The Splendor of Blackness, a documentary now streaming solely on HBO Max, chronicles the rise — and revival — of just one of the American elegance industry’s most historic manufacturers: Manner Truthful Cosmetics.
1st launched in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, publishing govt and spouse of Johnson Publishing Firm CEO John H. Johnson, Fashion Truthful Cosmetics was the first nationwide makeup line formulated and intended specifically for Black women of all ages, an inclusive mission that is much more recognizable in today’s current market, but whose broad and wealthy shade variety was unattainable to obtain at the time.
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Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, equally previous executives at the Chicago-primarily based Johnson Publishing (which owned Ebony and Jet magazines, along with Style Truthful), bought the enterprise out of bankruptcy in November 2019 for $1.85 million, and now, as co-homeowners (and president and CEO, respectively) have ushered it into its subsequent chapter.
Courtesy of Heather Houston
The collection, which is now vegan and cruelty-free, includes basis, powder, priming serum, and 11 previous bestselling lipstick shades with the addition of new nudes. It is offered solely at Sephora and the brand’s revamped web site.
“I feel it has an possibility to enchantment to both equally girls who are loyalists and ladies who are new, who probably have not expert the model nevertheless,” Mayberry McKissack tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Like a lot of trailblazing initiatives, specifically in the natural beauty field, Vogue Good was born out of necessity. When Johnson could not find solutions that properly matched the complexions of Black products taking part in Ebony Style Reasonable (the yearly, touring fashion party she created that doubled as a charity fundraiser), the cosmetics line was born. It supplied a bold variety of tangerine and plum-hued lipsticks and eyeshadows for gals of shade (who were being usually promoted a lot more neutral earth-tones) and finally grew to become the initial intercontinental cosmetics brand name for ladies of color available in higher-finish office retailers like Neiman Marcus.
“She started out this firm to seriously deliver a remedy for a dilemma. The common market place organizations who have been advertising cosmetics were being not making shades for girls of shade,” claims Mayberry McKissack.
The documentary — directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Dear White Folks and Twenties) and Kiana Moore (vp of content material generation and head of Vox Media’s Epic Electronic) — tells this tale by way of a refrain of voices, together with former Fashion Honest versions like Pat Cleveland, singer Kelly Rowland, designer Sergio Hudson, and celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine.
Courtesy of Style Truthful
“Fashion Honest Cosmetics provided some of the most important cultural moments for people today of shade,” says Great, who above his 30-12 months vocation has labored with quite a few noteworthy actresses (Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Beyoncé Knowles, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson) and supermodels (Tyra Banking institutions, Veronica Webb, Iman, Naomi Campbell). “With very little to no illustration in cosmetics, Eunice Johnson single handedly made historical past and established a harmless haven for women of all ages of color in cosmetics — for the two buyers and workforce alike. I was thrilled to take part in the documentary and communicate on the historic rise, drop and relaunch of this iconic brand name. Obtaining grow to be the first Innovative Makeup Director and launching the initial co-branded selection for the brand name has been a highpoint in my occupation a homecoming of types.”
Filmed in excess of the program of 2020, the film was developed by Sephora in partnership with Vox Media’s Epic Digital, Vox Imaginative, and Ventureland, and streaming legal rights ended up ultimately acquired by HBO Max.
“One of the issues you see in it is that it tells the heritage and creates that bridge to be in a position to notify the tale of what has been, but is also similarly essential to explain to the tale of what is and what can be. And so you have got like a few unique divisions: what occurred, what is going on, and then you have folks projecting what this indicates for the upcoming,” says Mayberry McKissack.
Adds Rogers: “No one is heading to — just mainly because of nostalgia — obtain anything. So how do you excite persons now about a model that has the background but is in a crowded market? We labored with a Black dermatologist [Dr. Caroline Robinson] who knows skin, and we also worked with Sam Fine who really [knows color], in conditions of getting equipped to tweak all those undertones, generating particular that we have a neutral and a amazing undertone.”
Right now, next many cross-technology concentration team meetings, Rogers and McKissack have a solid perception of what the modern client is seeking for: ideal shade matches, normal ingredients, items that execute double responsibility — like moisturizing lipsticks with fantastic shade payoff.
“It really is the initially cosmetics organization that was created in honor of Black woman’s glamour, natural beauty and trend,” states Rogers. “Black ladies sit at the cornerstone of this wonderful manufacturer and we do not have several of these that have been all over 50 in addition years.”