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

The Magnificence of Blackness, a documentary now streaming exclusively on HBO Max, chronicles the rise — and revival — of one of the American attractiveness industry’s most historic brand names: Manner Fair Cosmetics.

Initial launched in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing government and wife of Johnson Publishing Firm CEO John H. Johnson, Fashion Honest Cosmetics was the initially national makeup line formulated and built especially for Black females, an inclusive mission that is much more recognizable in today’s market place, but whose wide and wealthy shade array was impossible to uncover at the time.

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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, both former executives at the Chicago-based mostly Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet magazines, together with Manner Reasonable), acquired the company out of bankruptcy in November 2019 for $1.85 million, and now, as co-proprietors (and president and CEO, respectively) have ushered it into its following 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 assortment, which is now vegan and cruelty-free, contains basis, powder, priming serum, and 11 former bestselling lipstick shades with the addition of new nudes. It is offered exclusively at Sephora and the brand’s revamped site.

“I assume it has an possibility to appeal to both of those women of all ages who are loyalists and women of all ages who are new, who most likely haven’t expert the model however,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Like numerous trailblazing initiatives, particularly in the natural beauty sector, Vogue Honest was born out of necessity. When Johnson could not discover items that accurately matched the complexions of Black versions participating in Ebony Trend Good (the once-a-year, traveling vogue party she produced that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It provided a daring selection of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for girls of color (who were being usually marketed much more neutral earth-tones) and in the long run grew to become the to start with worldwide cosmetics brand for girls of coloration out there in higher-close office suppliers like Neiman Marcus.

“She commenced this company to definitely provide a answer for a trouble. The normal current market providers who were promoting cosmetics have been not generating shades for ladies of coloration,” suggests Mayberry McKissack.

The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Dear White People and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content manufacturing and head of Vox Media’s Epic Digital) — tells this tale by way of a refrain of voices, such as previous Vogue 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 Collection Cosmetics – Credit score: Courtesy of Manner Good

Courtesy of Style Honest

“Fashion Reasonable Cosmetics supplied some of the most vital cultural times for people today of shade,” suggests Fantastic, who around his 30-calendar year career has labored with a number of noteworthy actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Banks, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With small to no representation in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson one handedly built heritage and created a protected haven for women of all ages of shade in cosmetics — for the two buyers and workforce alike. I was thrilled to take part in the documentary and communicate on the historic rise, tumble and relaunch of this legendary model. Getting turn into the to start with Imaginative Make-up Director and launching the initially co-branded selection for the brand name has been a highpoint in my vocation a homecoming of kinds.”

Filmed more than the course of 2020, the film was generated by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Electronic and Vox Resourceful, and streaming legal rights were being ultimately acquired by HBO Max.

“One of the points you see in it is that it tells the record and results in that bridge to be in a position to convey to the tale of what has been, but is also equally vital to explain to the story of what is and what can be. And so you’ve obtained like a few various divisions: what took place, what is taking place, and then you have people projecting what this means for the foreseeable future,” suggests Mayberry McKissack.

Adds Rogers: “No a single is going to — just since of nostalgia — buy one thing. So how do you excite individuals today about a brand name that has the historical past but is in a crowded market place? We worked with a Black skin doctor [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who understands pores and skin, and we also labored with Sam Great who definitely [knows color], in phrases of being in a position to tweak people undertones, building sure that we have a neutral and a awesome undertone.”

These days, adhering to various cross-technology focus group conferences, Rogers and McKissack have a solid perception of what the modern client is looking for: fantastic coloration matches,
pure ingredients, goods that carry out double responsibility — like moisturizing lipsticks with terrific colour payoff.

“It definitely is the initially cosmetics enterprise that was created in honor of Black woman’s glamour, splendor and style,” states Rogers. “Black ladies sit at the cornerstone of this awesome manufacturer and we don’t have a lot of of all those that have been about 50 in addition yrs.”

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