We’ve seen steps being made towards greater diversity in both the fashion and beauty industries this year. Small steps, admittedly, but steps nonetheless. From the inclusion of older models on last season’s catwalks to the most recent Pirelli calendar featuring only black models and artists, there has at least been an acknowledgement from some of the world’s biggest brands that more – much more – needs to be done to redress the balance and ensure that people of all races and identities are represented.
Another symbol of progress comes this week, as both Estée Lauder and YSL Beauty have announced new faces for their campaigns, and both are non-white women. For its Modern Muse fragrance, previously fronted by Arizona Muse (Kendall Jenner starred in the campaign for its sister fragrance, Modern Muse Le Roug) Estée Lauder has appointed American ballet dancer, Misty Copeland. As the first African-American woman to hold the position of principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Copeland also made history as the first black woman to perform the lead role in ABT’s Swan Lake in 2014. Now, she has achieved yet another first, as the only non-white face of Modern Muse thus far. “Misty has challenged the status quo to achieve her dreams and inspired so many young women along the way,” said Stephane de La Faverie, global brand president at Estée Lauder.
YSL Beauty, meanwhile, has announced that Zoë Kravitz is now its global make-up ambassador. Kravitz joined the brand last year as the US ambassador but this international role will see her star in several major campaigns, the first of which will be revealed later this month. Previous faces of YSL’s campaigns include Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell and Jourdan Dunn. “YSL Beauty has always been one of my favourite brands,” Kravitz said in a statement. “Nothing is forced, nothing is fake but everything is bold, strong and unafraid. I’m very excited to work with this legendary and timeless company.”
L’Oréal Paris has also made a new appointment this week, announcing American-Cuban pop star Camila Cabello as its latest global spokesperson. These three announcements do not mitigate the lack of diversity elsewhere in the industry but it is, at least, hopeful progress.