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

The Attractiveness of Blackness, a documentary presently streaming completely on HBO Max, chronicles the increase — and revival — of a person of the American elegance industry’s most historic brands: Trend Fair Cosmetics.

Initial launched in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing executive and wife of Johnson Publishing Company CEO John H. Johnson, Fashion Honest Cosmetics was the first countrywide makeup line formulated and created precisely for Black ladies, an inclusive mission that is a lot more recognizable in today’s sector, but whose wide and rich shade vary was unattainable to find at the time.

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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, both former executives at the Chicago-primarily based Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet journals, alongside with Trend Reasonable), acquired the business out of individual bankruptcy in November 2019 for $1.85 million, and now, as co-owners (and president and CEO, respectively) have ushered it into its next chapter.

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

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

Courtesy of Heather Houston

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

“I assume it has an possibility to enchantment to both girls who are loyalists and women of all ages who are new, who potentially have not skilled the brand but,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Like lots of trailblazing initiatives, significantly in the beauty field, Fashion Honest was born out of requirement. When Johnson could not discover merchandise that properly matched the complexions of Black models taking part in Ebony Manner Fair (the once-a-year, traveling fashion function she designed that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It provided a daring vary of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for gals of color (who were normally marketed extra neutral earth-tones) and in the long run became the first worldwide cosmetics brand for women of color offered in higher-end office stores like Neiman Marcus.

“She began this enterprise to actually deliver a option for a trouble. The common current market organizations who were selling cosmetics were being not creating shades for women of color,” states Mayberry McKissack.

The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Expensive White Individuals and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content manufacturing and head of Vox Media’s Epic Digital) — tells this story through a refrain of voices, such as former Vogue Truthful types like Pat Cleveland, singer Kelly Rowland, designer Sergio Hudson, and celeb makeup artist Sam Good.

FF Collection Cosmetics - Credit: Courtesy of Fashion Fair

FF Collection Cosmetics – Credit score: Courtesy of Fashion Fair

Courtesy of Trend Good

“Fashion Honest Cosmetics delivered some of the most crucial cultural times for people today of color,” says High-quality, who around his 30-yr occupation has labored with many noteworthy actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Financial institutions, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With tiny to no representation in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson single handedly created background and made a safe and sound haven for gals of coloration in cosmetics — for both equally customers and workers alike. I was thrilled to take part in the documentary and communicate on the historic rise, tumble and relaunch of this legendary brand. Possessing become the first Imaginative Makeup Director and launching the to start with co-branded collection for the brand has been a highpoint in my occupation a homecoming of kinds.”

Filmed in excess of the study course of 2020, the film was made by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Electronic, Vox Artistic, and Ventureland, and streaming legal rights have been eventually obtained by HBO Max.

“One of the things you see in it is that it tells the record and produces that bridge to be able to convey to the story of what has been, but is also equally crucial to explain to the tale of what is and what can be. And so you’ve received like a few distinct divisions: what occurred, what is going on, and then you have people today projecting what this indicates for the foreseeable future,” says Mayberry McKissack.

Adds Rogers: “No 1 is likely to — just because of nostalgia — buy one thing. So how do you excite people today right now about a brand that has the historical past but is in a crowded market? We labored with a Black skin doctor [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who is aware of pores and skin, and we also labored with Sam Fantastic who actually [knows color], in conditions of becoming ready to tweak individuals undertones, building specified that we have a neutral and a neat undertone.”

Now, adhering to quite a few cross-technology target team conferences, Rogers and McKissack have a potent sense of what the contemporary shopper is seeking for: best coloration matches, purely natural components, products that conduct double obligation — like moisturizing lipsticks with wonderful coloration payoff.

“It truly is the initial cosmetics company that was produced in honor of Black woman’s glamour, attractiveness and fashion,” suggests Rogers. “Black ladies sit at the cornerstone of this awesome brand and we don’t have lots of of these that have been around 50 furthermore years.”

Click on right here to read through the comprehensive report.