Rihanna has transformed herself from a powerful musician into an entrepreneurial force. Her inclusive lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, is considering a $3 billion initial public offering (IPO).
The brand, which seeks to disrupt the lingerie industry and redefine beauty standards, is growing at a rapid pace. The business model has also been fairly pandemic-proof. In light of the company’s popularity, an IPO could be a strategic move to raise capital and propel further growth.
The Founding Story
In 2018, Rihanna launched Savage X Fenty as an online-only brand. The intimate apparel brand sells lingerie, underwear, bras, sleepwear, and loungewear. The company strives to design inclusive apparel suitable for people of all backgrounds and body sizes. Its products are sold at accessible price points.
As a result of her business endeavors, Rihanna has become a billionaire. Most of her wealth is tied to the success of Fenty Beauty, the cosmetics company she started in 2017. The remainder of her wealth stems from Savage X Fenty, as well as and her music and acting careers.
Savage X Fenty Promotes Inclusivity in Fashion
Promoting confidence and inclusivity is core to Savage X Fenty’s values. The company’s website and fashion shows feature diverse models representing different racial backgrounds and body types.
“Savage X means making your own rules and expressing your mood, character and style for you—not for someone else,” Rihanna noted in a statement on the company’s website.
The decline of Victoria’s Secret created an opening for Savage X Fenty to grab market share. Market share for Victoria’s Secret dropped from around 80% in 2016 to 65% in 2019. In the wake of criticism that the brand promotes unrealistic beauty standards, the lingerie retailer has made strides to overhaul its image. Models at Victoria’s Secret largely fell into the category of tall and skinny with euro-centric features. Despite rebranding efforts, new players like Savage X Fenty are positioned to become global leaders.
According to market estimates, the company is positioned to become a frontrunner in the global lingerie industry by 2025. Rihanna’s company is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the $325 billion market. As part of its growth strategy, Savage X Fenty plans to open physical stores across the U.S.
While established lingerie companies like Victoria’s Secret have struggled to maintain a consumer base, Rihanna’s brand has seen 200% year-over-year growth. Furthermore, grow in its VIP membership program has surged 150% from the previous year.
Rihanna’s lingerie brand has raised $310 million in funding to date. In February 2022, the company raised $125 million in a Series C financing round led by the New York-based investment management firm Neuberger Berman. Other investors in the Series C round included L Catterton, a private equity firm focused on the consumer industry, and Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners.
The latest funding round will help propel the company’s retail domination strategy. The company opened its first brick-and-mortar store in January 2022 at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas. The new funding will also support the company’s international expansion efforts and launch of new product lines. In February 2021, Savage X Fenty raised $115 million in a Series B round.
Savage X Fenty Leadership Team
Two female co-presidents, Natalie Guzman and Christiane Pendarvis, lead the company. Both women have extensive business experience in retail merchandising, digital commerce, and product development.
The Initial Public Offering
Savage X Fenty is in talks with financial advisers, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, on an initial public offering that could value it at $3 billion or more.
Despite a record-breaking year for IPOs in 2021, IPO activity has slowed in 2022. The cooling of the IPO trend comes in the wake of rising interest rates, inflationary pressures, and geopolitical instability. There may also be investor fatigue after a strong IPO year.
Savage X Fenty will have to monitor market conditions in order to determine whether moving forward with an IPO makes business sense. For now, the company is progressing discussions with advisers and taking preparatory steps. Due to market volatility, Savage X Fenty has not made a final decision on IPO timing.