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Issue 17 Out Now

A Fast-Changing Landscape: How Fashion Brands Embrace Inclusive Beauty

FENTY Beauty By Rihanna


The fashion and beauty industries have significantly transformed in recent years, driven by a growing demand for inclusivity and diversity. Brands like Gucci and Fenty Beauty have played a crucial role in promoting this change, using their platforms to promote representation and challenge traditional beauty standards. 


The Rise of Inclusive Beauty: A Game-Changing Moment


CNET


The beauty industry experienced a pivotal moment in 2017 with Rihanna's launch of Fenty Beauty. The brand made waves by offering various foundation shades, catering to diverse skin tones that mainstream cosmetics brands had long overlooked. This move not only addressed a significant gap in the market but also sent a powerful message to consumers: beauty is for everyone, regardless of their skin color.


Gucci, another prominent fashion brand, has also been at the forefront of promoting inclusive beauty. In 2020, the brand launched a “Unconventional Beauty” campaign featuring models with diverse backgrounds and appearances. One of the standout faces of the campaign was Ellie Goldstein, a model with Down’s syndrome, who captured the hearts of many and challenged societal norms of beauty.


The Power of Representation: Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Change


Vogue Business


The inclusion of diverse models in fashion and beauty campaigns has had a profound impact on consumers, sparking conversations and inspiring a sense of empowerment. When individuals see themselves represented in advertisements and marketing materials, it sends a powerful message that they belong and are valued by the industry.


These campaigns have not only challenged traditional beauty standards but have also opened doors for individuals who have been historically underrepresented in the fashion and beauty industries. Models with disabilities, alternative appearances, and non-binary identities are now gaining visibility and recognition, thanks to agencies like Zebedee Management, which focuses on championing diversity in fashion.


The Business of Inclusivity: Attracting a New Generation of Consumers

The rise of inclusive beauty is not just a reflection of changing societal values but also a smart business move. Brands that prioritize inclusivity are tapping into a vast market of consumers seeking products and experiences that align with their values. According to a 2020 Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company study, nearly two-thirds of consumers consider themselves “belief-driven buyers.”


Luxury Highlights


By embracing diversity and inclusivity, brands like Gucci and Fenty Beauty have gained loyal customers and attracted a new generation of consumers who value authenticity and social impact. These consumers are more likely to support brands aligning with their values and actively drive change in the industry.


Beyond Skin Deep: Addressing the Needs of All Consumers

Inclusive beauty goes beyond skin tone representation. It encompasses various factors, including age, gender, disability, and religious beliefs. Brands are now recognizing the importance of catering to these diverse needs and creating products and experiences that are accessible to all.


Beauty brands are taking steps to ensure that their products are inclusive and accessible for individuals with disabilities. Kohl Kreatives Plus, for example, creates makeup brushes designed for people with motor disabilities or visual impairments. These brushes address specific needs and prioritize sustainability with vegan and eco-friendly materials.


The Power of Brands: Driving Change Through Collaboration

Creating a more inclusive beauty industry requires collaboration and collective action. Brands can drive change by using their platforms to amplify diverse voices and support underrepresented communities. This can be done through partnerships, initiatives, and campaigns prioritizing inclusivity and social impact.


Fashionista


Major retailers like Sephora, Macy's, and Ulta Beauty have committed to supporting Black-owned businesses by dedicating shelf space and increasing the representation of Black-owned brands. By doing so, they are promoting diversity and creating economic opportunities for marginalized communities.


The Role of Social Media: Amplifying Diverse Voices

Social media has significantly amplified the voices of underrepresented individuals and challenged traditional beauty standards. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become powerful tools for sharing diverse stories and experiences, allowing individuals to reclaim their narratives and shape the conversation around beauty.


Gucci Equilibrium


Influencers and content creators from marginalized communities have used these platforms to build communities, share beauty tips, and challenge societal norms. Their influence and reach have paved the way for more inclusive conversations and sparked a shift in how beauty is perceived and celebrated.


Education and Awareness: Changing Perceptions and Breaking Barriers

Promoting inclusivity in the beauty industry requires ongoing education and awareness. Brands and individuals must continue to challenge their biases, learn from diverse perspectives, and actively work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable industry.


LinkedIn


This includes addressing unconscious biases in product development, hiring diverse talent, and collaborating with organizations that promote inclusivity. It also involves actively listening to consumers and understanding their diverse needs and experiences.


The Future of Inclusive Beauty

The progress in promoting inclusive beauty is undoubtedly significant, but work still needs to be done. The fashion and beauty industries must continue pushing boundaries, challenging norms, and prioritizing inclusivity as an integral part of their business strategies.


ELLE


This requires a collective effort from brands, consumers, and industry stakeholders. By supporting brands prioritizing inclusivity, demanding more diverse representation, and engaging in conversations around beauty and identity, we can create a future where everyone feels seen, valued, and empowered.


The rise of inclusive beauty in the fashion industry is reshaping the landscape, challenging traditional beauty standards, and creating opportunities for underrepresented individuals. Brands like Gucci and Fenty Beauty have been at the forefront of this movement, using their influence to promote diversity and inclusivity. As consumers, we must support brands that prioritize inclusivity, demand more diverse representation, and actively engage in conversations that celebrate and empower all individuals. We can create a more inclusive and equitable beauty industry for everyone.

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