Rihanna, TechStyle Work Out Lingerie Deal
The two are said to be collaborating ahead of a possible IPO for the fast-fashion firm.
TechStyle Fashion Group is said to have struck a deal with Rihanna for a lingerie line, WWD has learned.
The deal would no doubt inject some more major celebrity wattage to
the company, potentially turning the attention of a whole new set of
consumers not already shopping from TechStyle’s Fabletics, ShoeDazzle, JustFab or FabKids brands.
A publicist for Rihanna
and Shawn Gold, TechStyle corporate marketing officer, declined to
comment on the deal. A firm launch date could not be learned, but
sources said TechStyle has been working on the project for more than a
year and samples have already been produced.
The deal with Rihanna
would certainly be in keeping with the group’s overall M.O. for a
portfolio of brands that have at one time or another been linked with a
celebrity. In more recent times that’s been Kate Hudson, who is counted
as a cofounder for the company’s fastest-growing and youngest brand,
Fabletics. ShoeDazzle was cofounded by Kim Kardashian in 2009, alongside
Brian Lee and Robert Shapiro. And, Kimora Lee Simmons once held the
president title at JustFab before moving on to redirect focus to her KLS line.
The line with Rihanna, the source said, is viewed as a key strategic
move in TechStyle’s efforts to file for an initial public offering,
something executives have never shied away from discussing as a possible
exit option. TechStyle’s raised about $300 million to date.
“They’re of a size now that adding another brand, adding another
category, would make sense to round out the product offering,”
speculated Lloyd Greif, president and chief executive officer of Los
Angeles investment bank Greif & Co., which is not involved with the
company. “What they want to do is show growth. The key to going public
is having a growth track record or having growth in their windshield,
not in the rearview mirror of the company so I’m sure the Rihanna brand
play would be to convince the market that the company has strong growth
ahead because IPOs are all about growth ahead.”
TechStyle is based out of El Segundo, Calif., and counts 1,328 workers globally.
In 2016, the company switched its corporate name from JustFab to TechStyle
as it sought to solidify the parent company’s endeavor to be seen as a
tech-based, brand-building platform handling all back-end functions,
including media of which some $125 million is funneled annually into