Pop idol Rihanna is preparing to launch her own luxury brand with the world's biggest fashion conglomerate, according to reports Thursday.
The Barbados-born superstar, who already has her own highly successful Fenty sportswear label, is in secret talks with the French giant LVMH, according to Women's Wear Daily (WWD).
The industry bible said the group, which owns such iconic brands as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Givenchy, is assembling a gang of top designers for the project.
LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said they could not comment.
With her huge fan base and tens of millions of social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet.
A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator.
As well as her Fenty line she upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director, and has also dipped her toe into lingerie.
Her Fenty Beauty operation — which involved a hook-up with LVMH — racked up sales of more than $100 million dollars within weeks of its 2016 launch.
WWD said that her planned luxury brand, which will take in ready-to-wear as well as leather goods and accessories, could be launched alongside her ninth album later this year.
A new large-scale luxury label — especially one led by a black woman — would be huge development in the fashion world.
The top end of the market has been traditionally hogged by historic French and Italian houses.
Despite its dominance, LVMH have not started a luxury brand from scratch since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
Black American designers have, however, been making dramatic inroads of late, with Virgil Abloh the most talked about designer at Paris men's fashion week.
The creator, whose parents come from Ghana, now heads LVMH's treasured Louis Vuitton menswear line as well as his own hugely cool Off-White Label.
Rihanna, 30, who shot to fame with her "Music of the Sun" and "Good Girl Gone Bad" albums, is locked in a legal battle with her father over the use of the Fenty name.
She is suing her father Ronald Fenty over the use of the family name in his company, according to reports on Wednesday.
She claims her father and his business partner have falsely suggested that she is connected to their firm, Fenty Entertainment.
Their conduct has misled the public and hurt her Fenty brand, the name of her beauty business, the lawsuit says.
Fenty Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rihanna has asked the court to bar the firm from using the Fenty name for business.
The lawsuit says Rihanna owns trademarks in the US for the Fenty name and has sent formal "cease and desist" requests.
"Defendants continue to this date to use their misrepresentations for their commercial advantage and to mislead the public," it says.
"This fraudulent conduct harms not only plaintiffs but the public at large and requires judicial intervention."
Mr Fenty, with whom Rihanna has said she has a difficult relationship, started the firm in California in 2017 with business partner Moses Perkins, according to the lawsuit.
A press release, posted on the firm's website until "at least October 2018" announced the launch of the firm "with" Rihanna, despite the fact that she was not involved, it says.
In another instance, Fenty Entertainment entered negotiations for Rihanna to perform 15 shows in Latin America for about $15m, without her authorisation, according to the complaint.
"Although Mr Fenty is Rihanna's father, he does not presently, nor has he ever, had the authority to act on Rihanna's behalf or had the right to use her Fenty mark, to exploit the goodwill of her Fenty brands or to solicit business on her behalf," it says.
The lawsuit says these kinds of activities violate advertising, competition and privacy laws and risk "serious irreparable injury" to the Fenty brand if not stopped.