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

The Splendor of Blackness, a documentary at the moment streaming completely on HBO Max, chronicles the rise — and revival — of just one of the American splendor industry’s most historic brands: Vogue Truthful Cosmetics.

To start with released in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing government and wife of Johnson Publishing Firm CEO John H. Johnson, Fashion Reasonable Cosmetics was the very first nationwide makeup line formulated and designed specifically for Black gals, an inclusive mission that is additional recognizable in today’s market place, but whose wide and abundant shade range was not possible to come across at the time.

Far more from The Hollywood Reporter

Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, both equally former executives at the Chicago-based Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet journals, together with Fashion Truthful), bought the business out of bankruptcy in November 2019 for $1.85 million, and now, as co-entrepreneurs (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 rating: Courtesy of Heather Houston

Courtesy of Heather Houston

The assortment, which is now vegan and cruelty-free, involves foundation, powder, priming serum, and 11 former bestselling lipstick shades with the addition of new nudes. It is readily available completely at Sephora and the brand’s revamped website.

“I imagine it has an possibility to charm to each gals who are loyalists and girls who are new, who probably have not experienced the manufacturer but,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Like many trailblazing initiatives, specifically in the attractiveness industry, Style Good was born out of requirement. When Johnson could not obtain items that accurately matched the complexions of Black types participating in Ebony Vogue Fair (the annual, touring trend event she developed that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It supplied a daring variety of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for ladies of color (who had been commonly marketed a lot more neutral earth-tones) and ultimately grew to become the to start with intercontinental cosmetics brand name for women of color readily available in large-close office suppliers like Neiman Marcus.

“She began this company to seriously deliver a alternative for a dilemma. The basic market companies who have been promoting cosmetics were not earning shades for girls of colour,” suggests Mayberry McKissack.

The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Expensive White People today and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content material creation and head of Vox Media’s Epic Electronic) — tells this tale by way of a refrain of voices, including previous Trend Fair designs like Pat Cleveland, singer Kelly Rowland, designer Sergio Hudson, and superstar make-up artist Sam High-quality.

FF Collection Cosmetics - Credit: Courtesy of Fashion Fair

FF Selection Cosmetics – Credit history: Courtesy of Style Honest

Courtesy of Trend Honest

“Fashion Fair Cosmetics offered some of the most crucial cultural times for persons of coloration,” states High-quality, who about his 30-yr career has worked with a number of notable actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Financial institutions, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With minor to no illustration in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson solitary handedly made background and produced a risk-free haven for females of colour in cosmetics — for both equally individuals and employees alike. I was thrilled to participate in the documentary and discuss on the historic increase, slide and relaunch of this legendary brand name. Obtaining turn into the initial Resourceful Make-up Director and launching the 1st co-branded assortment for the manufacturer has been a highpoint in my vocation a homecoming of sorts.”

Filmed in excess of the program of 2020, the film was manufactured by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Electronic, Vox Artistic, and Ventureland, and streaming rights were being eventually acquired by HBO Max.

“One of the matters you see in it is that it tells the historical past and produces that bridge to be ready to notify the story of what has been, but is also equally critical to explain to the tale of what is and what can be. And so you’ve received like a few diverse divisions: what transpired, what is happening, and then you have folks projecting what this implies for the upcoming,” suggests Mayberry McKissack.

Adds Rogers: “No a person is heading to — just because of nostalgia — invest in something. So how do you excite folks now about a brand that has the historical past but is in a crowded marketplace? We labored with a Black dermatologist [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who is aware skin, and we also worked with Sam Wonderful who really [knows color], in conditions of being in a position to tweak individuals undertones, producing selected that we have a neutral and a neat undertone.”

Currently, adhering to quite a few cross-technology target group conferences, Rogers and McKissack have a sturdy feeling of what the fashionable customer is wanting for: ideal
color matches, pure elements, products and solutions that conduct double duty — like moisturizing lipsticks with terrific colour payoff.

“It definitely is the very first cosmetics corporation that was developed in honor of Black woman’s glamour, attractiveness and vogue,” claims Rogers. “Black gals sit at the cornerstone of this incredible manufacturer and we do not have many of those that have been all-around 50 furthermore decades.”

Click on right here to study the comprehensive short article.