This month marked the beginning of our collaboration, with Thirteen Lune, an e-commerce destination that empowers BIPOC beauty brands. This isn’t just important work. It’s critical. When Aiden and I think about one word to describe our partnership, it’s “inspired”. We knew about Thirteen Lune early on. In our first meeting of the minds, and as our conversations crystallized, we had a powerful realization that our vision, values, and approach were profoundly similar and deeply synergistic.
The beauty industry is a strange beast. It’s oversaturated and underrepresented at the same time. Every day, hordes of new brands launch. And we all agree that inclusivity and diversity and lacking in the industry. That it’s our duty to give voice to the BIPOC community. Yet, even with the strides beauty is making, the industry falls short. Granted we’re in the infancy of developing programs and guardrails to make sure that representation is present at all levels. But we need greater momentum and prioritization.
A McKinsey report highlights that Black Americans spend approximately $6.6 billion on beauty –11.1 percent of the total market in the states. And Asian Americans spend one-fifth more than the average beauty shopper, making them 11.2 percent of the total spend. Latina women spend more than $2 billion on makeup alone.
These are powerful numbers. It shows a consumer that the beauty industry needs to cultivate, and should be focused on reaching, on demonstrating relevancy to. But the BIPOC community is continually frustrated with beauty because the de facto “norm” for beauty is still the white cisgender female.
Whether it’s foundation (where the majority of the products are lighter shades), haircare (where curl type is rarely addressed), or targeted treatments that miss the mark, the beauty industry has made an implicit statement – keep the focus off BIPOC.
Certainly, visual representation has shifted across many brands, with BIPOC models becoming normative. But BIPOC models are at best only one part of the equation, and at worst a kind of lip service to a systemic issue that needs to be uprooted.
In the same report, McKinsey estimates that there is a $2.6 billion opportunity created in addressing racial inequality in the beauty industry. That provides financial motivation for beauty companies. But real change will occur when we recognize that this is a human issue. Marginalizing the BIPOC community fuels a narrative where black and brown people need to settle for whatever works for everyone else.
This is a unique moment to reimagine the beauty industry. Or better yet imagine something fresh. An industry where we are putting a stake in the ground about what the future should be – egalitarian, engaged with the BIPOC and queer communities, and committed to doing better.
We see our partnership with Thirteen Lune as a pivotal moment in our brand’s evolution. Thirteen Lune embodies that shift in perspective that the beauty industry needs – one built on celebrating BIPOC discovery and strengthening and engendering allyship. We’re honored to join forces with them and have our brand be showcased among so many incredible brands. To be part of a movement where diversity and inclusivity become the status quo.