As we enter back-to-school season and a few days after L'Oréal dismissed its first black transgender model over a Facebook post speaking out against structural racism; the following came as another timely case study for my MBA Perfume & Cosmetics Management curriculum.
With the launch of "Fenty Beauty" and "Ivy Park" new ad campaign featuring models of all body types, faiths, complexions, age, gender and ethnicity - Rihanna and Beyoncé just broke the internet in the midst of New York Fashion Week.
Dear fashion and beauty brands still conflicted or in plain denial about "multiculturalism":
I hate to burst your bubble but there is a shameful sense of entitlement that comes with expecting props when sporadically featuring a token model of color or with a disability. Does it ring a bell? Your press releases usually read as such:
“BRAND X features FIRST [INSERT ETHNICITY OR QUIRKY TRAIT HERE] [INSERT GENDER] IN [INSERT RIDICULOUS TIME FRAME SUCH AS “100 YEARS” ].
Please take note.
With over 500 million followers across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, the global reach and social media influence these two powerhouses have combined, there is no more begging for "inclusion". Especially from Millennials and Gen Z who the industry as a whole has been frenetically obsessing over.
Not only are these products going to sell out in a heartbeat, consumers-at-large crave authenticity, genuinely identify and connect with these moguls on all emotional levels.
Indeed, this ‘new generation of beauty’ listens to, smells, eats, breathes, “feels” and now wears Beyoncé and Rihanna. Both have successfully tapped into a myriad of consumer goods segments and are now confidently stepping into "your" territory.
No such thing as "diversity" here. Embracing and catering to all should be common sense in 2017, your loss. You're still welcome to join my class and "get in formation"...
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