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4 Reasons Why Fashion Fair Cosmetics is Disappearing from Department Stores

Avatar • Oct 29, 2015

If you’re a Fashion Fair consumer, then you’re probably wondering why your favorite cosmetic brand’s products are few and far between. According to an article written for the Washington Post, the brand is going through some major changes right now and its consumers are feeling hurt . The brand, which was founded in 1973, has been a favorite amongst African American women for decades. It’s a brand that’s so good at providing exact skin matches of foundation for women of color, that some women have been using the brand for over 20 years. Needless to say that most of the brand’s consumers have gone into complete panic mode now that Fashion Fair’s products seem to be disappearing from their local department stores. So, are they going out of business? According to Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns the makeup line, Fashion Fair is here to stay. However, there are four major reasons why Fashion Fair is disappearing.

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They’re Trying to Compete

Fashion Fair has prided itself on being a department store brand and not just a drug store brand. It’s actually the only major department store brand that caters to the skincare needs of black women specifically.  It’s known to be in stores like Dillard’s and Macy’s, but even they haven’t seen a shipment from the company in over a year. Today’s consumers are no longer buying their makeup from makeup counters at department stores. Instead, they’re opting to shop in multi-brand outlet stores like Sephora and Ulta where they can sample a variety of products without the annoying sales lady pushing them to buy. Fashion Fair has yet to make it to either of those stores.

They’re Re-branding

If Fashion Fair is going to continue to thrive in today’s beauty market, then they’re going to need to appeal to a younger audience. Most black women within this generation don’t think of youthful and fun makeup when they think of Fashion Fair. Instead, they tend to think of those little trademark pink compacts as something their mother or grandmother would wear. Fashion Fair is currently trying to change that.

Rogers says Fashion Fair has been closing some outlets and remodeling others. The company is also redesigning its Web site, which has enjoyed a triple-digit increase in sales, Rogers says. “E‑business is a big part of the future,” she says, “especially for women replenishing what they already have.”

Fashion Fair has retired its signature pink packaging and replaced it with metallic bronze. A fresh advertising campaign with new “faces” will launch in 2016 and Fashion Fair’s social media has been dotted with images of actresses such as Tika Sumpter, Raven-Symoné, Ciara and others who might appeal to a younger demographic. — Washington Post

 

Fashion Fair is an Extension of Ebony Magazine

Ebony has been losing advertisers and the last print edition of Jet magazine was published in 2014. Sometimes, people forget that Fashion Fair is an extension of Ebony. The loss in revenue is something that Chief Executive of Johnson Publishing, Desiree Rogers, attributes to the company being small with “capital constraints”.

These are good times for the U.S. prestige beauty market, which was worth $11.2 billion in 2014 — a 3 percent bump from 2013, driven by sales of skin-care potions and lip color, according to the NPD Group.

But Fashion Fair is a modest player in an industry dominated by major corporations: Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. And unlike the others, it’s a subsidiary of a troubled media company. Ebony is losing advertisers; the print edition of Jet closed in 2014. Johnson Publishing has put its historic photo archive up for sale; it has already sold its South Michigan Avenue headquarters. — Washington Post

Consumers are Buying in Bulk

Once word got out that Fashion Fair’s products were becoming scarce, women started buying their favorite products in bulk — afraid that they’re favorite eye shadows, foundations, and lipsticks might be gone forever.

Fashion Fair’s product shortfall built up slowly, Rogers says. But it eventually triggered a self-perpetuating cycle. Once customers realized products were scarce, they started buying in bulk whenever they could find them, which drew down stock even more. — Washington Post

 

Even though it’s understood that the brand wants to re-emerge with a fresh and modern take on beauty for African American women, they should put a little pep in their step. With brands like Avon now offering a similar palette of brown foundation hues, Fashion Fair may return to find that their loyal consumers ventured elsewhere.

Have you noticed the scarcity of Fashion Fair’s products?

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barbz
barbz
5 years ago

But yet we’re so quick to support brands that don’t even have our shades in foundation. *sigh* my people

Neickha
Neickha
5 years ago
Reply to  barbz

Right!!! Ive first used Fashion Fair was 17.(I’m 23 now) My mom took me to macys to get my first powder foundation for prom . Although I never wear makeup.(only on special occasions) Sometimes I will put on my powder and it makes my skin look so smooth but not cakey. I love fashion fair and it needs to be supported its a black owned brand and has been around for decades. Other brands are trying to cash in on brown girl collections by hiring black actors/celebrities. I can’t wait until they are rebranded I will happily invest like I… Read more »

Maggie A
5 years ago
Reply to  Neickha

The thing is the younger generation has the purchasing power FF just needs the right face and collab to put them back on the map. It sounds like a lot of the millennials were first exposed by our moms for proms and other special occasions but the newer generation is wearing makeup at a much younger age and they are wearing a lot of it.

Deborah McNeill
Deborah McNeill
3 years ago
Reply to  Neickha

Would love to, can’t find.

redpaperlantern
redpaperlantern
5 years ago

Now I know what is going on. Had I known in advance I would have bought in bulk, too.

Lele215
Lele215
5 years ago

Perhaps another reason-please forgive me if this is unkind-is the current leadership at Johnson Publishing. Linda Johnson Rice and Desiree Rogers appear to be running the company into the ground. First they sell the building and the couture collection. Instead of creating a business around the photo archive, they are trying to sell it. Don’t be surprised if the make-up line completely disappears in the next couple of years.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

I never could afford to buy them.

Tiffany Williams
Tiffany Williams
5 years ago

They’re not lying when they said Fashion Fair matches your exact shade. They have the best powder ever and it doesn’t look cakey or ashy. I hope they succeed. We need to stop supporting brands that have 40 shades for whites but only 3 shades for black.

Darla Jones
Darla Jones
5 years ago

Unfortunately, they don’t match my shade. =/

good2bfree
good2bfree
5 years ago

Though it’s great they’re ‘re-branding, they should have at least launched some type of publicity to let their core buyers know what was going on. To disappear without notice will make people believe they’re pulling camp.

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I like FF but as I don’t wear makeup often it lasts a long time. time to stock up. Best foundations and powders for our skin tones imo.

Dee
Dee
5 years ago

Fashion Fair needs to rebrand. Their packaging are least attractive. But i will say the quality and product variety is there. They should be doing much better. Seems like management is not doing a great job keeping the company relevant and market trends. I hope they succeed.

kinkykhick
kinkykhick
5 years ago

I should add makeup collection collaborations with different makeup artists might help fashion Fair keep abreast of makeup trends and techniques — like the one you did with Sam Fine. Collection collaborations with youtube gurus or celebs. may appeal with the younger customer base.

I hate to see all of this money flowing out of our community. I see youtubers buying eyeshadow palettes where 1/3 of the palette looks too chalky to be used by any person of color. Makes me sad.

Maggie A
5 years ago
Reply to  kinkykhick

Yes people like Missy Lynn and Jackie Aina to name a few would be really great.

Maggie A
5 years ago

The first makeup I ever tried was for my high school prom and it was Fashion Fair. I tried to stick with it but as discussed in the above, the sales personnel were not very helpful because they didn’t care for my buying power. Now I’m more drawn to brands like Lancome and other brands sold in Sephora. But Raven-Symone though? I don’t know about the Watermelondrea-police brutality shade throwing-I’ll say anything for air time tv host.

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  Maggie A

I’m hopeful that after all of her nonsense and drama they’ll drop her like the View is currently trying to do.

They had a point about reinventing themselves for a younger audience though. Fashion fair reminds me of my grandma (not in a negative way; it is what it is). The makeup she used to let me play with when I was younger was Fashion Fair, actually!!

I stopped by a Macy’s the other day and looked at the FF booth. BEAUTIFUL lipstick colors!!!

Sassy24
Sassy24
5 years ago

My first lipstick from them was mocha mink 2 years ago. I just brought chocolate raspberry and tropical pink, love them. Next on my list is ole orange, divine and posh and femme is in the mail. Love them hope they come back with a bang.

Lakitha Goss
Lakitha Goss
5 years ago

Poor marketing and management are to blame. There are many brands catering to women of color. Consumers readily want their products and want availability.

Darla Jones
Darla Jones
5 years ago

To be honest, I tried to support Fashion Fair but surprisingly, they do not carry foundation for my skin tone. I’m a brown skin chick with a yellow undertone. It was interesting yet sad to see that they did not have any foundation that matched me. I now by my foundation from Lancome. As much as I want to support Black businesses, Lancome has foundation for me. Hopefully, in the future they will have my foundation, so that I can support them.

FunctionalForm
FunctionalForm
5 years ago
Reply to  Darla Jones

I had the exact same issue with their foundation. I then also switched to Lancome, who discontinued my shade. I now use Estee Lauder–hopefully, I won’t have to brand-hop again for a bit.

Darla Jones
Darla Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  FunctionalForm

Yea it sucks trying to find a consistent makeup brand. How are you liking Estee Lauder? How does it compare to Lancome?

Dorism57
Dorism57
5 years ago

FF need to take a hint at MAC, the loud music, beautiful sales people, gay makeup artist…they don’t neccearly advertise on radio and tv, but they do in the stores instead. FF is not keeping up with the time!

Lakitha Goss
Lakitha Goss
5 years ago
Reply to  Dorism57

Exactly. They need to hook the younger generations.

Lenette Ranger
Lenette Ranger
5 years ago

I have noticed a lack of products at Macy’s Department Store here in Downtown Boston and there are never any sales associates at the counter to assist me.

Cosita
Cosita
4 years ago

Ipsade. My mom went to buy FF where she lives to find it no longer being sold. We went to the department store where I live and they were out of the majority of the foundation colors. We were told by the clerk that FF was to blame because the company is super slow at shipping stock. She said people come in asking for it all the time. So like the article said people can’t find it and go elsewhere. My mom and I have different complexions but yellow undertones and this line matches us best. Also no one was… Read more »

Connie Adkism
Connie Adkism
3 years ago

I HAVE USED FASHION FAIR FOR 42 YEARS NOW WHAT DO WE BLACK WOMEN THAT OUR FAITHFUL CUSTOMER DO NOW. I LIVE IN DALLAS TEXAS AND I’M JUST TOO THROUGH.

kinkykhick
kinkykhick
5 years ago

After re- branding and reformulating (i.e. get rid of those mineral oil laden products) , Fashion Fair should consider selling products on the TV shopping networks. They could reach many of their 30 yr old + customers without the department store overhead. Of course you must have merchandise stocked to be able do those numbers. For the younger set hit up the youtube beauty gurus and keep up with trends…maybe even set some.

kinkykhick

Evelyn Y. Ramsey
Evelyn Y. Ramsey
3 years ago

I live in Dallas, and Fashion Fair DOESN’T???HELP???

Nicole
Nicole
3 years ago

I agree that FF needs to step up their game. The beauty business is very competitive, and these other companies are now offering darker shades for black women. However, I would never support these companies because we were just an afterthought. They are only including us now because of the almighty black woman dollars. They won’t get a penny of my money. I will continue to patronize Fashion Fair. Their colors are designed specifically for black women from the lightest to the darkest of skin tones. Further, no one has that signature FF polished finish. I will not patronize other… Read more »

Deborah McNeill
Deborah McNeill
3 years ago

Very disappointing not being able to find the foundation in stores anymore. Can’t find in Charlotte NC at all. I’ve been using for about 30 years consistently, and others don’t compare. If I had known, I would have stocked up. I guess I can order online, but with the higher prices online an shipping costs and taxes included, almost too pricey. I’ve consciously tried to buy black, but I don’t like being without the product when I need it.

Panthea
3 years ago

FF should return ASAP! Advertise on TV, FB, YOU TUBE, etc. as FASHION FAIR THE NEXT GENERATION!

dar
dar
3 years ago

Fashion Fair is a very disappointing company. They pale in comparison to what they were back in the day. I can’t find the foundation that I’ve used for a while any more. Every place I’ve tried (Macy’s, Lord & Taylor) have been out of stock for two (2) years. This article said that if FF wants to stay in the market they’ll need to create youthful makeup. Well youthful make-up has nothing to do with foundation color selection. Our complexion comes in many different shades and those shades never grow old and has nothing at all to do with be youthful. It… Read more »

Cynthia Meankins
Cynthia Meankins
3 years ago

Hello!!! Firstly I would like to say is that I love FF,and have always since it came out. I started using it in 1973. And have continued.I hope it never goes away!!! However I know that the compacts have gone thru the color trans of pink, which I loved so, and now in Brown it’s OK, but not as” eye catchy”. Please no offense!!! I would still purchase if it came in a tin can, but maybe now you should change up the color, such as a combo of Purple,and Lepord, or Lavender, and Orange,Apricot, Zebra design,exotic designs with “eye-catchy”… Read more »

Diane Patterson
Diane Patterson
3 years ago

I love the forever fushia lipstick by fashion fair. I have tried to find it everywhere with no luck. I Hope one day fashion fair bring it back.

Parker
Parker
3 years ago

I wish I was a billionaire so I could buy Fashion Fair and turn it into the new NARS.

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