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

The Magnificence of Blackness, a documentary currently streaming solely on HBO Max, chronicles the rise — and revival — of a person of the American beauty industry’s most historic brands: Style Honest Cosmetics.

Initial introduced in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing government and spouse of Johnson Publishing Corporation CEO John H. Johnson, Manner Truthful Cosmetics was the very first national makeup line formulated and intended specifically for Black females, an inclusive mission that is more recognizable in today’s market, but whose broad and wealthy shade vary was difficult to find at the time.

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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, the two former executives at the Chicago-centered Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet journals, together with Trend Truthful), acquired 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 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 assortment, which is now vegan and cruelty-no cost, consists of basis, 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 web page.

“I think it has an opportunity to appeal to both of those girls who are loyalists and gals who are new, who maybe haven’t skilled the brand nonetheless,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Like many trailblazing initiatives, notably in the attractiveness industry, Trend Good was born out of necessity. When Johnson could not find products that precisely matched the complexions of Black versions taking part in Ebony Fashion Truthful (the yearly, touring vogue event she created that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It available a daring selection of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for females of coloration (who have been normally marketed extra neutral earth-tones) and in the long run grew to become the 1st intercontinental cosmetics manufacturer for women of color out there in superior-conclude division outlets like Neiman Marcus.

“She started out this organization to seriously provide a option for a difficulty. The standard marketplace organizations who were marketing cosmetics were not producing shades for females of colour,” says Mayberry McKissack.

The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Expensive White People today and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content material generation and head of Vox Media’s Epic Electronic) — tells this tale through a refrain of voices, like former Fashion Truthful designs like Pat Cleveland, singer Kelly Rowland, designer Sergio Hudson, and superstar makeup artist Sam Good.

FF Collection Cosmetics - Credit: Courtesy of Fashion Fair

FF Collection Cosmetics – Credit rating: Courtesy of Trend Honest

Courtesy of Fashion Good

“Fashion Fair Cosmetics delivered some of the most essential cultural times for folks of colour,” states High-quality, who about his 30-yr career has labored with various notable actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Banking institutions, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With small to no representation in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson solitary handedly created background and made a harmless haven for ladies of shade in cosmetics — for each consumers and staff members alike. I was thrilled to participate in the documentary and communicate on the historic rise, slide and relaunch of this legendary model. Acquiring come to be the initially Artistic Makeup Director and launching the initial co-branded selection for the model has been a highpoint in my vocation a homecoming of kinds.”

Filmed more than the training course of 2020, the film was developed by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Electronic and Vox Imaginative, and streaming legal rights have been in the long run acquired by HBO Max.

“One of the factors you see in it is that it tells the record and makes that bridge to be ready to convey to the tale of what has been, but is also similarly crucial to tell the tale of what is and what can be. And so you have acquired like a few different divisions: what occurred, what is happening, and then you have folks projecting what this indicates for the upcoming,” claims Mayberry McKissack.

Adds Rogers: “No a person is heading to — just mainly because of nostalgia — obtain anything. So how do you excite men and women currently about a model that has the historical past but is in a crowded sector? We worked with a Black dermatologist [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who understands pores and skin, and we also labored with Sam Fantastic who truly [knows color], in phrases of currently being able to tweak people undertones, producing specific that we have a neutral and a awesome undertone.”

Nowadays, following several cross-generation focus group meetings, Rogers and McKissack have a robust sense of what the contemporary purchaser is wanting for: perfect colour matches, normal substances, products and solutions that execute double responsibility — like moisturizing lipsticks with terrific color payoff.

“It seriously is the initially cosmetics business that was created in honor of Black woman’s glamour, beauty and fashion,” states Rogers. “Black ladies sit at the cornerstone of this wonderful brand name and we do not have several of individuals that have been around 50 moreover yrs.”

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