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Fashion Fair Cosmetics has made a comeback after years of struggling of to rise back to prominence and now the journey is being chronicled in a new documentary. The Beauty of Blackness, which was directed by Tiffany Johnson and Kiana Moore, tells the story of the Black-owned brand, founded by Eunice Johnson in 1973, that was catered to Black women at a time when other brands ignored them.
“The film examines Fashion Fair’s rapid rise to icon status and how the brand surpassed cultural obstacles to overcome beauty standards that previously excluded people of color,” read the press release. “Despite revolutionizing the beauty industry and becoming a household name for every Black and Brown woman in the 1970’s, the brand faced a rocky media landscape and encountered challenges due to emerging competitors.”
Johnson founded Fashion Fair Cosmetics after she noticed that models walking in the EBONY Fashion Fair shows were mixing foundations in order to get a shade that matched their complexion.
The documentary shows how Fashion Fair, which was relaunched in Sephora on Sept. 30, 2021, was able to be re-established during a time of inclusivity of all shades of brown under the CEOs Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. It features interviews with celebrities like Kelly Rowland, Pat Cleveland, Fashion Fair’s creative director Sam Fine and more who “witnessed firsthand the evolution of the category and who are celebrating and continuing to redefine beauty standards for people of color.”
“Fashion Fair changed the way I looked at beauty,” Rowland said in the trailer. “Making it feel like there was a space for us.”
Fine also touched on why the brand collapsed while being so beloved in the Black community.
“Fashion Fair fell off because they took their consumer for granted,” he said. “Nothing more.”
The Beauty of Blackness is now streaming on HBO MAX. See the trailer below.