Decoded: Rihanna's Brand is Definitely Not 'Anti' Profitability
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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In February 2013, she inked a deal with MAC cosmetics, launching RiRi Woo in May of the same year, a $17 lipstick hue that sold out in just three hours. 

It was the first time the brand has worked with a famous person for more than just a one-off project. “We always say that MAC likes to go on a date but doesn’t really want to go into a relationship,” John Demsey, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., MAC’s parent company, told WWD in an interview. “This relationship with Rihanna is a long-term one that involves the development of four distinct color initiatives.”

At the time, industry insiders told WWD that they estimated that the complete Rihanna-infused lineup could do $15 million at retail globally. Based on insights reported that established recording stars can garner $2 million to $10 million from a beauty endorsement contract, Rihanna was sure to be ‘rolling in the dough’ on this one, boosting her bankability as well as her popularity as a trendsetting influencer.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.