched the Fenty Beauty House. A house dedicated to creating content for her Fenty Beauty brand for the latest social media platform Tik Tok. The Fenty Beauty Tik Tok account so far has 557.9k followers and over 7.6 million likes. It will not surprise me if other brands decide to launch their own content creation house.

Watch This Space!

Rihanna has been flipping the fashion and beauty industry on its head. I can’t wait to see her next move and to see how the rest of the community will follow her lead.

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