Rihanna’s lingerie will soon make an appearance in New York.
Savage x Fenty, the digital intimate apparel and innerwear firm co-founded by the megastar, has signed a 10-year lease to open a flagship in west Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Triangle Building near the Barclays Center, according to sources close to the company.
The space — tucked in between the Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights neighborhoods at 182 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn — will be Savage’s largest physical store to date at around 6,100 square feet spread across three floors. It’s also the retailer’s first freestanding store, outside of a mall.
In addition, the New York City Savage shop will be located within walking distance of one of Brooklyn’s most heavily trafficked subway stops, the Atlantic Avenue Terminal, surrounded by the likes of streetwear brand Kith, plus Target, Adidas, Uniqlo and Apple, among other retailers. It’s also across the street from the Victoria’s Secret store inside of the Atlantic Terminal Mall at 139 Flatbush Avenue.
Sources say the exterior facade of the Triangle Building will be branded with Savage x Fenty’s bright colors, logo and other marketing materials. The building, which Hidrock Properties purchased in 2019 for roughly $7 million, has previously been branded with Nike marketing materials.
Savage x Fenty did not respond to requests for comment regarding the planned store. But sources say construction on the space has begun, and will take at least a few months to complete — and that the original asking rent price was $650,000 annually. The deal is being handled by real estate firms Compass Commercial and Lantern Real Estate. Neither firm responded to requests for comment.
Rihanna revealed plans to move the lingerie brand — which she co-founded online in 2018 with TechStyles Fashion Group (the same firm that launched Kate Hudson’s Fabletics) — offline in January, opening the company’s first brick-and-mortar store the same month in Las Vegas, complete with Insta-worthy backdrops, such as a mannequin wall, floor-to-ceiling images of the pop star and lots of bras, underwear and sleepwear sets on display for shoppers to touch and feel. At the time, the firm said four more physical locations were coming later in the year in Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
“Retail will give us the opportunity to better serve our current members, as well as acquire new customers,” Christiane Pendarvis, co-president and chief merchandise officer at Savage, said that same month, during the ICR 2022 virtual retail conference. “We’re taking our approach and leveraging the data that we have to build a competitive advantage with our model. So we were able to pick locations where we have a high density of existing VIPs and make sure that we have the appropriate foot traffic really to drive the top-line revenue of each new location.”
Then, during Super Bowl weekend in February, a pregnant Rihanna, along with rapper and record producer boyfriend A$AP Rocky, surprised fans by making an unannounced appearance at the brand’s Culver City, Calif. store opening, the second location in the fleet.
Meanwhile, the size-inclusive lingerie brand continues to gain traction, thanks in part to Rihanna’s star power, the brand’s promise to deliver an innerwear brand for all body types and lots of investor attention.
In January, it was revealed that Savage, which spun off of TechStyle to become a stand-alone firm at the end of 2019, had secured an additional $125 million. The latest round, led by investment firm Neuberger Berman, is on top of the $115 million Series B round Savage secured in early 2021, which was led by private equity firm L Catterton and is backed by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
That brings the lingerie start-up’s total funding to around $310 million, with additional investors, such as Avenir, Sunley House Capital, Advent International, Jay Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, LionTree, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund and Multiply Group on board.
In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, Pendarvis said at ICR that Savage plans to use the additional funds to expand internationally, as well as add to the assortment with new categories, such as loungewear, swimwear, shapewear, home and unisex underwear.
In December 2020, rumors were circulating that Rihanna and her team were courting potential investors to the tune of an additional $100 million in an effort to expand the Savage x Fenty business with activewear. Men’s basics were already added to the assortment, in September 2020.
The privately owned firm has been tight-lipped about annual revenues. But representatives from Savage said the business has had a revenue compound annual growth rate of 150 percent each year.
“These are things that we’re looking for on our road map to help us drive growth in the next several years,” Pendarvis said at ICR. “And then there are additional reaches [in other countries around the world] that we just have not tapped into yet, at all, which is really expanding into the balance of Eastern Europe, as well as China. When you think about the opportunity behind retail and what that’s going to open up for us, as well as category expansion opportunity, as well as geography expansion opportunity, that pathway is very, very clear for us to continue to deliver very, very strong growth over the next several years. So the future looks savage and we are just getting started.”