All Articles Tagged "Fashion Fair Cosmetics"

Why Don’t We Support Fashion Fair More?

October 30th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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fashion fair feat

As upset as folks were over recent announcements that two Black health and beauty companies had allegedly “sold out” to more diverse customers, you would think that Fashion Fair cosmetics would be overrun with customers purchasing RBG color palettes to help keep it afloat.

But nope. It is struggling like the rest.

That is according to this article in the Washington Post entitled, “What happened to Fashion Fair?”

In it, journalist Robin Givhan investigates the scarcity of the 42-year-old cosmetic company founded by Johnson Publishing, on beauty and department store shelves.

More specifically, Givhan writes:

Customers who rely on Fashion Fair for exact skin tone matches and perfectly flattering lipsticks have been unable to locate their favorite products — or any products at all. In stores and online, they’re finding color selections so skimpy and stock so depleted there has been little for sales representatives to even sell. Even counter clerks have been asking: What’s going on?

Fashion Fair’s response has been, for many loyalists, deeply unsatisfying.

Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our inventories.”

We acknowledge that stock has been low in previous months; however, the replenishment process [is] underway!”

Are they going out of business?” asks longtime customer Allana Smith.

No,” says Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns the makeup line.

We’re not going out of business.”

But Fashion Fair is in upheaval — and customers have good reason to question its survival.”

According to Givhan, part of that upheaval is the “cultural shifts in the cosmetics market and business challenges specific to a stand-alone brand.” This includes stiff competition from more multinational beauty lines including MAC, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal as well as Black women ourselves who “no longer want or need a separate counter.”

But as Givhan writes, Desiree Rogers, who is CEO of Fashion Fair, also attributes current circumstances to the company’s own inability to keep up with customer demands, including leaving Fashion Fair cases at department stores un-stocked and barren for upwards of a year.

Currently, the brand is revamping its image and preparing for a relaunch, which includes closing and remodeling some stores, changing its signature packaging from pink to metallic gold and a “fresh” faces advertising campaign. Likewise it has also hired celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler as its creative director.

But even with its changes, folks might be slow to embrace the brand again. As Terez Baskin, a part-time beauty business writer who attended a private unveiling of Fashion Fair’s new line of products, told Givhan:

“The colors were great. The pigments were good. But all of that has been done before,” Baskin says. “The leadership team was especially excited about marketing a mascara for the first time. But they didn’t have any samples to test. They didn’t have the full range of foundation colors available either.”

They were excited about all the newness,” Baskin says. “They gave us a bunch of balloons, but nothing to tie them to.”

Personally, I feel that Baskin nailed one of the major challenges to Fashion Fair’s pending relaunch. Basically its failure to grow with its audience as well as to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

For years, Fashion Fair rested on the fact that it was one of only a few makeup lines that a woman of color could use to find a foundation that perfectly matched her natural complexion. But that was then. And nowadays, most multinational beauty conglomerates are not only targeting Black customers, but they also carry their own “perfect match” foundation lines, which includes press, liquid, mineral, sunblock, vitamin-enhanced and waterproof. Many of these brands also carry “perfect match” bronzers, primers, blushes and full face palettes too.

In order to compete, Fashion Fair will not only have to catch up, but it will have to find a way to reinvent what it had previously cornered the market on, and what others are currently doing better.

And it will also have to find a way to sell these changes to a younger generation of Black glamour girls who might have felt both ignored and disregarded by the brand over the years.

It will certainly be an uphill battle for the Black-owned cosmetic company. And as Fashion Fair struggles at both rebranding and regaining a niche market, which is slowly being siphoned off by the major brands, you can certainly see why other Black-owned beauty businesses have opted to go the “all faces matter” route.

But in the interest of preserving a piece of Black beauty history, which has tried to serve us well over the years (my grandmother was loyal to the brand), I am hoping that Fashion Fair can reclaim its glory.

MN Bosses: “Business” Category, Desiree Rogers, Johnson Publishing CEO

October 27th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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All of us remember, as children, seeing a copy of Ebony or Jet on a family member’s coffee table. We flipped through the pages to see the latest and greatest in Black news and pop culture. These publications, like Soul Train, The Cosby Show, The Color Purple and Beloved, are iconic parts of Black cultural history.

Desiree Rogers, the CEO of Johnson Publishing, is part of this long legacy. While she’s responsible for preserving and paying homage to the histories of these two publications, she’s also charged with making sure that they, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, remain modern and relevant with movements in digital and continued coverage of the happenings in Black America.

From the White House, where she was Social Secretary to President Obama and the First Lady, to the nonprofit world in Chicago, her career has not been without controversy. But she keeps going no matter what. Which is why she’s a boss.

MadameNoire: Describe your job.
Desiree Rogers: CEO of Johnson Publishing – we are the curators of the African-American experience – past present and future.  We own EBONY, JET and Fashion Fair Cosmetics

What do you enjoy most about your job?
DR: The history and the incredible team I am honored to work with every day.

MN: How has your industry changed since you started your career?
DR: Both industries that we are in – publishing and cosmetics – are extremely competitive and becoming increasingly dependent on our brand relevance and strength.

MN: How do you keep up with those shifts?
DR: Read.  Read.  Read.  Most importantly you have to ensure that you surround yourself with thought leaders of all ages.  Listening is important too.

MN: What makes you a boss?
DR: The ultimate responsibility stops here.

MN: What’s your biggest failure and how did you come back?
DR: I make at least 10 mistakes a day.  You have to learn to figure out your mistakes and move on.

MN: Can a woman have it all? How do you define that?
DR: Nope.  I think we all have to make compromises and decide what are our priorities.

MN: Your favorite quote?
DR: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

MN: “Lean in” or “lean back”?
DR: I’ve been leaning in all of my life.  

MN: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all, other, or none?
DR: Twitter, but I don’t use it much

MN: Pantsuit or skirt/dress?
DR: Pantsuit lately.  Killer shoes.

MN: Heels or flats?
DR: Heels.

MN: What’s always in your purse?
DR: Fashion Fair, of course.

If you want to be a boss, you have to think like one. Check out more on our first annual selection of MN Bosses here.

Desiree Rogers, CEO Of Johnson Publishing, Honors Her Company’s History While Ushering It Into The Future

April 29th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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(Photo by Terrence Jennings/Picturegroup) via AP IMAGES

(Photo by Terrence Jennings/Picturegroup) via AP IMAGES

Sitting on the stage in a shock of neon green, Desiree Rogers spent her time on the “Power of Networking Panel” during Friday’s National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) 2013 National Networking Conference talking about the topic at hand (social media) as well as the company she leads (Johnson Publishing Co). Home to iconic African-American brands Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the company is just as much a part of the present and future as it is the past.

“We’re repositioning as a company that informs through the African-American experience,” Rogers said at one point.

For many people, these brands are closely associated with mothers and grandmothers, who never let their subscriptions lapse or their lipstick tube go empty. But, in a sit-down interview with MadameNoire after the panel discussion, Johnson made it clear that these are not dusty brands that should be put out to pasture. Instead, they’re evolving labels that are casting a wider net. While staying true to the audience that never forgets its African-American roots, these brands welcome everyone across the board; a bigger audiences that “wants to learn about different cultures,” Rogers added.

“We know we’re the curator of the African-American experience,” she told us. “We wouldn’t walk away from creating an authentic experience for the community. They talk to us, we listen.”

Still, a company like Fashion Fair, which started in order to accommodate models color who couldn’t find makeup shades for them, has always been about individuality and inclusion.

Backstage at the NAPW conference. Photo: Tonya Garcia

Backstage at the NAPW conference, Desiree Rogers (second from left) is joined by Kim Garst, CEO of Boom! Media, Star Jones, NAPW national spokeswoman, Martha Stewart, Lesley Jane Seymour, EIC of MORE magazine, and Monique Nelson, chairman and CEO of UniWorld Group. Photo: Tonya Garcia

“We want women to be able to come to our counters and walk away with the right color. Every woman has undertones; it’s more complicated for women of color. We’re experienced with true color on every pigment,” Rogers said. And, making a little news, Rogers told us that Fashion Fair Cosmetics will have its first in-store specialty shop at Macy’s coming soon. We’ll definitely be there for that.

In addition to talk about business, we, of course, had to ask Rogers about her career. Prior to becoming CEO at Johnson Publishing, she was the White House Social Secretary during President Obama’s first term. (We had to get a little fan girl about this… Obama!!)

According to her bio in the NAPW press kit, Rogers “produced 350 events in 14 months, turning the White House into a showcase for American art and culture” while showcasing “Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House as the ‘People’s House.'”

When asked how she made her way to the top of business — and to the White House — she echoed Russell Simmons a bit.

“The difference these days is people are doing things they’re really passionate about. You can’t fake it,” she told us.

She also gave us a three tips for transitioning from one job to the other:

-“Take your time. Don’t just jump from one job to the other. What do you want out of that next jump?”

-“Be flexible on the salary. You want a job that trains you for where you’re going.”

-“A lot of people say they want to be X without really know what that is. Sometimes you find out and you back off.”

During the panel, Rogers talked about balancing being a business leader, a mom, and having it all. The key is focusing on your personal “all,” not what you think others or society dictates that you should aspire to. And don’t be afraid to take short cuts. When her 22-year-old daughter was small, she used to lament the fact that the cookies she brought to class weren’t baked at home. “I’d say, ‘Look at all the cookies I bought!'” Rogers said to the audience. “You’ve got so many flavors.”

That room full of women executives laughed, clapped, and nodded in agreement.

ICYMI: Check out our Twitter feed for coverage from the NAPW conference.

Fashion Fair Cosmetics Celebrates 40 Years With Special Collections

April 9th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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fashion fair 1

The 2000s Divine Capsule Collection

Fashion Fair Cosmetics has been on shelves for 40 years, and to mark the milestone the company has released four capsule collections that take a look back at black style through the decades. The collections feature different shades of pink and include “lip teaser,” lipstick, nail polish, and blush.

The collections start with a 1970s Foxy Capsule Collection, a tribute to the company’s founder Eunice W. Johnson. That collection comes in lighter shades of pink. The final collection, photo above, is meant to capture the current beauty trends.

The Foxy Capsule Collection

The Foxy Capsule Collection

After the jump, take a peek at the other two Fashion Fair collections. They’re only available for a limited time. You can also check them out here.

Celebrity Makeup Artist Sam Fine Debuts Singature Collection With Fashion Fair Cosmetics

February 1st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Sam Fine with Tyra Banks at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards Dinner. via AP Images

Sam Fine with Tyra Banks at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards Dinner. via AP Images

When many people think of celebrity makeup artists, Sam Fine comes to mind. For 20 years he has worked on mega stars such as Iman, Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell, and Tyra Banks.

Now, he has finally released his own line of makeup. He has hooked up with Fashion Fair Cosmetics (FFC) to create Signature Makeup.

Last year, Fine was tapped by FFC, which is owned by Johnson Publishing Company, to join the company as creative makeup director. At the time his signature line of cosmetic products was also announced — and at last it is here. Industry experts are looking for Fine to revive FFC, which is more associated with an older generation. Some might not even know that it’s still around, reports the Huffington Post.

With Fine on board and with the debut of his makeup brand, FFC is not your grandmother’s makeup  anymore. Now in its 40th year, FCC recently launched its first-ever mineral liquid foundation collection featuring 18 shades. The Sam Fine For Fashion Fair Supreme Color Collection is inspired by Fine’s world travels, consists of eight lip colors, two eye-color quads and a shimmery lip gloss, adds HuffPo.

“For my first foray into cosmetics this is really special and to be able to continue in a tradition of excellence that Fashion Fair is and was known for,” Fine told the website. “It’s really fun to reinvigorate things and shake up the brand.”

Some of the saturated colors include a vibrant fuchsia lipstick called Pink Parfait and a flashy orange called Moroccan Spice. The lipstick is to be topped off with  Canary Diamond lip gloss. For the quads, there’s the Amalfi Coast colorway, which features a dark, dreamy brown and mossy green.

Sounds like Fine has already made FFC hot again.