‘The Beauty of Blackness’ Documentary Chronicles the Colorful History of Fashion Fair Cosmetics

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The Splendor of Blackness, a documentary at the moment streaming exclusively on HBO Max, chronicles the rise — and revival — of a person of the American natural beauty industry’s most historic makes: Fashion Good Cosmetics.

Very first introduced in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing govt and spouse of Johnson Publishing Corporation CEO John H. Johnson, Vogue Honest Cosmetics was the very first national makeup line formulated and made specifically for Black females, an inclusive mission that is extra recognizable in today’s market place, but whose wide and prosperous shade assortment was unachievable to discover at the time.

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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, both equally former executives at the Chicago-based Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet magazines, along with Fashion Truthful), acquired the firm out of individual bankruptcy in November 2019 for $1.85 million, and now, as co-homeowners (and president and CEO, respectively) have ushered it into its upcoming chapter.

Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers - Credit: Courtesy of Heather Houston

Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers – Credit score: Courtesy of Heather Houston

Courtesy of Heather Houston

The collection, which is now vegan and cruelty-absolutely free, features foundation, powder, priming serum, and 11 former bestselling lipstick shades with the addition of new nudes. It is out there completely at Sephora and the brand’s revamped site.

“I feel it has an chance to appeal to each girls who are loyalists and women of all ages who are new, who most likely haven’t knowledgeable the brand but,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Like lots of trailblazing initiatives, specifically in the elegance sector, Vogue Reasonable was born out of requirement. When Johnson could not find items that accurately matched the complexions of Black styles participating in Ebony Manner Truthful (the yearly, touring fashion party she produced that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It available a daring array of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for ladies of colour (who were being commonly marketed far more neutral earth-tones) and finally became the initial worldwide cosmetics brand name for girls of coloration available in substantial-conclude section retailers like Neiman Marcus.

“She started this business to truly deliver a solution for a challenge. The common market place providers who had been advertising cosmetics were not generating shades for women of shade,” states Mayberry McKissack.

The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Pricey White Folks and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content generation and head of Vox Media’s Epic Electronic) — tells this tale by means of a refrain of voices, which include former Trend Fair models like Pat Cleveland, singer Kelly Rowland, designer Sergio Hudson, and celebrity make-up artist Sam Great.

FF Collection Cosmetics - Credit: Courtesy of Fashion Fair

FF Assortment Cosmetics – Credit score: Courtesy of Vogue Fair

Courtesy of Style Fair

“Fashion Fair Cosmetics provided some of the most crucial cultural times for people today of shade,” suggests Wonderful, who above his 30-year career has labored with numerous noteworthy actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Banking companies, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With tiny to no representation in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson solitary handedly made historical past and established a secure haven for ladies of color in cosmetics — for equally consumers and personnel alike. I was thrilled to take part in the documentary and speak on the historic rise, fall and relaunch of this iconic model. Owning come to be the to start with Imaginative Makeup Director and launching the initially co-branded assortment for the brand name has been a highpoint in my job a homecoming of types.”

Filmed around the study course of 2020, the movie was generated by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Electronic, Vox Creative, and Ventureland, and streaming legal rights were being eventually obtained by HBO Max.

“One of the items you see in it is that it tells the historical past and creates that bridge to be in a position to convey to the tale of what has been, but is also similarly important to tell the story of what is and what can be. And so you’ve bought like three distinctive divisions: what happened, what is occurring, and then you have folks projecting what this suggests for the foreseeable future,” claims Mayberry McKissack.

Adds Rogers: “No 1 is going to — just simply because of nostalgia — purchase something. So how do you excite people today nowadays about a manufacturer that has the historical past but is in a crowded sector? We worked with a Black skin doctor [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who is aware of skin, and we also labored with Sam Fantastic who definitely [knows color], in phrases of currently being able to tweak those people undertones, earning specified that we have a neutral and a great undertone.”

Nowadays, subsequent several cross-technology concentration group meetings, Rogers and McKissack have a solid feeling of what the modern-day shopper is on the lookout for: fantastic coloration matches, all-natural elements, merchandise that carry out double responsibility — like moisturizing lipsticks with excellent color payoff.

“It really is the first cosmetics company that was formulated in honor of Black woman’s glamour, magnificence and fashion,” states Rogers. “Black females sit at the cornerstone of this incredible brand and we really do not have many of those people that have been close to 50 furthermore years.”

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