Dear Fashion Fair,
When are you gonna step up to the plate and be the black version of Estée Lauder, LVMH, or better yet the beauty industry’s answer to “Wakanda”?
It is the last day of Black History Month, and while I have spent months thinking long and hard about the importance of having more than just representation and inclusivity for blacks in the world of beauty, I can not help but think about you!
Fashion Fair, your company started in the Windy City (my hometown), and in 1958 you hit the ground running! You created a traveling fashion show which showcased black beauty all over the world ( even my cousin had an opportunity to slay the Fashion Fair runways)and from your super successful fashion shows you created a cosmetics brand.
Your products were distributed in Macys, Dillards, Belk, and several other high end department stores which was no small feat! That accomplishment was major because your brand was the first and only brand created for and by people of African descent that was showcased and distributed by major mass department stores. Your cosmetic counters showcased beauty campaigns with beautiful black models and hired black women and men as makeup artists making women of color feel welcome in an otherwise cold industry where people of color are often ignored. You always had an amazing shade range in complexion products which still in 2018 is a major problem in the beauty industry at large.
In the last five years I have witnessed the sad decline of your brand including watching your loyal customers be forced to shop with other brands because they grew frustrated and tired of not being able to purchase their Fashion Fair products on numerous occasions due to stock issues. I have also watched your counters be removed from many Macys stores, which to my surprise has left me with a personal feeling of defeat. Recently, I grew angry and frustrated when I learned about Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty partnership with LVMH because I could not help but think of what that partnership could have looked like if it was with you, and what it could have done for your brand.
The movie Black Panther and the fictional African nation, “Wakanda“, helped me and many people of African descent across the globe understand that ownership over representation and inclusion is of great importance, and it also gave us a visualization of what that ownership could look like.
I know given your amazing history, and great products, that Fashion Fair cosmetics has the potential to be our “Wakandan” version of a large beauty conglomerate, and I am writing this open letter to let you know that you have many beauty soldiers willing and ready to help your brand do what is necessary to realize your fullest potential!
On this last day of Black History Month, I truly hope you read this letter and absorb all the love and concern that I tried my best to articulate.
3 thoughts on “Dear Fashion Fair…, An Open Letter”
They had Sam Fine as the creative director at one time (not so long ago). What happened ?? I wonder if they are trying to stay loyal to their original fan base vs trying to attract new ones…?
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Apparently the Sam Fine collab did not end well. Let’s be honest, they cannot stick to their original fan base because that demographic is not the demographic that is spending the most money. That demographic included women like my grandma who I loved but passed away in the early 2000’s! They must become relevant, reach out to influencers, initiate collaborations, keep their products in stock, and work on keeping their fan base along with attracting millennials.
I too feel sad with the decline of the brand. I was first introduced to Fashion Fair while in college during the 80s. I recently tried to purchase some products and the sales associate advised they have been waiting for months for product. I wish a black business owner would buy the brand and rebrand it…. Or maybe the could go the independent consultant route. I would definitely jump at the chance to be a consultant.
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