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Fashion Fair goes after young audience

11th December 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

“If it was great for your mothers and great for your aunts, what makes you think it’s not great for you?”

That was the question Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers posed to the audience that came out last Saturday for the Fashion Fair “Say Yes” meet and greet, at Dillard’s Lakeside.

Rogers, a New Orleans native, along with Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of Johnson Publishing, came for a Big Easy visit to share the new look cosmetics and the new Fashion Fair mantra – “Say Yes to Life, Love and Beauty.”

Rogers and Rice encouraged the audience to check out the new-look website that includes the “Say Yes” short film; which Linda Johnson Rice states sets the tone for what Fashion Fair is; going forward.

The short allowed Fashion Fair to partner with Sundance award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and highlights beautiful Black women of all hues and ages who explore the power of the affirmative, while embracing individual beauty and celebrating what it means to say ‘yes’ to life’s possibilities.

“We have to stop saying No-No-No, and begin saying Yes-Yes-Yes!” Rogers told the ladies in the audience.

“Fashion Fair has always focused on the unique needs of women of color,” Rogers told The Louisiana Weekly. “The product lineup was reevaluated, with some items phased out, 48 were reformulated and 66 were added. There are currently approximately 200 skus in the full Fashion Fair assortment.”

The brand’s newest launches include a Perfect Finish Illuminating Powder, available in four shades, brightens up the face with this silky, shimmering, mineral based formula that delivers a sun kissed look, colors range from earth to air. It can be used year- round to highlight and contour, and True Fix, a dual-shaded medium-coverage foundation to create an even skin tone and it’s easy to blend. Two complementary cream shades leave a semi matte finish. It’s available in 30 shades in 15 compacts.

Attendees were able to test the options first hand. Fashion Fair Makeup Artists were on site to help create the fresh and natural or holiday glam looks.

Women of color found a home at the counters of Fashion Fair 40 years ago, when makeup to suit the needs of African-American women was nonexistent. The Fashion Fair brand is now looking to embrace a new generation.

“We picked up (younger) customers that were new to the brand of Fashion Fair,” Rice said. “We did this with the help of social media because we realized that it is critical in getting the word out and it gives a certain modernity to it, which is very exciting.”

Dana Franklin brought two of her girlfriends to the event.
“I’ve used Fashion Fair for quite some time; I always try to make the Dillard’s (makeup events) and I bring my girlfriends with me,” she says. “The makeup from other counters often gives that grey look; so I always stick with Fashion Fair; it works for Black women. And the colors they have, no one else has.”

Jeanne Poret says, “I’ve used Fashion Fair for quite a while and I’m so pleased with the makeup today. Their makeup helps covers the wrinkles.”

Linda Newton was sold on the natural look of the makeup. “I love this look,” she said. “It makes me look natural.”

Fashion Fair Cosmetics was born in 1973, named after the fashion show that inspired it (Ebony Fashion Fair). The brand was strategically marketed in high-end department stores and the line continued to expand by introducing skin care, fragrance and hair care products that addressed the needs of African-American women.

“When you say yes to beauty, it’s about the beauty that’s inside of you,” Linda Johnson Rice states. “It’s there; and it’s always been there-Fashion Fair is just here to help you bring it out.”

This article originally published in the December 9, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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