Monday, February 18, 2008

Iman, Louise, and Beverly, Oh My!

Hello ladies,
In lieu of Black History Month, I thought I'd introduce you to my thirteen-year-old self's favorite beauty ad. Seriously, can you believe that, back in '88, the fashion world was more progressive than we are now? Three black models, excuse me, black SUPERMODELS, anchoring a major Revlon campaign? Just a little backstory: The Revlon Unforgettable Women campaign was doing major things in the late 80's. Only the toppest of the top girls got to pose in these--girls like Patti Hansen, Christy Turlington, Jerry Hall, and La Linda. So, again, the fact that Beverly Johnson, Iman, and the Lovely and Underrated Louise Vyent starred in their very own ad...well, it's kind of spectacular (a little aside about Louise Vyent: This Dutch-born Surinamese supermodel was major in the 80s and early 90s, racking up Glamour, Bazaar, Elle, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and Vogue covers, galore. Check out some of her best at! I'd like to say that this famous and fabulous ad came about because, back then, the suits understood the power of the black dollar, but that's not really it. To hear vampy veterans like Iman and Bethanne Hardison tell it, designers, fashion editors and casting agents were truly inspired by breathtaking black beauty--and that's just not happening anymore (pre-pubescent East European catwalk stalkers, anyone?). Also, Bethanne has said on many occasions that back then, the black models were so damned GENIUS that when they were booked, it was because they were the best, not because they were black. I love that.

Don't laugh. I loved this campaign so much, that at a seventh grade slumber party, I recruited my two best friends, Catherine and Caroline, to pose for our very own Revlon Unforgettable Women ad. Yes, I did the makeup and hair. Please check out the blush. How could I not go into beauty after this? By the way, Catherine, the seductress on the far left, is now doing marketing at Bare Escentuals. Do we think that my enforced night o'beauty helped her find her calling?

Speaking of beauty, you ladies are going to adore MAC's new Fafi collection! Fafi, a famed French graffiti artist known for her cutie-pie anime characters, has designed the packaging for MAC's super-bright, springy new line. Not only is it the cutest packaging I've ever seen--Fafi's created a beyond-adorable, sexy little BROWN GIRL that's adorning the hot new Lip Glasses! When I saw this, I almost burst into tears. For our teen girls to be able to whip out a lipgloss with their image emblazoned on the cap...well, it's just really a nice thing. FYI, my favorite is MAC "Fafi" Lipglass in Squeeze It ($14), a brassy plum. Go MAC!


Blogger Lipgloss Luvah! said...

OMG you are so Black History Month tribute in se verld!!! It's amazing how the world of blakc models seems to have gone backwards, huh? I loved it, and I'm definitely getting that lipgloss. And you and your friends looked so adorable!

PS: In case you didn't get the memo, Lipgloss, Bronzer, and Liner, Oh My! has died but I have a new blog, so if you wanna change that in your favorite blogs list.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous eva-k said...

Hey Tia...Did u mean "Squeeze It" as the lipglass color?....

1:04 PM  
Blogger Smirking Cat said...

I love the picture of you and your friends! How fun.

1:28 PM  
Blogger P.S. I love this... said...

LOVE Iman. That ad is legendary. And clearly you were meant for beauty. =)

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born in the late 80's, so I always wonder what was with the big hair and the loud make-up?LOL ....Its always great to see women of color( especially black women)shown in the beauty/fashion industry

4:29 PM  
Blogger (vixenchick) said...

That ad is amazing and truly groundbreaking. Iman is so awesome!!

4:45 PM  
Blogger CHIC NOIR said...

Oh you have not idea how much I love that ad.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That throwback pic is adorable!

6:34 PM  
Blogger A*E* said...

The ad is gorgeous and your pre-teen imitation is hilarious!

7:06 PM  
Blogger divasoul said...

I remember that ad!! I was in LOVE with that ad! I wasn't allowed to wear makeup but just knew I HAD to have some Revlon because of that ad. Which I snuck and bought. And...1988? I feel OLD.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Alixee said...

Thanks for bringing me back Tia!
I remember Louise back in the day and wondered what became of her. It looks like she is a feng shui consultant living in New Jersey!

here is the link

Your pic is so adorable!

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looooooooooved this ad SO MUCH! I remember just staring at it b/c it was so pretty to me!

Tia, can you please do a blog for those of us who don't wear makeup but would like to try it out...yet don't know where or HOW to start?

P.S. I am Reading "The Accidental Diva" again for the 50leventhdozenth time! Ohhhhh, how I love when Billie goes back to get her bag from the theater. *swoon*

8:56 PM  
Blogger Mikaela said...

You have no idea how many of those kind of pictures I have... so cute.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay Tia, you have outdone yourself with resurrecting that ad. I oh so remember that ad. I just knew that I was suppose to be in that ad!!!!!!!!!!!! Memories!

11:48 PM  
Blogger 1969 said...

I used to love that ad too. I remember looking through magazines for images of Louise Vyent. She was so fabulous.

Thanks for the trip down memroy lane.

Also, kudos to Diane Von Furstenburg for featuring models of all shades in her runway show this year. She even opened and closed with a black model.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I love looking at old ads and this is definitely one of the best! I just wish that our beauty could be more appreciated and acknowledged today.

11:05 AM  
Blogger BeautyinBaltimore said...

I so love that photo. That photo is pure glamour. It was displayed in almost every black beauty salon in the 80s. I wanted to look like any one of those women when I grew up.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG... I totally remember the ad of Louise Vyent dressed in the black turtle neck clad in bronze lipstick and fresh face. Talk about a throw back. I was a mere teenager then. Ahhh... memories. You're right... she never got the recognition she deserved. Didn't she eventually rock a short fro?

12:54 PM  
Blogger Yannize said...

that ad is amazing!
the fafi line=the truth!!
I went for broke at Bendel's on the 7th! Haha

1:16 PM  
Blogger Mischo Beauty said...

Love the ad- thanks for posting! AND I'm loving Fafi! My favs are Fun 'N' Sexy and Not So Innocent!

Mischo Beauty

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Stefanie said...

WOW! I remember this ad! I was 8yrs. old! It was this and the Karen Alexander Cover Girl cosmetics ad that inspired my beauty obsession.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I remember this ad. I'm in my 40's and I grew up on Beverly, Iman, Lousie, Gail Oneil! My mom use to bring home the Glamour magazine...I read everything about these icons.
I have Elle magazines....from 10years. Love pulling them out.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Goody said...

those were the days darlin...i so remember that ad...those ladies were the bomb! holding it down..

9:25 PM  
Blogger Miss Yasmine said...

Yes Tia, YAY for MAC and Fafi! I love her and them and even moreso now! I also have that lipglass and its soooo cute and a little more opaque than it looks- i love it!

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Manillo said...

Those girls don't look brown. Tanned, but not brown.

Anyhoo, no qualms, no mas.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love Fafi and did you know her husband is of african descent as well? hopefully she will design more brown fafinettes after her daughter who is about 3 (???) now.

also how do you feel about Bare Minerals? i always see the commercial and want to try it.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only problem with this ad is that they are promoting hair relaxer, and the ladies are clearly wearing weaves and extensions.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:19 AM  

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