In a statement to Fashionista, LVMH confirmed the news: "Following the completion of a fundraising round where L Catterton has taken a stake into Savage X Fenty, LVMH and Rihanna reaffirm their ambition to concentrate on the growth and the long-term development of Fenty ecosystem focusing on cosmetics, skincare and lingerie. In the meantime, Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the ready-to-wear activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions."
Back in October, during a call about Q3 sales, LVMH chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony described Fenty as a "work in progress," per WWD, saying: "On Fenty fashion, we are obviously still in a launching phase and we have to figure out exactly what is the right offer. It's not something that is easy... We have successes, we have things that have worked less well, so we have to sort in between the two and really decide what should be the core strengths of the offer in the years to come."
Fenty was a significant launch for LMVH in 2019: It marked the first time a Black woman was at the helm of a brand within its umbrella (Rihanna served as both its CEO and its artistic director) and the first time since 1987 that the conglomerate helped start a fashion house from the ground up. In December 2019, Rihanna won the Urban Luxe award at the British Fashion Council's Fashion Awards.
"Being the first Black woman to lead a luxury house, especially under LVMH, it was a huge deal to see him just encourage people to buy black," Rihanna told Vogue U.K. in her May 2020 cover story. "I felt connected to it, and knowing why really made me feel like there's no way I can ignore this."
In 2020, Fenty brought in Amina Muaddi to collaborate on two footwear capsules, and hired a managing director from Nike. According to WWD, "a skeleton staff" is still working for Fenty in Paris, as the brand's e-commerce is expected to shut down in a few weeks.
Rihanna's other fashion ventures, though, seem to be going strong: On Wednesday, Savage x Fenty announced it had secured $115 million through a Series B fundraising round, led by L Catterton (which LVMH has a stake in).
This story has been updated with a statement from LVMH.