Rihanna’s billionaire status proves diversity a winning business model
In this Sept. 13, 2018 file photo, singer Rihanna attends the 4th annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Rihanna is partnering with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to launch a new fashion label. The pop star, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, founded her Fenty empire just a few years ago. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Robyn Rihanna Fenty, known globally by her middle name, has reached rare economic status air. She has now joined the billionaire’s club thanks to the success of her business ventures, Fenty and Savage x Fenty.

Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 with the goal of creating a cosmetics company that made “women everywhere (feel) included.” That focus on diversity and inclusion rather than taking the traditional make-up and clothing business approach that treats size zero, white models as the norm, has translated to Rihanna now being worth $1.7 billion (a Forbes estimate). This would make the Barbados-born writer/singer/performer the wealthiest female musician in the world.

Just as impressive, if not more so, Rihanna’s current personal economic valuation places her second only to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to the upper echelon of well-to-do female entertainer.

Those who haven’t been caught up in the Fenty tsunami as the brand’s focus on diversity meant more potential customers that eurocentric-focused beauty products, are surprised that Rihannah’s beauty business has earned her the rare air dollars and not her globally-celebrated music.

According to Forbes andother sources, an estimated $1.4 billion of Rihnna’s wealth was generated from the value of Fenty Beauty, a business of which she owns 50%.

Rihanna’s lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, provided an additional $270 million to her earning.

And remember, these numbers don’t include what Rihanna has earned as a reverred musician and an actress who is steadily adding roles to her acting resume.

This is not to say Rihanna’s popularity driven by her musical career didn’t play a role in Fenty’s success. Certainly, it did, just as the fact that Rihanna has a huge social media presence, including 101 million Instagram followers and 102.5 million Twitter folllowers.

Fenty Beauty is a 50-50 joint venture with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, a company run by the world’s second-richest person, Bernard Arnault.

For Rihanna, the goal was always inclusivity. Thus, the products her business offer come in a diverse range of colors. Just one example: foundation is offered in 50 shades, including harder-to-find darker shades for women of color. This focus on diversity and inclusion is also reflected in Fenty’s advertising. The Fenty products hit the ground running, finding success immediately.

It has been known for years that companies that focus on diversity in their workforce and in those to whom they view as their customers, open their businesses to more clients and more profits. Rihann’s business model proves that point to the extreme.