Review: ‘Donyale Luna: Supermodel,’ starring Dream Cazzaniga, Luigi Cazzaniga, Beverly Johnson, Omar K. Boone, Lillian Washington, David Bailey, Juan Fernandez and David Croland

September 13, 2023

by Carla Hay

Donyale Luna in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Photo by Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO)

“Donyale Luna: Supermodel”

Directed by Nailah Jefferson

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” features a group of white and black people (with one Latino) discussing the life and career of model Donyale Luna, who broke barriers for black female models in the fashion industry.

Culture Clash: After being bullied through her teenage years in her hometown of Detroit, because of her unusual physical appearance, Luna reinvented herself and quickly became an international supermodel, but she experienced career-damaging racism and had ongoing personal problems, such drug abuse, mental health issues, and a career that burned out almost as quickly as it lit up.

Culture Audience: “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in biographies of unusual and underrated celebrities; the fashion industry in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s; and people who broke racial barriers in their industries.

Donyale Luna in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Photo by Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO)

When people think of the first black woman to be on the cover of Vogue, they might think that supermodel Beverly Johnson holds that distinction. Johnson was actually the first black woman to be on the cover of American Vogue, in 1974. The first black woman to be on the cover of any Vogue was Donyale Luna, who achieved this milestone by gracing the cover of British Vogue, in 1966. Luna (whose first name was pronounced “dawn-yell”) was also the first black woman to be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, in 1965, but as an illustration, not in a photograph.

If you’ve never heard of Luna, you’re not alone. The documentary “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” shines a deserving spotlight on this often-overlooked model, who died of a heroin overdose in 1979, at the age of 33. Johnson, whose modeling career benefited from Luna’s racial breakthroughs, is interviewed in the documentary. Johnson admits that early on in Johnson’s career, she had never heard of Luna.

Directed by Nailah Jefferson, “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (which had its world premiere at the 2023 American Black Film Festival) follows a traditional celebrity documentary format of having a mixture of archival footage and interviews that are exclusive to the documentary. However, Luna is such an unusual subject, and there’s such a great variety of people who are interviewed, the movie doesn’t ever feel too formulaic. It’s a riveting and well-rounded biography about a trailblazing model who never became a household name but whose impact and influence resonate for generations after her untimely passing. This documentary also explores generational trauma and pop culture.

“Donyale Luna” is artfully told in five chapters named after the cities that each defined a certain era in Luna’s life. Chapter One begins in Detroit, followed by Chapter Two in New York City, Chapter Three in London, Chapter Four in Paris, and Chapter Five in Rome. Detroit is where Peggy Ann Freeman (Luna’s real name) was born in August 31, 1945, as the middle of three sisters. She lived in Detroit through her teenage years. Her favorite movie was “West Side Sory.” Much of her childhood was scarred by bullying that she got from her some of peers because she was very tall (reportedly growing to 6’2″), slender and had big eyes. She was often called “ugly” by people who thought she didn’t fit their standard of beauty.

Adding to her unhappiness, her strict parents had a volatile on-again/off-again marriage that ended in a tragedy that won’t be described in this review, so as not reveal too much information that’s in the documentary. There’s a lot about Luna in the documentary that viewers will be finding out for the first time. There are some people interviewed in the documentary who break down in tears when talking about her, so viewers should not be surprised if they get emotional too when they watch this documentary.

Several of Luna’s family members are interviewed, including Luna’s younger sister, Lillian Washington, who says that her parents had a “history of domestic violence.” Her father Nathaniel Freeman (a longtime Ford Motor Company employee) physically abused their mother Peggy Freeman (a longtime YWCA employee), according Luna’s Detroit childhood friend Omar K. Boone, who’s interviewed in the documentary. Boone also says that when he knew Luna in her teen years, she was “unsophisticated” but a “quick learner.”

Washington and many others in “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” describe Luna as having an other-worldly beauty that would make people stop what they were doing and stare at her if she was in their presence. People who knew her best also describe her inner beauty of radiating kindness and love. However, Luna also had lifelong insecurities about the way she looked and about being accepted by other people. Several people in the documentary say that Luna habitually made up stories about herself and sought to escape in fantasy worlds that she fabricated.

The combination of these insecurities and the bullying she got as a child led her to invent the Donyale Luna persona for herself when she was a teenager. She started speaking in a European accent and pretended to be multiracial, even though she and her parents were African American. The documentary’s archival footage of her from the late 1960s shows that Luna wore piercing blue contact lenses that didn’t look like human eyes. It’s mentioned that Luna’s father disapproved of this invented persona because he felt that she was denying her African American heritage.

Washington says of Luna’s childhood and teenage years: “All the black guys thought she was crazy. They called her ‘skinny’ and ‘bony.’ They called her Olive Oyl. They hurt her to her core. I think that encouraged her to create her own persona.” Josephine Armstrong, Luna’s older sister, confirms about Luna: “She would pretend and tell stories.”

Luna’s life would change when she was discovered in Detroit by photographer David McCabe, who urged her to go to New York City (where he was based) to become a fashion model. McCabe, who is one of the people interviewed in the documentary, believes that Luna lied about her racial identity (at various times, she claimed that she was part-white, part-Latino, part Asian and/or part-Native American) because she probably felt that if people knew she was fully African American, she would experience more racism. It’s also mentioned in the documentary that Luna often talked about wishing that she had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Armed with her invented persona, Luna took McCabe’s advice and moved to New York City, in 1964. Within a few months of living in New York City, Luna was featured in the pages of major fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. She also began hobnobbing with artsy and avant-garde types. For example, McCabe says that he introduced Luna to Andy Warhol. Luna is described as someone who kept in touch with family members but also publicly denied or lied about many things about her family. The documentary mentions that she showed no interest in going back to the United States to visit her biological family after she moved to Europe.

Luna soon branched out into acting in some films, mostly supporting roles in middling movies, such as 1966’s “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?” and 1969’s “Fellini Satyricon.” Her filmography as an actress was not extensive. According to the Internet Movie Database, Luna had credited roles as an actress in only five feature films from 1965 to 1972, with 1972’s “Salome” being the only movie where she had a starring role. She appeared as herself in several other movies.

Although she was in the public eye, Luna kept many things about herself very private and was able to fool a lot of people with her lies about her background. “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” does not mention that while she was living in New York in the mid-1960s, she was married for less than a year to an unknown actor. Very little is known about this 10-month marriage except that it ended in divorce, and Luna refused to publicly talk about this ex-husband. It says a lot about the times that she lived in, long before the Internet existed, that she was able to keep up her charade of pretending to be an exotic, multiracial European and hide many facts about her personal life.

One of her closest friends during this time was David Croland, an artist who freely admits that heavy drug use was part of their friendship and lifestyles. In the documentary, Croland says that he and Luna would regularly use marijuana, hashish and LSD. Other people in the documentary also talk about Luna’s drug abuse, which they believe was part of her need to mentally escape from her problems and try to avoid her insecurities. Family members and friends say that Luna often used drugs but was never addicted. However, it’s hard to know if that’s true, or if it’s denial from loved ones who don’t want to publicly admit that Luna could have been a drug addict.

Even with her very quick success in the fashion industry, Luna still experienced many racial barries as a black model in the mid-1960s. It was one thing to be in some fashion spreads. It was another thing to get on the cover of major magazines or get lucrative endorsement deals, which at the time were still privileges given only to white models. The documentary mentions that Luna eventually became disillusioned with the racism she experienced in the United States. The U.S. civil rights movement was going on at the same time, but she didn’t get involved in this movement or any political activism.

Luna’s career skyrocketed after she moved to London in December 1965. She would later live in Paris and then Rome. She was living in an isolated part of Italy and was in semi-retirement at the time of her death. During her years in London, she continued to hang out with the rich and famous and dated some celebrities, including Rolling Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones and actor Klaus Kinski. Luna can be seen as an assistant to a fire eater in the music variety film “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus,” which was filmed in 1968, but wasn’t released until 1996.

Two very famous photographers are mentioned in the documentary as having the most influence on Luna’s supermodel career: Richard Avedon (an American who died in 2004, at the age of 81) and David Bailey, a Brit who is interviewed in the documentary. Bailey says that he was vaguely aware of racism in the fashion industry, but he claims that he wasn’t one of the racists. Bailey comments about Luna: “I didn’t think about her being black. She was just someone who was beautiful.”

The general consensus is that Luna found greater acceptance in Europe than she did in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean that she never stopped experiencing racism. The documentary includes a heartbreaking account of racist decisions made by Diana Vreeland (American Vogue’s editor-in-chief from 1963 to 1971) that blocked Luna from getting major career opportunities. In the documentary, former supermodel Johnson begins to cry when she hears the details. “It’s an accumulation of all the pain,” Johnson says of her crying over the racism that she, Luna and many other black people have experienced.

Other emotionally touching segments in the documentary have to do with Luna’s only child: a daughter named Dream Cazzaniga, who was only 18 months old when Luna died. Cazzaniga, who was raised by her father’s parents in Italy, reads many of Luna’s journal entries in the documentary. Luna was a talented illustrator, and the documenatry includes some of her art. Cazzaniga also candidly shares her thoughts on her memories of her mother and how she felt growing up without her mother, whose death is a “taboo” subject for the Cazzaniga family.

Because “luna” means “moon” in Spanish and in Italian, Luna often told people she had a special connection to the moon. Near the beginning of the documentary, Cazzaniga can be heard in a voiceover saying, “Growing up in Italy, I remember seeing the moon. My nanny was telling me, ‘Oh, look, that’s your mom looking from the sky.’ I never doubted that whenever I was looking at the moon, I thought that was my blessing from her.”

Later in the documentary, Dream’s Italian father Luigi Cazzaniga, who was a photographer when he married Luna in 1976, is shown being interviewed and going with Dream to visit a few of the places where he and Luna made their lives in Italy. He describes Luna as someone who loved being a mother but she was feeling increasingly unhappy with living in a remote area where she had little or no contact with her friends she used to know as a model. Luigi’s family members, whom Dream describes as conservative and religious Catholics, rejected Luna and wouldn’t allow her inside their homes. Luigi had to frequently travel because of his photographer job, so Luna was often left home alone with Dream.

Former supermodel Pat Cleveland, whose career blossomed in the 1970s around the same time as Johnson’s career, tells a harrowing story in the documentary about how Luna seemed to be mentally unraveling over all the lies and the fake persona that Luna created for herself. Cleveland describes Luna as someone who was desperately lonely and literally begging for help in the last year of Luna’s life, when Luna confessed to Cleveland that she was really an American from Detroit. Cleveland says she felt powerles to help someone whom she didn’t know every well and who was already on a downward spiral. It’s not said out loud, but it’s implied that Luna was not getting any therapy or other professional help for her mental health issues when she was living in Italy.

Several people interviewed in the documentary give cultural and historical context to why Luna’s accomplishments in the fashion industry also came with racial burdens that might have been heavier in her lifetime but still exist for many people today. Constance White, an author and former editor-in-chief of Essence, comments on white Euro-centric standards of beauty that dominate in Western culture: “It’s something that Black women have a singular experience with.” White adds that these beauty standards often have this direct or indirect message for Black women: “Everything about you is wrong.”

Other interviewees in the documentary include fashion designer/activist Aurora James, Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, Duke University art history professor Dr. Richard J. Powell, talent agent Kyle Hagler, Richard Avedon’s former assistant Gideon Lewin and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. Three of Luna’s close friends interviewed in the documentary are Sanders Bryant, a pal who knew her from high school; actor Juan Fernandez; who describes his relationship with Luna as being like a sibling relationship; and artist Livia Liverani, who says that Luna was frequently misunderstood.

“Donyale Luna: Supermodel” is certainly not the first documentary to be about someone who had troubles coping with fame and who eventually faded into near-obscurity. However, this documentary makes a clear case for people to learn more about Luna’s legacy—not just as a model in the fashion industry but also as a loved one who changed the lives of the people who were closest to her. Fame and money can be fleeting. The areas where Luna made the most impact cannot be measured by magazine covers or monetary amounts.

HBO premiered “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” on September 13, 2023.

Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa team up for La Vacanza collection for women

May 4, 2023

Dua Lipa and Donatella Versace (Photo courtesy of Versace)

The following is a press release from Versace:

The Versace “La Vacanza” fashion show, will take place on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Cannes, France. The show will feature a women’s collection co-designed by Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa.  The “La Vacanza” collection will be available in store and on-line on Versace.com immediately following the show.  

“I have always been inspired by a collaborative design process. Working with Dua on this collection has been very exciting and I love the dynamic between us. Dua is strong, fearless, and free and her creative vision is exceptional. Summer is a magical time. We will capture this feeling and the colours of that time of the year with a truly special and intimate fashion show in Cannes.” – Donatella Versace, Chief Creative Officer, Versace

“I am absolutely thrilled to have co-designed the women’s “La Vacanza” collection for Versace with Donatella. She and I have formed such a strong bond over the years, and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from her and the whole team since the very beginning of my career. For her to give me the honor of co-designing this collection and letting all my summer inspirations go wild has been a dream. I am so very proud of this collection and cannot wait to debut it in Cannes.” – Dua Lipa

https://dam.gettyimages.com/universal/

2023 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

May 1, 2023

The 54th annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 1, 2023. The event’s theme in 2023 was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” so guests were encouraged to dress in fashion inspired by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, at the age fo 85. The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by actress/screenwriter Michaela Coel, actress Penélope Cruz, tennis star Roger Federer, singer Dua Lipa and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

Louis Vuitton appoints Pharrell Williams to men’s creative director

February 14, 2023

Pharrell Williams (Photo by Adam Rose/ABC)

The following is a press release from Louis Vuitton:

Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome Pharrell Williams as its new Men’s Creative Director, effective immediately. His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed this June during the Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universes expand from music, to art, and to fashion – establishing himself as a cultural, global icon over the past twenty years. The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a Cultural Maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit and entrepreneurship.

“I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director. His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.” declares Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO.

Pharrell Williams Biography

Pharrell Williams is a visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur with 10B combined global music streams to date. He has been honored with 13 Grammy Awards, including 2004, 2014, and 2019 Producer of the Year, and ASCAP’s Golden Note Award in 2012. He has received two Academy Award nominations: for his original song “Happy” (from “Despicable Me 2”) and for Best Picture-nominated “Hidden Figures” (2016) as co-producer. Williams also received a Golden Globe nomination for co-scoring the film. In 2019, Williams received an Emmy nomination for his original song “Letter to My Godfather,” for Netflix’s “Black Godfather” about legendary music executive Clarence Avant. In 2020, Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work as The Neptunes.

In 2018, Pharrell narrated Universal’s remake of the classic film “The Grinch,” authored the book “A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet,” and released the Netflix priginal series “Brainchild” (2018) with his producing partner, Mimi Valdés. Other projects include “Dope” (2015), “Roxanne Roxanne” (2017), “Voices of Fire” (2020) and Amazon’s “Harlem” (which has been renewed for a second season_ and Lena Waithe’s “Rollin’” for HBO Max.

In 2019, Pharrell founded YELLOW, a non-profit working to even the odds for all youth through education, helping them realize their potential. In 2020, Williams launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that provides a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, healthcare, Web 3.0 and consumer products/services start-ups. A longtime advocate against racial injustice, Pharrell was an integral part in talks with Virginia Governor Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday. In April 2019, Williams launched his first SOMETHING IN THE WATER, a multi-day music festival and experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. Last summer, Williams brought his SOMETHING IN THE WATER Music festival to Washington D.C. on Juneteenth Weekend (June 17 – 19). This April, SOMETHING IN THE WATER returns to Virginia Beach and will continue its mission spotlighting the community.

Pharrell excels as a fashion designer and entrepreneur with his Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream apparel among other brands. In the fall of 2019, Williams teamed up with David Grutman and opened both Swan and Bar Bevy in Miami’s Design District, and The Goodtime Hotel in 2021. In 2020, Pharrell founded Humanrace™, a product company with a mission to empower all individuals in their pursuit of well being across product and people.

A longtime advocate against racial injustice, Pharrell was an integral part in the talks with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday and continued to make the push for it to become a national holiday.

Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 4: photos and videos

November 8, 2022

Rihanna in “Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4” on November 8, 2022 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Dennis Leupold for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 presented by Prime Video)

The following is a press release from Prime Video:

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the extraordinary fashion experience continues to challenge tradition and break boundaries. The trailblazing event is raising the bar yet again with a new all-star lineup of models, actors, some of the biggest names in music, and more, debuting the latest Savage X Fenty styles. Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will feature performances by global musical artists including Anitta, Burna Boy, Don Toliver, and Maxwell, and special appearances from Ángela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Kornbread, Lara Stone, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Precious Lee, Rickey Thompson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylour Paige, Winston Duke, Zach Miko, and many more.

A seductive fashion fever dream, this year’s show blends Emmy award-winning choreography, style, and music with the hypnotic essence of nocturnal nature. Featuring a star-studded cast all wearing the newest Savage X Fenty looks, the show is an un-missable visual feast.

Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide beginning November 9, 2022.

With the release of Vol. 4, the last Savage X Fenty collection will be available to shop in the Amazon Fashion store and at Savage X Fenty on November 9. An homage to self-expression and personal empowerment, Rihanna’s latest collection features disparate textures, unexpected detailing, and unconventional proportions that come together seamlessly to create a boundary-bending Xperience for everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear, and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL. Customers can visit the Amazon Fashion Store and Savage X Fenty for more information.

Rihanna serves as executive producer and creative director of Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4.

About Savage X Fenty

Savage X Fenty embodies fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity. With a team assembled from the industry’s elite, the label has disrupted and redefined the marketplace with its accessible price points, extensive assortment of styles made for everyBODY, and unique approach that celebrates individuality. “We want to make people look good and feel good,” explains Rihanna, who approaches Savage X Fenty with the same mentality she does all her projects—to make something new and fresh that everyone can relate to and feel confident in. “We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.” From everyday essentials, men’s underwear, and sleepwear, to elevated loungewear and more provocative pieces—Savage X Fenty has something for every mood, every vibe and everyBODY. Offering bra sizes ranging from 30–46 in bands and A–H in cups (up to 46DDD/42H), and underwear, sleepwear and loungewear ranging from XS–4X/XS–XXXXL, Savage X Fenty is available for purchase at www.SavageX.com and its retail stores.  

About Amazon Fashion 
Amazon Fashion, the fashion retail division of Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), is a one-stop destination for head-to-toe style. Find apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, handbags, and luggage from a wide range of designer, contemporary, and emerging brands for any occasion, any style and any budget. Amazon Fashion continues to expand its wide selection and create new experiences on behalf of its customers, including Prime exclusive programs like Prime Try Before You Buy, allowing you to try before you buy, and Personal Shopper by Prime Try Before You Buy, a service that provides style inspiration and curated recommendations. Amazon Fashion also introduced The Drop, an innovative shopping experience that gives customers access to limited-edition street-style collections designed by fashion influencers around the world. In 2020, Amazon Fashion unveiled Luxury Stores, a destination that brings established and emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands directly to U.S. customers. Amazon Fashion aims to reinvent shopping for fashion and uses technology to serve customers with products and brands that are relevant to them. For more information, please visit www.amazon.com/fashion.

About Prime Video

Prime Video offers customers a vast collection of movies, series, and sports—all available to watch on hundreds of compatible devices.

  • Included with Prime Video: Watch movies, series, and sports, including Thursday Night Football. Enjoy series and films including Emmy winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Emmy-nominated satirical superhero drama The Boys, and the smash hits Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, Harlem, Reacher, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, The Tender Bar, Being the Ricardos, The Tomorrow War, and Coming 2 America. Prime members also get access to licensed content. 
  • Prime Video Channels: Prime members can add channels like discovery+, Paramount+, BET+, EPIX, Noggin, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, STARZ, and SHOWTIME—no extra apps to download, and no cable required. Only pay for the ones you want, and cancel anytime.  View the full list of channels available at amazon.com/channels.
  • Rent or Buy: Enjoy new-release movies to rent or buy, entire seasons of current TV shows available to buy, and special deals just for Prime members.
  • Instant access: Watch at home or on the go with your choice of hundreds of compatible devices. Stream from the web or using the Prime Video app on your smartphone, tablet, set-top box, game console, or select smart TV. 
  • Enhanced experiences: Make the most of every viewing with 4K Ultra HD- and High Dynamic Range (HDR)-compatible content. Go behind the scenes of your favorite movies and TV shows with exclusive X-Ray access, powered by IMDb. Save it for later with select mobile downloads for offline viewing.

Prime Video is just one of many shopping, savings, and entertainment benefits included with a Prime membership, along with fast, free shipping on millions of Prime-eligible items at Amazon.com, ultrafast grocery delivery and pickup, unlimited photo storage, exclusive deals and discounts, prescription savings, and access to ad-free music, books, and games. To sign up or start a 30-day free trial of Prime, visit: amazon.com/prime


Ulta Beauty pop-up debuts at the Allure Store

July 6, 2022

Ulta Beauty at the Allure Store (Photo courtesy of the Allure Store)

The following is a press release from the Allure Store:

The Allure Store, an immersive retail experience from the global beauty authority Allure, today announced a groundbreaking collaboration with the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty. For a limited time, the interactive Ulta Beauty pop-up will offer Allure Store guests a monthly curated assortment reflecting newness as well as highlighting the retailers’ strategic initiatives.

“One year after the Allure Store debut, we’re thrilled to announce our first retail partnership with such a beloved leader, Ulta Beauty,” says Sonny Gindi, Co-Founder of STOUR – a retail media company, who with partner Eden Melloul, developed the Allure Store concept. “We are proud to pave the path in merging beauty media and retail to disrupt traditional brick and mortar experiences. Our shared passion for meeting beauty lovers where they are and reimagining retail reinforces why this collaboration is a perfect fit.”

The pop-up will run from July through September 2002, in an industry-first collaboration of retail and media beauty leaders, further bridging the gap between traditional retail and editorial curation. Ulta Beauty’s dedicated footprint within the Allure Store will showcase a unique assortment of coveted brands, refreshed monthly and complimented by experiential programming and engaging events.

“We’re always innovating to delight new and existing guests and fuel beauty discovery across our unparalleled assortment and The Allure Store delivers an exciting opportunity to do just that,” said Maria Salcedo, senior vice president, merchandising at Ulta Beauty. “We’re excited to highlight a curated assortment that brings Ulta Beauty to life in one of New York City’s most influential shopping destinations this summer.”

At launch, Ulta Beauty will shine a light on its own Ulta Beauty Collection as well as newer brands within its assortment such as Andrew Fitzsimons, Billie Eilish Fragrance, Black Girl Sunscreen, Charli D’Amelio Fragrance, Fenty Beauty, Love Wellness, Morphe, NYX, Olaplex, r.e.m. beauty and Supergoop!, among others. The bespoke curated assortment will be refreshed with new offerings in August and September reflecting exciting initiatives and assortment heroes across Conscious Beauty, The Wellness Shop and BIPOC brands, among others.

“Ulta Beauty has long been an important retail partner of Allure, and we are excited to extend that collaboration to the Allure Store,” said Allure editor in chief Jessica Cruel. “We are eager to give some of our editor-favorite brands a new and unique opportunity to reach our audience.”

The Ulta Beauty at Allure Store pop-up is available to shop now through September 30, 2022, and is open daily between 11AM-7PM at 191 Lafayette Street, New York City. To learn more, visit www.allure.shop and follow along with the brand on Instagram, @theallurestore.

About Allure Store:

The Allure Store operates as a partnership between Condé Nast and the STÔUR Group. Allure is published in the U.S. by Condé Nast and in South Korea under license agreement with Doosan Group.

Rihanna launches Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin in Africa

May 13, 2022

Rihanna (Photo courtesy of Fenty)

The following is a press release from Fenty:

“I am a proud Bajan who also feels a close connection to Africa, and its people. I’ve had the pleasure, and the privilege, to spend time on the continent and those experiences never leave you. Now, being able to bring Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to eight African countries and then hopefully more in the future— means so much to me.” – Rihanna

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 in an unprecedented 17 countries with vision of inclusivity and global reach at its core, she sought to help “everyone feel beautiful and recognized, no matter their race, ethnicity, culture or personal style.” Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after trying to find products that worked across all skin types and tones. With Rihanna’s mandate of inclusivity, Fenty Beauty offers a wide range of products for traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Fast forward to 2020, Rihanna launched her clean, vegan and eco-friendly skincare line, Fenty Skin, and amplified her unwavering mission to provide simple and effective beauty solutions for all. As a result, she ignited a beauty movement and “a community that supports and uplifts each other.” Rihanna created both Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin with a global vision in mind to reinforce the “Beauty For All” notion. It is this brand ethos that makes Rihanna’s decision to expand her Fenty brands to Africa a momentous milestone and natural next step.

“Every launch is exciting— we’re all about being reachable to everyone, everywhere. But launching across Africa in eight countries not only feels really significant to me on a personal level, but is also a big step towards our goal of bringing Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin to the whole world.” – Rihanna

Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin will be available for purchase across Africa, including cult-favorite complexion essentials like Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation and Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, best-selling lip products like Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color, and her must-have skincare starters including Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen and Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser. Additionally, customers in Africa will be able to immediately pick up the newest launches from the brands, like Fenty Beauty Fenty Icon Refillable Lipstick – a luxurious semi-matte lipstick collection – and  Sun Stalk’r Face + Eye Bronzer & Highlighter Palette – a do-it-all bronzer-inspired palette with two new highlighter shades – and Fenty Skin Pre-Show Glow Instant Retexturizing Treatment– A powerful exfoliating treatment loaded with 10% AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), rooibos, fruit enzymes, and extracts to make your skin look smooth, glowing, and photo-ready in just one minute.

Within Africa, Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin will be available starting May 27 at the following retailers:

South Africa

Arc Stores
www.arcstore.co.za

Edgars
www.edgars.co.za

Nigeria

Essenza Nigeria
www.essenza.ng

Kenya

Lintons Beauty
www.lintonsbeauty.com

Namibia

Edgars

Botswana

Edgars

Ghana

Essenza Ghana

Zambia

Color Café Zambia
www.colorcafe.com

Zimbabwe

Catts

ABOUT FENTY BEAUTY

Fenty Beauty, led by CEO Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH. Rihanna created Fenty Beauty “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, developing formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Her vision, above all, is to inspire: “Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

ABOUT FENTY SKIN

Fenty Skin is clean, uncomplicated, effective skincare for all. Led by brand CEO Robyn Rihanna Fenty, Fenty Skin is a result of Rihanna’s personal skincare journey, global experiences, and real-life routine. Each multitasking product is specifically designed to deliver a streamlined, approachable, value-packed regimen and work seamlessly with makeup on all skin tones. Featuring ingredients from around the world, earth-conscious packaging, and vegan formulas, Fenty Skin also celebrates and respects what the planet has to offer. Fenty Skin is a partnership between Rihanna and LVMH.

ABOUT KENDO

Based in San Francisco, CA, KENDO creates or acquires beauty brands and focuses on developing them into global power- houses. The portfolio consists of KVD Beauty, OLEHENRIKSEN, BITE Beauty, Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The name KENDO is a play on the phrase “can do.” What characterizes KENDO is its dedication to product quality, innovation and authentic storytelling. Brands within the KENDO portfolio are distributed in 43 countries worldwide.

2022 Met Gala: Event Photos and Videos

May 2, 2022

The 53rd annual Costume Institute Gala, also known as the Met Gala, took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 2, 2022. The event’s theme in 2022 was “Gilded Glamour and White Tie.” The Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the Met Gala was co-chaired by actress Blake Lively, actor Ryan Reynolds, actress Regina King and multitalented entertainer Lin-Manuel Miranda. Honorary chairs for the event were fashion designer Tom Ford, businessman Adam Mosseri, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Here are photo and video highlights from the event.

‘Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons’: photos and videos

April 21, 2022

Victoria’s Secret models in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Courtesy of Hulu)

The following is a press release from Hulu:

Hulu’s Original docu-series “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” premieres on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Investigated with journalistic rigor by director Matt Tyrnauer, this documentary tells the searing and provocative story of the Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer. He also executive produces with his Altimeter Films partner Corey Reeser; Film 45’s Peter Berg, Matt Goldberg and Brandon Carroll; Elizabeth Rogers and Jenny Ewig.

A Victoria’s Secret model in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
Former Victoria’s Secret CEO Les Wexner in “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” (Photo courtesy of Hulu) 

 

HBO Max debuts ‘The Beauty of Blackness,’ a documentary about Fashion Fair

March 1, 2022

Kelly Rowland is one of the people featured in the Fashion Fair documentary film “The Beauty of Blackness” (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)

The following is a press release from HBO Max:

HBO Max has acquired “The Beauty of Blackness,” a documentary film directed by Tiffany Johnson and Kiana Moore. The film is available to stream now on HBO Max. The Beauty of Blackness” chronicles Fashion Fair, the first cosmetics brand created exclusively for Black women created in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, the co-founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines.

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. 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.

The documentary follows the brand’s journey to present day where, amidst an evolving industry with a new focus on inclusivity, Fashion Fair Cosmetics has been revived under the helm of two entrepreneurs, Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. 

“The Beauty of Blackness” features interviews with renowned experts, models, makeup artists, performers, and other prominent figures who have witnessed firsthand the evolution of the category and who are celebrating and continuing to redefine beauty standards for people of color.

The film was created in partnership with Vox Media, the story hunters at Epic, Sephora – working with its media and content partner, Digitas – and was co-directed by Tiffany Johnson (Black Monday, Dear White People and Twenties), and first-time director, Kiana Moore, VP of Content Production and Head of Vox Media’s Epic Digital.

“The Beauty of Blackness” will be featured as part of the Black Voices and Women’s History Month curated programming on HBO Max.      

Copyright 2017-2024 Culture Mix
CULTURE MIX