The FENTY Effect

After the Gucci racism fiasco, I wrote a post about the lack of Black owned luxury brands. Not too long after that Rihanna announced her FENTY partnership with LVMH. I instantly got excited because this is the first time a Black woman has been the head of a LVMH luxury brand. What I noticed once the first collection dropped was truly disappointing. People almost immediately took to the internet to diss FENTY’s price point. One of the most asinine articles on the topic said the brand was an example of “classist hypocrisy” because a modern woman can’t afford a $200 shirt. I’m confused as to when the word modern became a synonym for broke? Since it needs to be said, I’m only saying it once. If you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass home.

I’m not sure who the author of that article had in mind when picturing the modern woman, but she isn’t solely a broke woman scrounging for change between couch cushions. I’m a modern woman. Twenty-something with a decent job and a somewhat disposable income. The modern woman is social media influencers, Youtubers, ladies fresh out of college. I could be jaded, but my friends are jet-setters and fashionistas. We aren’t rich, but we damn sure aren’t cheap. The word the author was looking for is “average”. The average woman, based on the statistical data she provided, may not be able to afford FENTY. However, if it was created for the average consumer, Rihanna would’ve sold it a Walmart. There’s nothing accessible about luxury. That’s literally the point of luxury.     

I’m not sure what planet people are coming from. Where is the luxury if everything is $50-$100? We’ve gotten so used to the Fashion Novas and Forever 21s of the world that we as consumers have become blind to quality. Fast fashion is actually the sole reason for the industry being as economically segregated as it is. There is no middle market anymore. Furthermore, there will always be things that we can’t afford. It is redundant to complain about luxuries that might not be within reach. It’s also irresponsible to assume that nobody can afford something simply because a few others cannot. Everything isn’t for everybody. Let’s not blame Rihanna for creating a luxury product in a largely White male dominated industry. Instead, redirect that energy to the lawmakers and officials that continue to keep us oppressed by not making a living wage mandatory for all. In the meantime, make room for us modern women who plan to support FENTY. 


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