One could be forgiven Monday for mistaking the Macy’s department store in downtown Brooklyn for somewhere else entirely. Caribbean jams mixed with current hit songs boomed from the normally quieter perfume section in the lower level as floral scents of exotic passion fruit and Italian mandarin filled the air. All the pomp and circumstance was in the name of Grammy award-winning singer Rihanna, who was promoting her newest fragrance, RiRi, the latest scent in her burgeoning perfume empire.
Rihanna, 27, has a growing brand that transcends perfume and, of course, her music. With more than 50.5 million Twitter followers and over 25 million Instagram followers, the “B--- Better Have My Money” singer simply has to write a few posts to successfully promote her items. With her status as the first ever black campaign star for Christian Dior, her lipstick collection with cosmetics heavyweight MAC and a successful fashion line with River Island, the pop princess has all but solidified her position as a legitimate threat in the business world, showing it was more than just social media that helped bring throngs of her fans to Fulton Street in Brooklyn Monday afternoon.
Hundreds of obsessed fans waited hours Monday on a seemingly endless line to support and see the beauty from Barbados. The eager followers, also known as Rihanna’s navy, each had their own plastic VIP passes dangling from their necks, a coveted talisman they received in exchange for buying the new perfume prior to the arranged meet-and-greet session. Their anticipation was palpable.
For Bianca Sharpe, who was dressed in an oversized jersey and high-top sneakers to meet her idol, the long wait was worth it. Sharpe, 19, believes Rihanna wears RiRi, and there’s a reason she wants to smell like her favorite singer. “She has an attitude different than the other celebrities,” the Buffalo, New York, native said. “It makes her stand out.”
Rihanna Is Too Cute pic.twitter.com/o84NveSCgR
— Rihanna Data (@RihannaData) August 31, 2015
A young woman from Denmark said she waited more than three hours to see Rihanna. Liv Zimakoff, 19, who owns the singer's other fragrances, described RiRi as “light and pure,” and said it was a new favorite with a “girly sweet scent.”
Fifteen-year-old fan Anthony, who only wanted to give his first name, said he also owns all of Rihanna’s eight fragrances. He loves the scent of RiRi because it reminds him of the star who is “foreign and versatile.”
— Perfumes by Rihanna (@PerfumesbyRiRi) August 31, 2015
The international superstar has created her arsenal of perfumes since she entered the fragrance business in 2011 with parent company Parlux, the global distributor and producer of various celebrity fragrances. The new perfume is described by the manufacturer as crisp and fruity with hints of Japanese honeysuckle and Indonesian sandalwood.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) August 27, 2015
Rihanna has taken on a new persona for this campaign, conjuring Marilyn Monroe a la “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” She is draped in long pink gloves with pearl cufflinks for the RiRi advertisement. The 3.5-ounce bottle sells for $60.00 and the 0.2-ounce rollerball sells for as little as $20.00.
Waiting on line was not the only investment Rihanna's fans had to make Monday, as meeting her doesn’t come cheap. Her navy of loyal followers had to purchase a RiRi Fragrance three-piece set at Macy’s days before the meet-and-greet for a cool $126.00.
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