*Back in the day, Fashion Fair was the go-to cosmetics brand for those wanting to look good.
But nowadays, the company is seemingly nowhere to be found as diehard customer wonder why they can’t get their Bronze Loose Powder, Perfect Finish Souffle Makeup and Brown Sugar Foundation Stick at their friendly neighborhood store.
Turns out, Fashion Fair’s M.I.A. status is due to the company transitioning into the modern age in what it deemed as a “replenishment.”
“Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our inventories,” Fashion Fair responded to customers wondering what’s going on with their favorite brand.
“We acknowledge that stock has been low in previous months; however, the replenishment process [is] underway!”
“No,” she told The Washington Post. “We’re not going out of business.”
Launched by Johnson Publishing, Fashion Fair ruled for decades as it fully capitalized on black media exposure in Ebony and Jet magazines to to cater to African American women that were ignored by major makeup companies. Out of the brand’s success came the creation of “Ebony Fashion Fair and the reality of addressing the beauty desires of black women way before Black Opal started promoting skin care and MAC cosmetics captured the attention of consumers with its concentrated pigments and marketing campaigns.
Regarding the reason behind its non-presence in stores, the Post cited interviews with Fashion Fair executives and industry observers, who suggested that the company has been “squeezed between cultural shifts in the cosmetics market and business challenges specific to a stand-alone brand.”
Despite the absence of Fashion Fair, things are going well for the U.S. prestige beauty market with 3 percent rise from sales of skin-care potions and lip color in 2014 to be worth $11.2 billion in 2014, according to the NPD Group.
For Fashion Fair specifically, it has strong competition from major corporation such as Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton that makes it challenging to prevail in today’s beauty industry. Adding to that it’s the company’s subsidiary status with Johnson Publishing, which has seen its share of setbacks with Ebony losing advertisers and Jet’s print edition closing in 2014, not to mention it putting its historic photo archive up for sale, among other things.
While it may be regarded as a brand more suited for mothers and grandmothers, Fashion Fair is making an effort to reach younger customers as it closes some outlets and remodel others. On an up note, the company’s redisign of its website has proved beneficial with Desiree Rogers, chief executive of Johnson Publishing revealing to the Post that it experienced a triple-digit increase in sales.
“E-business is a big part of the future,” she says, “especially for women replenishing what they already have.”
Comprising that future is Fashion Fair’s move to retire its signature pink packaging and replace it with metallic bronze.
As it stands now, a fresh advertising campaign with new “faces” will launch in 2016, the Post reports adding that the brand is livening up its presence on social media with sprinkling images of and Fashion Fair’s social media has been dotted with images of actresses such as Tika Sumpter, Raven-Symoné and Ciara and others who might appeal to a younger demographic.
For Rogers, the best is yet to come for Fashion Fair, with 75 percent of the company’s transformation complete. Nevertheless, customers are doubtful.
“We know we have to do better, and we will,” Rogers admitted to the Post. “We’re not here to make an excuse but to thank [customers] for their business. The worst is over.”
For more on what happened to Fashion Fair and its future, click here.