|Photo: Estee Lauder|
It is 2015 and it’s starting to seem pretty commonplace to see a woman of color on the cover of a top fashion magazine, in an editorial, or an advertisement. I mean hello, [Queen] Beyoncé is on the cover of the September Issue. I suppose it is fair to say that the fashion industry is finally hearing our pleas for much needed diversity, and that’s a wonderful thing. However, it would be remiss to allow the normality of such occurrences to take away from the incredible milestones being achieved at the same time.
There have been many articles about Afro-Latina supermodel Joan Smalls collaborating with mega brand Estée Lauder on her own lipstick collection, yet many fail to mention that Smalls is the only supermodel of color to do anything like this. Ever. Neither Iman, Naomi, nor Tyra can claim such a feat on their extensive resumés. Yes, Iman and Tyra do have their own successful makeup lines with Iman Cosmetics and Tyra Beauty, but a permanent product line with a major cosmetics brand? They do not.
Smalls garnered a lot of attention for her impeccable taste in lip rouge at the MET Gala in 2014, when her interpretation of the "Charles James” theme was exhibited with a daringly dark-violet lip. Within hours of Smalls appearance on the red carpet fashionistas all over the internet were clamoring to figure out what color Joan was wearing on her lips. There were articles written about it, people were blowing up her Instagram comments section, and I even got into a very intense Twitter debate (typical Sabby) over the infamous shade. Needless to say, it created a total frenzy and became the beauty look of the moment.
Cut to a year later, and Estée Lauder will be releasing twelve vibrant and creamy matte shades, all created by Smalls, for us to go completely apeshit over. According to Vogue the twelve new shades will include:
Neon Azalea (an effervescent pink), Commanding (a black cherry pigment, its name chosen by her Instagram followers), and two takes on statement purple: Extrovert (a spot-on eggplant) and Shameless Violet, which bears striking resemblance to that gala-tested shade.
This. is. Huge.