The success of Fenty Beauty was imminent as we’ve all seen Rihanna can sell anything she puts her name on (even socks.) But little did we expect Fenty Beauty to advance beyond makeup into a cultural movement that celebrates diversity and unites people through red lipstick. While the seamless integration of RiRi’s personality and desire for inclusivity are woven throughout the brand identity, there is a large force that backs Fenty.
Meet LVMH- a multinational conglomerate that houses luxury brands like Guerlain and Givenchy, skincare favorite Fresh, and color cosmetics brands like Makeup Forever and Benefit. Aside from this vast portfolio, LVMH also houses Kendo, a beauty incubator that produces cult favorite brands like Kat Von D Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and now Fenty Beauty.
If you notice something in common about the above mentioned brands, it’s that they can all be found in the same place, Sephora. This isn’t just a coincidence, because guess who owns Sephora- LVMH. Sephora has historically been the perfect platform to harness the power of niche brands, without needing to acquire them. With LVMH owning both Sephora and a wide selection of powerhouse brands inside of it, the profits of brand and distributor are split, both pooling back into LVMH’s pocket.
Historical beauty giants like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder cannot keep up with LVMH because of this symbiotic relationship. They struggle to gain ground and acquiring brands like Becca, and Too Faced in order to remain relevant among today’s beauty consumer. Both Becca and Too Faced can be found in Sephora, so even when LVMH does not own the brand directly, they are still making money off of their success. Essentially, LVMH is bringing us all of our latest favorite beauty brands by testing the waters in Sephora and expanding into other channels. Fenty Beauty just launched this Fall and is already charting record breaking sales for the conglomerate. As we anticipate the next big thing in beauty, all eyes are on LVMH.