Is Fenty Beauty REALLY A Black-Owned Makeup Brand? Here Is What We Know [With Receipts]

Damn near every black girl and her mama is all about that Fenty life. I was able to shop the collection when it dropped last week from the Times Square location. I have not yet had a chance to post my youtube review (bear with me, it’s been a crazy few days.) Still, there are a million and one reviews posted on youtube because people are that INTO the brand.

Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 6.29.36 PMBut let’s backtrack a moment.

Fenty Beauty is Rihanna’s long sought-after makeup line. The collection launched in Sephora (shop here) and on the Fenty Beauty website last week, and most stores have already sold out of the dark skin shades. #winning


With all of the success of the launch, many have started to question whether Rihanna is merely the “face” of the brand or its rightful owner.

Now, before I dive into this, let me make this clear: I do not care. A black woman as the owner or the face of a cosmetics label is a win, and I have already spent hundreds in support of this line.

That being said, based on my findings it’s not looking like Rihanna is the actual owner. She could be, but it’s not looking like she is.

Does Rihanna Own Fenty Beauty?

Here’s what we know:

  • In April of 2016 posted an article wherein they announced LVMH had signed Rihanna to partner on a makeup line. Read it HERE.Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 7.27.55 PM
  • According to the article, “a LVMH’s Kendo Beauty divison, which functions as an incubator producing products that end up being retailed by LVMH’s Sephora perfumery chain and other outposts, will launch a Rihanna makeup range, called Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, in the fall of 2017.”
  • Kendo is behind several of the popular brands sold in sephora, such as  KAT VON D, MARC JACOBS BEAUTY, OLEHENRIKSEN, and BITE
  • Fenty Beauty By Rihanna is listed on the Kendo site. See HERE.Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 7.39.07 PM
  • Kendo was started by David Suliteanu in 2010 while he was the CEO of Sephora Americas. In 2014 David joined Kendo to work fulltime as its CEO and the company became independent of Sephora, and joined the Perfumes and Cosmetics group of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the world’s largest luxury brand group).

    David Suliteanu, Kendo CEO
  • Based on my internet sleuthing, it appears, that Rihanna does own the trademark and patents behind the brand. In other words, she owns the name “Fenty Beauty” and some other legal things I can’t fully understand. Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 5.50.32 PMDJntXvtVoAAjWRVDJntXvqVAAAmPG2
  • Roraj Trade is owned by Rihanna.
  • On the Fenty Beauty site, Kendo is listed all up and in the legal dealings of the brand. See here

On the Fenty Beauty website, Rihanna is listed as Founder and Creator, not owner or CEO.Screen Shot 2017 09 13 at 7.55.42 PMThere you have it, friends. I am not versed in legalize so I will leave it the folks who are to explain how this all works out. Perhaps she owns a stake in the company or plans to buy it outright from Kendo? Do we even care? I know I don’t, but I figured it was best to put the rumors to bed.

I, for one, am proud of my island sister and will continue to support her.

What say you, friends?

Oh, and while you are here, feel free to check out my listing of black-owned cosmetics brands HERE.

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  1. Dear Lisa, Hi it’s Anita!! Well according to the article you just published about the Fenty Brand it’s not owned by RiRi she’s the founder not Owner of her Brand?? Regardless I love her products!! They make 40 shades! Bravo!! Thanks for this info and keep us posted on any updates! Maybe you can interview this gentleman in some way to found out if he owns Fenty!! Nonetheless I’m still going to buy it! Much love n God bless you n your family. Anita Washington

  2. Hi Lisa, thank you so much for keeping us informed. I have purchased some of the Fenty’s products and really like them. From watching Rihanna’s reveal parties on YouTube, she had a lot of input in the formulation of the products which makes it a really great product. I never wear foundation. I’ve always been a MAC powder girl. Since I have tested the Fenty’s foundation, it has changed the game for me. I haven’t purchased the foundation yet, However, I will. So, the legalization of Fenty doesn’t matter to me either. It’s great to know that she partnered with such great people to deliver great products.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Be Blessed in all you endeavors.

  3. Thanks for doing your research and looking into this! I’ve already given Rihanna or whoever is the owner my coins, so I don’t care. I just find it interesting to know who’s behind what we’re purchasing as people. There’s always someone behind the scenes pulling the strings. We should be smart and informed about these things. Never-the-less, whomever sat the companies in the rooms with Rihanna was on POINT. She’s bomb and everything she touches will be profitable. Kudos for her, the scientists behind the formulas and everyone else that had a hand in this make up collection that has brought us all together and will be keeping in our make-up rotation!

  4. Well how can a founder can’t be the owner UNLESS the founder had sold or transfer it shares to someone else. ” As a rule the founder is a person (legal or private person) who is the first owner of the company at the moment of incorporation. Therefore the founder of the company never changes as the first owner(s) is alaways called founder(s). “. On the Fenty Beauty website it claims that Rihanna has partnered with Kendo. A partnership can be 50/50 or 51/49 or X/Y depending on the agreement. A Partnership Agreement is not a mergers or acquisition. I truly think Rihanna is one the shareholders of Fenty beauty.

    1. Maybe she’s not the founder then. She certainly owns the name “FENTY.” Kendo owns the line. I was at sephora two days ago, and met the local Kendo brand rep. they own marc jacobs, kat von d, bite beauty, and Fenty. I don’t care, personally. I’ll still continue to shop the line just the same.

      1. They probably have a licensing deal and they pay her to put her name in the product even though she doesn’t own the line. Same thing with Trumps buildings. He doesn’t own all those buildings, they just pay to use his name for marketing.

  5. It said kendo has limited liability which usually means they have the manufacturing and financings but the brand owner does all the leg work and makes the decision on the direction the brand is going. So I’m pretty sure she owns a percentage but either way I’m happy to see a make-up company be more inclusive

    1. Limited liability just means it’s a corporation, so the owners who are the share holders don’t have as much fincial responsibility meaning the company is its own entity. That has nothing to do with Rhianna. If they didn’t mention Rihanna also has limited liability then She isn’t an owner, kendo would be.

  6. Im so glad you did this research! The question’s been nagging me too. While I’m likely still going to shop from the line, I like to be as informed as possible. (Sidebar: wouldn’t it be cool if Rihanna partnered with Pat McGrath?)

  7. I don’t think this is an unusual situation with Fenty Beauty..

    Drew Barrymore does not own Flower Beauty, even though she conceived the idea and runs it. It’s owned by a company called MAESA Group.

  8. Kendo, the company who owns Fenty Beauty, also owns Kat Von D Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Bite Beauty, and another beauty company.

    I don’t think any celebrity, no matter how rich, would want to foot the bill for creating a huge cosmetics company from the ground up and fight the battle of getting into the stores. Not to mention, the financial risk.

    A company like Kendo already has the resources. They have the manufacturing capability and network of suppliers. They have the retail connections and PR budget. Rihanna can focus on the actual product without having to build Rome beforehand and without risking her wealth.

  9. I came here looking to see if kendo can produce very dark shades for deep dark skin toned people to contour with and why they don’t do it. I was wondering if it has to do with kendos limitations or if fenty beauty didn’t think it necessary which both seem unlikely. Why don’t deep dark contouring shades exist?

    1. i have a post called “contouring products for dark skin.” Check it out. Depending on what you might consider deep dark skin. if the skin tone is very deep, you would simply use a lighter coloured concealer to brighten certain areas of the face to create the illusion of shadow/contour. if the skin is already dark enough, no additional contouring product would be needed because anything other than a black eyeshadow wouldn’t show up on the skin

  10. Hello 🙂

    I was disappointed to find out Fenty was ultimately owned by LVMH and France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault.

    Fenty is the inclusive brand for customers that their companies previously excluded! If they had the manufacturing capacity beforehand why didn’t they use it before 2017??

    They’ve branded the products nicely and used Rihanna and her fan base, but the profits go back to France into LVMH’s bank accounts… more specifically the worlds fourth richest man Bernard Arnault, who has previously sought tax exile in Belgium.

    So this money that will be from previously excluded customers is going to a man who not only waited until 2017 to produce inclusive products but sought to escape paying taxes in his home country that would benefit the public, and more specifically the excluded.

    It sucks that we have to compromise and be grateful that he’s giving us beauty products we can use, but he’s only doing it because he saw money not because he is authentically inclusive.

    Personally I’d prefer authentic inclusivity.

  11. If she owns the trademark and patents!!! Is the creator and founder she owns it I own my store but I did acquire investers she may hold 51% off the stock an 49 %goes to investers to help foot the bill but it is still her shit she calls the shots an investers get cut a check for investing cmon people its not chinese arithmetic!!!🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

  12. My dad was offered a contract for him to have his own hair relaxer, the company assumed all expenses, and would get a higher percentage than him for X amount of years then after those years he would completely own it. If Fenty beauty is this big I dont think rihanna is exempt, the singer sam cooke thought he was the owner of his company all because he signed a contract, then he found out he was listed as an employee and he went crazy. Sam cooke was a highly intelligent black man, he didnt even need a contract to make it people loved him regardless. Key things we have to look at is that this is about MONEY, carrying skin colors that NO ONE ELSE has ever sold is an instant money maker, this doesnt mean its black owned or that rihanna cares about black people. Rihanna doesnt have a hard skin color to cover so I would never assume she, on a good or bad day thought about selling this idea. This is a machine behind her who KNEW how black people weren’t represented and deprived of certain foundations and they decided to “use” rihanna to be the first “POPULAR” person that sold rare foundations, because fenty beauty is not the FIRST! The thing is black people do not hop outside the box to buy stuff, we just stay with what we know, so when people like rihanna who have a massive black audience come and do things like this, we automatically assume and think they are a genius. Make up experts had to be laughing at us when we said “finally a foundation for my skin”

    Knowing it was already on the market🙄 can you imagine that white people would not try to get that money first? Rofl thats hilarious😂

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