If you grew up reading EBONY and Jet magazines, then Black beauties wearing Fashion Fair Cosmetics graced your eyes on a regular basis. Over the past years, Fashion Fair Cosmetics hasn’t been the booming business it once was due to the downfall of Johnson Publishing. But now, they are coming back in full force.
According to WWD, Fashion Fair Cosmetics will be relaunching at Sephora on September 1. The brand is now owned by Desirée Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, who were previously executives at EBONY.
McKissack and Rogers also own Black Opal, another make-up brand catered to Black women.
Fashion Fair has tried to relaunch before, but they haven’t been successful efforts. In 2014, a new and improved line of cosmetics was revealed but Fashion Fair was hit with backlash from frustrated customers on social media after, the Washington Post noted. Their department store partners were also growing tired of having empty shelves in the Fashion Fair section. Johnson Publishing then went bankrupt in 2019, which officially put an end to Fashion Fair.
The company was founded in 1973 by Johnson Publishing, which was owned by Eunice and John Johnson, and catered to the skin tones of Black women when they were disregarded by other brands. Eunice Johnson got the idea when she noticed that the model who were walking in her EBONY Fashion Fair fashion shows were mixing foundations in order to create their perfect shade. She saw their plight and began making homemade demos. Once she took them to chemists, Fashion Fair came into fruition.
Rogers and McKissack are relaunching an iconic brand on a very different playing field. With more make-up brands like Fenty, Covergirl, Maybelline, MAC, NARS and many others taking an all-inclusive approach to the foundation shades provided, it won’t be an easy task for Fashion Fair to be as innovative as they once were. Even though it won’t be easy, there is definitely room for another Black-owned beauty brand.