Inside Rihanna's Reign: From Island Gyal To Self-Made Billionaire

Last updated on Mar 20, 2024

Posted on Mar 12, 2024

When Rihanna said “that Rihanna reign just won’t let up”, we hope you listened, because she’s proven it time and time again. One of the most influential artists of the 21st century, Rihanna can boast a range of accomplishments and accolades. Not only is she the 11th national hero of Barbados, but at age 34 she also became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the United States and her Super Bowl performance, which she executed seamlessly with near palpable support from the entire Caribbean, attracted over 120 million viewers. Most recently, all eyes were on Rihanna as she gave a one-night-only performance at the star-studded pre-wedding party of Radhika Merchant and Anant Ambani, the son of Indian multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani.  

But Ri’s success can’t be measured solely by her musical achievements. Her domination transcends the stage and extends beyond the charts. From music to fashion and beauty, everything she touches turns to gold. She has successfully navigated various industries, pivoting from music, to pursue a number of entrepreneurial endeavors. 

While we wait with bated breath on her 9th studio album, here’s a look at some of the business ventures she’s undertaken, etching her name in history along the way.

Reb'l Fleur

In 2011, Rihanna successfully launched her first fragrance, Reb'l Fleur, which means "rebel flower" in French. Containing notes of red berries, coconut water, plum, Hawaiian hibiscus flower and violet, Rihanna created this fruity, delicate scent to reflect her roots in Barbados.

Rihanna x River Island

A well-known fashion killa, Rihanna teamed up with River Island in 2013 to release a number of collections that reflected Rihanna's cutting-edge style. Taking a hands-on approach, Rihanna created clothing that she wanted to wear. In the first year of the collaboration, River Island's sales increased by 4% to £839 million.

Rihanna x Puma

In 2014, Rihanna was named the global ambassador for Puma's Women's Training category and creative director for the Puma's Women's division. The subsequent Fenty x Puma collaboration led to the creation of the iconic platformed Creeper shoe, which sold out. The partnership saw an expanded footwear collection and ready-to-wear apparel, as well as a reported 17% increase in revenue and nearly $1billion on sales. In 2023, following a hiatus, the two joined forces again for a multi-year partnership, and released the Avanti sneaker, which remains sold out on Puma's website.

Fenty Beauty

In 2017, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, offering a whopping 91 items. With 40 shades of foundations the catered to all skin tones, she set a new standard for representativeness, diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry. Recognized as one of the most successful beauty brands in the world, Fenty Beauty has achieved unicorn status, with a valuation of approximately $2.8 billion.

Savage x Fenty

Building on the success of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna wasted no time in launching Savage x Fenty, her lingerie line. With body positivity at its core, evident in the cast of models selected for her fashion shows, Rihanna once again redefined inclusivity. According to a statement from the company on its 2020 performance, the brand experienced a revenue growth of more than 200%, and also increased its active VIP membership by more than 150%. Also securing unicorn status, with a valuation of $1 billion, various reports anticipate that Savage x Fenty will become the global lingerie market leader by 2025.

Fenty Skin

Three years after the launch of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna introduced Fenty Skin with just three products collectively known as the Fenty Skin Start'rs. Since then, the brand has grown to include a range of products, such as hand creams, body scrubs and lip care essentials, that feature clean, vegan, gluten-free and oil-free formulas. Promoted by Rihanna herself, who takes to social media to share how she incorporates the products into her own skin care routine, the products are affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and often accompanied by the most innovative and satisfying marketing campaigns.

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