It was with tears that I read Iman’s short but loving note on Twitter today, her first message on social media since the passing of her husband, David Bowie. The widow’s words “Love & Gratitude” washed over my heart. I knew I was meant to publish this post today about Iman’s advancement of makeup for ethnic skin that has been sitting in my drafts folder for so long.
May Iman have support and affection around her for all her days to come. I wish each of you readers the very same.
Here is how Iman has positively impacted the fashion world, particularly in the area of ethnic cosmetics.
Why Iman created makeup for ethnic skin
It was about 20 years after the Vogue photo shoot that launched Iman’s supermodel career that she became the head of a cosmetics firm dedicated to cosmetics for ethnic women. Iman had found it difficult to find suitable shades that looked natural on her skin tone and would routinely mix different foundations to find herself the right shade.
This issue prompted her to search for a solution. It was the start of Iman Cosmetics, the only cosmetics brand devoted to women of all ethnicities and a range of skin tones.
The growth of Iman cosmetics
Today, the cosmetics line is going strong, and Iman Cosmetics website offers makeupproducts as well as toiletries and beauty advice. Iman Cosmetics started in 400 J.C. Penny stores across the US in 1994, as well as select stores in Canada, France, and England.
Since then, the supermodel has also launched Iman Global Chic, exclusively at HSN. This platform features handbags, reading glasses, slippers, and other accessories designed with chic style.
Of the founding of Iman Cosmetics, Iman explained in one interview, “I wanted to be the black Estee Lauder… I knew that there was a potentially huge niche market in cosmetics and skincare for women of color.”
A merger with Proctor & Gamble in 2004 took Iman Cosmetics to the next level, making it a mass distribution enterprise. Today, the cosmetics line the shelving of Walgreens, WalMart, Target, and Duane Reade.
The future face
Ethnic cosmetics and toiletries represent the face of the future, in my opinion. The beauty industry needs to cater more to black and Asian women than it has been.
For example, I recently won a small sample pack of cosmetics and noted that the color of the coverup stick was a light tone. It wouldn’t be suitable for a black woman’s skin.
Companies must meet the needs of the audience, which includes ethnic origin. I think that more retailers need to step up to meet the demands of the modern day population like Iman. The ethnic beauty market is a promising sector, and more businesses have to update their packaging and ads to reflect it. Thank you to Iman Cosmetics for meeting the beauty needs of many ethnic women.
Sending kind thoughts to Iman and David Bowie’s family in this difficult time xo