Luxe Beauty Soiree hosted an array of beauty and lifestyle experts from different parts of the world at the London College of Fashion on March 17, 2018. The event brought so much more – product demos from skin care, cosmetics and hair care were presented on not one but five models of different ethnicities.
It also tackled issues around diversity in marketing, changing skin colour through tanning and bleaching, diversity vs freedom of expression and finally the politics of hair and headwear. With an expanse of experience and perspectives on the panels that couldn’t be covered in a day, we want to continue the discussions in the media and online.
The Co-Founders – Eryca Freemantle and Chioma Onwutalobi of Luxe Beauty Soiree have these to say on the success of the event:
“During the breaks, people were approaching me with tears in the eyes telling me they were overwhelmed, they felt safe, they felt happy, they’d never experienced anything like this before in their lives because of the open and honest conversations. I knew then we had achieved something powerful” – Eryca Freemantle
“Finally we can talk about diversity openly in an environment that houses the decision makers at key organisations, so we move away from just speaking about these issues to seeing action in the real world.” – Chioma Onwutalobi
It wasn’t all about race and ethnicity with a heartfelt presentation given by three ambassadors from the charity Changing Faces (a charity helping people with disfigurements). An interview with Sue Omar on how she went from a size 24 to a 12. It was a reminder that there is still a long way to go before genuine diversity can be achieved.
“I think when we really look deeply into diversity and freedom, I don’t think any of us as women are free when it comes to this industry. I think the standards of what constitutes beauty changes constantly.” Kathi Scott – Executive director, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Quoted on panel)
“The high lights of the event for me was the close-up and personal interviews with Brian from the charity Look Good to Feel Better, and understanding that makeup can save lives. The talks with Sue Omar and the ladies from Changing Faces which were very touching and gave us all another perspective on diversity” – Eryca Freemantle
Influencer and entrepreneur Fatiha Rouf – Founder of @FatihasWorld “It was great to see women from all backgrounds, races, religions and industries come together to support this event. As a woman in the beauty industry, it was educational for me to hear what other industry experts are doing to continue growing in such as fast-changing market and be able to talk to experts who’ve work with industry giants to learn about sustainable growth. I look forward to being part of more of these educational events in the future”
“It’s a celebration! & it’s Britain’s FIRST diverse beauty event. An event to recognise influencers and beauty industry guests & the brands which cater to all tones of women.” Lydia Amoah – TV Presenter and Business coach (Quoted on social media post-event)
“For us, diversity shows up so differently, in media because we are trying to get into magazines run by people who don’t look like us. When I went in front of venture capitalists or bankers. I never got past the whole Indian women thing.” Geeta Sidhu-Robb – CEO and Founder, Nosh Detox & Nosh Infusion Clinic (Quoted on panel)
The attendees included bloggers, influencers, industry experts and philanthropists who braved the snow to be part of something big and here’s what they had to say.
“This meeting was so relevant to me as a woman of colour, in my everyday role as a consultant dermatologist. Especially discussion around defying stereotypes in the workplace, representation in the media, skin bleaching, hair loss and the demonstrations on skincare and makeup for women of colour. Definitely looking forward to more.” Dr Shaaira Nasir– Consultant Dermatologist (Quoted on social media post-event)
“We don’t have to bend our beliefs and adapt ourselves to be acceptable to anyone else. We don’t need to become palatable and hide who we are. For me, this event was about acceptance of each other, but primarily acceptance of ourselves. So many women were able to open up about the pressure and fear of looking different or being different, that they have to assimilate and that must change.” Narjice Basaran – PR consultant and Cofounder of PureModus.com
“It was truly inspirational and great to hear from a diverse group of professionals, business and influential men and women doing great things. Seeing them come together to share their knowledge and educate delegates on the importance of diversity in beauty, branding and business was just perfect. Not to mention the amazing networking opportunity I obtained with people I would not have thought I will be engaging with so easily.”Uche O – Stylist (Quoted on social media post-event)
“It was so good listening and talking to industry experts about beauty, hair, skin colour issues, perceptions and facts. I met some very strong and inspiring women” Joy Kange (Quoted on social media post-event)
People from all backgrounds need to come together to network and get to know each other. I haven’t been to an event which is this diverse. It’s important to come together as a unit as no one else will do it for us we must do this for ourselves. Fardousa Osman –Photographer @withoutanylimit
“As a Muslim woman and woman of colour, it is important for me to be part of this as it affects us directly. Mainstream brands do want to work with us but some key brands still don’t promote diversity in the right way. Maybe events like this will highlight why they are getting it wrong and help guide them” Aisha Ibrahim – Social Media Influencer and Fashionista @aishaibrahimxv
See photos from the event below:
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