Rihanna's Savage X Fenty to open first physical stores in 2022
Savage X Fenty, the inclusive lingerie brand founded by global superstar Rihanna, is hoping to open its own physical retail locations in the U.S. starting next year, with plans for European stores also in the pipeline.
In an interview on Bloomberg’s “Black in Focus” Twitter series, the intimates brand’s co-president and chief merchandising and design officer, Christian Pendarvis, confirmed that brick-and-mortar is a key area of focus in the company’s strategy moving forward.
“Retail is an important part of our growth strategy. You’ll absolutely see some stores in 2022,” she said, explaining, “because fit and comfort are so important, there are just customers who don’t feel comfortable purchasing online.”
According to the executive, the Savage X Fenty stores will be standalone locations, rather than shops-in-shops, a format that has gained popularity among digitally native businesses as a first step into physical retail.
As for the geographic scope of the brand’s plans for brick-and-mortar stores, Pendarvis stated that, “initially they all will be in the U.S., but we’re absolutely having conversations around what does that expansion potentially look like in the EU.”
Following the launch of her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, in 2017, Rihanna founded Savage X Fenty in 2018, before going on to round out her business portfolio with skincare label Fenty Skin in July of last year. All of the brands are built around an ethos of radical inclusivity, with Fenty Beauty offering a broad range of more than 40 foundation shades, while Savage X Fenty’s sizing runs the gamut from XS to 4XL.
Having seen unexpected levels of demand for a series of men’s capsule collections, the lingerie brand also expanded its offering with a full-blown men’s intimates line earlier this year. “We were really surprised that men’s has turned out to be such an opportunity for us,” explained Pendarvis. “There’s just been such an appetite.”
Now a $1 billion business, Savage X Fenty’s star has risen in a shifting consumer context that has seen lingerie sector stalwart Victoria’s Secret struggle to keep up with current conversations about diversity, inclusivity and gender over the last few years.
Revealingly, following repeated questions about its continued relevance, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show was canceled in 2019, a year after Savage X Fenty made its spectacular New York Fashion Week debut and a matter of months after the label revealed its first digital show in collaboration with Amazon Prime.
Now in its third year as a digital phenomenon, the latest edition of the Savage X Fenty Show, which premiered on September 24, boasts appearances from supermodel Gigi Hadid, rapper Daddy Yankee, singer Troye Sivan and actress Vanessa Hudgens.
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