WITH a string of hugely successful business brands, blockbuster movie roles and £486million to her name, you could almost forget Rihanna is also a best-selling pop star.
In the three-plus years since the release of her last album, Anti, the world’s richest female musician has become a major player in the fashion game.
And now her Savage X Fenty line is poised to sashay past Victoria’s Secret as the world’s No1 underwear label.
While the US lingerie giant has axed its annual fashion extravaganza from network TV due to falling audiences, 31-year-old Rihanna has signed a big-money deal to stream her latest catwalk parade on Amazon Prime.
Fans will be able to buy her collection from the internet retailer after it premieres the star-studded event next Friday.
Riri’s raunchy show for New York Fashion Week was filmed on Tuesday — but only four official photographs have been released after attendees had to hand their phones to security to get in.
Rihanna’s pal Cara was clad in a sheer lace slip, hold-ups and heels, brandishing a heart-shaped spanking paddle.
The show also featured music from chart stars DJ Khaled, Halsey, Big Sean and Migos.
It was an event which cemented Rihanna’s status as a fashion mogul.
Her journey in the industry began when she partnered with luxury goods company LVMH two years ago.
The firm saw the appeal of Rihanna’s worldwide fan base, entrepreneurial zeal — and 74million Instagram followers. Together, they launched her cosmetics line Fenty Beauty in 2017.
Fans queued around the block when the products were unveiled at Harvey Nichols before being rolled out to Boots and other High Street stores.
The beauty brand made £80million in its first few weeks and sales hit almost £450million by the end of last year. It is now worth £2.5billion.
Celebrity beauty is big business — and Kylie Jenner, 22, was lauded for becoming the world’s “youngest self-made billionaire” by Forbes magazine.
But Fenty Beauty recently sold more in a year than Kylie Cosmetics did in 18 months.
LVMH’s partnership with Rihanna continued in 2018 when Savage X Fenty was launched.
The designer lingerie label’s debut show in New York last year was in stark contrast to the stick-thin catwalk models featured in Victoria’s Secret events.
Describing her fashion line, Rihanna said: “I want to see it on my body. I want to see it on a curvy girl with thighs and a little bit of booty and hips.”
And Rihanna’s first show lived up to her aims by showcasing scantily clad women of all sizes and races.
They raised eyebrows among fans by wearing body harnesses and nipple covers while modelling Rihanna’s range of undies.
Model Slick Woods was heavily pregnant at the event — and went into labour soon after stepping off the runway.
The secret of her success has been to attract a diversity of customers. Her clothes go up to size 18 — unlike many designer labels which do not cater for women who are bigger than a ten.
Rihanna’s foundation is designed for every colour of skin tone with a groundbreaking 50 shades — leaving make-up giants Maybelline, Mac and Dior playing catch-up.
Her lingerie line has made a reported £120million in revenue — snapping at the heels of its No1 designer rival.
Victoria’s Secret still has the biggest share of the US lingerie market, but its hold is slipping — dropping from a 31.7 per cent share in 2013 to 24 per cent last year.
Its like-for-like sales dropped by six per cent in the last quarter to the end of August.
Razek, 71, retired in August — days after the company hired its first trans model. Rihanna, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength.
She is the first woman to create a brand for LVMH and the first woman of colour to head one of its brands.
The Barbados-born singer tweeted the French luxury firm’s boss Bernard Arnault: “Thank you for believing in this little girl from the left side of an island.”
And Rihanna could copy fellow designer Stella McCartney and buy out her brand outright.
In March, Stella bought the half of her company that had been controlled by Kering — owners of Gucci and YSL — for 17 years.
If Rihanna follows her lead, she could have all of Fenty’s profits to herself.
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Not that she needs to boost her bank balance, having also made separate lucrative collaborations with Puma in 2014 and three collections for designer shoe brand Manolo Blahnik.
She has also made time for acting — starring in 2018’s Oceans 8, which grossed almost £270million and sci-fi adventure movie Valerian, which made £203million following its release in 2017.
The Work hitmaker is said to be putting the finishing touches to her ninth album R9, which is due for release in December.
Add that to the 60million albums and 215million digital downloads she has clocked up, and it seems hard to imagine that any other star would be able to outstrip her empire.
Not even Madonna can match her wealth, with the Umbrella singer’s fortune outstripping the Material Girl’s net worth by £24million.
Rihanna said: “The money means that I can take care of my family. The money means that I can facilitate the businesses that I want to. I can create jobs for other people. My money is not for me.
“It’s always the thought that I can help someone else — or, in the future, for if I have kids.”
Well, she certainly puts in the work, work, work, work, work.
What her rivals are worth
Taylor Swift, 29, is worth £292m. She has released seven albums and done five tours. Her 2018 gigs were highest-grossing in US history.
Kylie Jenner, 22, has made£800million thanks to her make-up range, Kylie Cosmetics, and a string of money-spinning endorsements.
Beyonce, 38, earned her £324million fortune through music sales, tours, her Ivy Park sportswear label and brand collaborations.
AFTER five albums, four tours, two perfumes and a shoe collection, Katy Perry, 34, is sitting on a £46.6million fortune.