Topshop, River Island and that Rihanna t-shirt

Last week, pop singer Rihanna won a $5 million sue against fashion retailer Topshop for selling a t-shirt which featured a photo of the singer which was taken during a video shoot in 2011. Below the offending garment which shifted 12,000 pieces for Topshop.


Topshop’s t-shirt featuring Rihanna’s picture

Much of the press coverage has focused on Rihanna’s star-power to stop one of the biggest fashion retailers in a country where there isn’t a law of image rights on the basis that customers would think it’s an officially endorsed garment.

But celebrities are brands and their endorsements have a huge impact on many products and services they endorse. Very few people mentioned the fact that last year Rihanna did a collection with Topshop’s archrival River Island. These two fashion brands have been battling both on the high street and on the web. River Island is the 223rd most popular website in the UK and Topshop ranks at number 239.



Topshop Vs River Island web traffic comparison over the last 12 months. 


With SimilarWeb PRO, I wanted to see the impact that Rihanna collection had on River Island’s business over the past three months so I filtered Popular Pages by the word ‘rihanna’.

When adding the share of traffic for all the ‘rihanna’ pages on the website, I found that 1.30% of all traffic to over the past 3 months went to Rihanna’s collection. This is a huge percentage of traffic considering the breadth of merchandise that River Island sells for men, women, boys and girls.


River Island’s Popular Pages related to Rihanna in April-June 2013

After all, it’s much more than a vanity court case fuelled by a ‘diva tantrum’ – Rihanna’s small 56 piece collection for River Island has had a very big impact on their business and it’s not surprising to see that they’ll fight tooth and claw to protect their celebrity endorsement in the category. What’s more, earlier this month the retailer announced that the superstar will be doing a second collection for them. We’re looking forward to seeing the online impact that the most influential celebrity on the internet keeps having for these retail giants.


About the Author -

Head of Brand & Strategy for SimilarWeb. Obsessed with web measurement, the internet, pop music and great TV. Wannabe cool-hunter.

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