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.
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.
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?