NYFW, Launch Party: Rihanna gets it right with Fenty!
When Rihanna's beauty line, Fenty Beauty, launched last week during #nyfashionweek, the excitement was almost palpable. The superstar launched at the Sephora store in Times Square to show the world what she'd created and drove home the point that makeup needs to be for everyone. Fenty Beauty was created for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. "I want everyone to feel included.", Rihanna explains to her fans on her makeup line's website.
At the launch party, Rihanna elaborated: “It was really important for me in every product, I was like, there needs to be something for a dark skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be [something] for someone in between." One week later, her foundation was selling out at Sephora.
But is the fact that Fenty’s products are designed for women with a wide range of skin tones, in and of itself, remarkable?
Rihanna is not the first to that party, even though product lines that cater to dark-skinned women are still too rare in the industry. Dozens of well known brands sell foundation in at least 20 shades, and some, like #makeupforever and #coverfx, already have 40 on their shelves.
So, what makes Fenty such a game changer?
What’s noteworthy is that Rihanna has engineered an entire marketing campaign around the fact that her brand is inclusive. From the get-go, Fenty ad campaigns showcased a focus on diversity with models Duckie Thot, Slick Woods, Selena Forrest and Halima Aden all starring, and sporting the much-anticipated products.
This isn’t diversity-as-afterthought, or even diversity-as-matter-of-fact. It’s diversity-as-headline.
A political climate rife with divisiveness has fueled a rise in the yearning for inclusion. Rihanna gets it right by lending her status as a tastemaker and trendsetter to the idea that inclusion is something you can, and should, build a brand around. Disruptive and innovative brands geared to millennials, like beauty house #Kierin, embrace inclusion as a core calling. And what the early success of Fenty Beauty makes clear is that this message of inclusion is lucrative! So, what millennials and Manhattan Minds alike want to know now is, "Who's next from the celebrity set? Go for it!"
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Author: Mona Maine de Biran
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