WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — When Wilmington fashion designer Sara Crawford saw the recent social media post announcing that Rihanna’s trendy lingerie line was coming to Newark, it seemed unreal.
Savage X Fenty has only five stores open in the world and now the music superstar is bringing one to the tiny First State?
The #DEisSavage hashtag seemed like a mirage.
“I was like, ‘Delaware?!?’ It stood out like a sore thumb,” Crawford recalled.
There’s a reason it stood out. The fashion line had announced six new stores coming soon and in addition to Newark, they’re major metro areas Detroit, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Long Island.
WHERE WILL SAVAGE X FENTY STORE GO?
While it’s confirmed that Delaware really is getting its own brick-and-mortar Savage X Fenty store, not much else is known because the exact location and opening date were not disclosed.
Christiana Mall is the most likely destination for the storefront. When contacted, Rachel Wille, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, the New York-based real estate company that owns and manages the mall, declined to comment.
She directed questions to Savage X Fenty’s press contact. The Savage X Fenty spokesperson replied that no additional information would be released at this time.
Savage X Fenty first launched online in 2018 and uses large-scale, celebrity-soaked fashion shows and temporary pop-up shops in malls to build the brand.
Known for inclusivity with a wide range of sizes for all body types, genders and backgrounds, its body-positive messaging and affordable prices are a major part of the brand’s success. Products include underwear, loungewear and sleepwear in sizes XS to 4XL. Bras are sold in sizes ranging from 32 to 46 in bands and A-H in cups.
It also features a diverse range of models to showcase its mission, including Janay Watson, a rising plus-size Black model with vitiligo.
Crawford, who has owned her online-only shop Anara Original for 16 years, is an albino African American, who made her “signature pigment” the subject of a TEDxWilmington talk a few years ago.
For her, Savage X Fenty’s focus on inclusivity in terms of both sizes and how the company markets its brand is game-changing.
“She is pushing the envelope on models after society and fashion standards have told us you have to be 5-foot-11 and a size 2,” she said. “We all come in different shapes, sizes and colors, so it’s important to push a message that we all don’t fit in one box.”
In January, the brand announced its first five stores in Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Houston; Washington, D.C; and Philadelphia. The Philadelphia-area store opened March 26 at the King of Prussia Mall.
BRAND WORTH BILLIONS?
Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported on an initial public offering later this year that could value Savage X Fenty at $3 billion or more.
Rihanna, the second-richest female entertainer behind only Oprah, also founded the popular Fenty Beauty line in 2017. Last year, Forbes reported her net worth to be $1.7 billion.
Savage X Fenty is a joint venture between Rihanna and California-based TechStyle Fashion Group, which uses VIP membership programs. Savage X Fenty has an Xtra VIP option that costs $49.99 monthly, offering discounts, special access to products and other perks.
The expansion into permanent physical locations opens a new front in its battle with a larger and more established rival, Victoria’s Secret.
As Savage X Fenty grows, Victoria’s Secret is still bouncing back from a rough 2020 and plans on closing up to 30 shops this year.
‘RIHANNA KNOWS WHERE DELAWARE IS!’
Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has been in the news recently, even though it has been more than six years since she released her last album, the wildly successful “Anti,” featuring the single “Work.”
In January, it was revealed that Rihanna, 34, is pregnant. It will be the first child for both Rihanna and her 33-year-old boyfriend, rapper A$AP Rocky.
The couple have been in a relationship since 2020, but rumors about them being romantically linked have swirled for years.
Shardaya Cohen of Dover has never purchased anything from Victoria’s Secret, but you bet she has a pair of Savage X Fenty panties and a bra in her dresser.
“I’m curvy and (Rihanna’s) line isn’t just for skinny girls — they can fit everyone,” she said, admittedly still a little flustered learning that Rihanna’s store is coming here.
“Just the fact that she thought about little ol’ Delaware,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, my God, Rihanna knows where Delaware is!’”