Isamaya Ffrench is bringing out her own distinctive brand of beauty, both literally and figuratively, starting later this month.
The wildly creative makeup artist, who has been known to festoon models’ faces with flowers or have them appear otherworldly with prosthetics, will launch themed capsule collections of color cosmetics on a seasonal basis — just like fashion.
“I couldn’t imagine a design that would live on a shelf for the next 10 years,” said Ffrench, who also envisages collaborations.
The first Isamaya capsule to drop is dubbed “Industrial.”
Ffrench, who today serves as Burberry Beauty global director and is part of the Farfetch Beauty global collective, conceived Byredo’s iconoclastic makeup line and was a Christian Louboutin brand ambassador. She thought it was time to go it alone, too.
The launch comes at a time when makeup artist brands are surging. Gucci Westman’s Westman Atelier, Pat McGrath Labs and Violette_Fr, for example, are all succeeding with a lifestyle approach and strong point of view.
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“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Ffrench said. “I just finally felt like I really wanted to do something that was an uncompromised view on my aesthetic and thought process.”
The makeup artist explained she has loved and still adores working with those other brands, but as she’s not their boss, compromise has been necessary.
“I’ve been doing this for like 10 years now, and at some point, it’s just important to live and speak your truth in how you feel about — in this case — the makeup and beauty industry,” she continued.
For Ffrench’s own color cosmetics products, shape-shifting isn’t the goal.
“It’s not there to help you transform,” she said. “It’s to help you become more of who you are. It’s to amplify you, your tastes and aesthetics, and the way you’d like to be perceived.”
Ffrench is involved in each step of her brand’s development.
“One thing that became very obvious very early on is that there just isn’t enough done to satisfy a sustainable approach to beauty and cosmetics,” she said.
Ffrench, who hired a sustainability consultant, uses recycled plastics and glass wherever possible.
“I’ve worked with Vivienne Westwood for a very long time, and I really love her whole philosophy: Do more with less,” she said.
Packaging gets a second life. “So a palette might become a jewelry box,” Ffrench explained.
There are real metal components, such as rings that can be detached and worn.
For social sustainability, Ffrench is partnering with a different charity for every collection. The Worldwide Tribe is up first.
“I wanted to do a collection that felt very different to everything that’s out there,” Ffrench continued, adding she also desired to “do something that felt really edgy, had a very different perspective and offered a different type of person to the consumer. So that’s where I landed on the Industrial collection.”
The capsule, with vegan, paraben-free formulations, includes the Skinlacq Triple Hyaluronic Glow Serum. It’s a hybrid skin care, illuminating makeup product.
There’s the Rubberlash Latex Lift Mascara. “I wanted to make a mascara that curls the lash for you,” said Ffrench, adding that for the lip gloss, she didn’t wish to do another girly sheer pink product.
Instead, Ffrench created an “edgy lip gloss” with a sheer cherry-grey hue and a nourishing formula. The Browlacq Brow Laminator is like a pomade.
“It’s a really strong-hold product,” she said.
The Colour Pigments Eyeshadow Palette, designed with a female figure on the lid created with 3D technology and in 30 percent PCR, has industrial-inspired colors with shimmering pigments, such as chromatic metals.
The Industrial collection, with prices ranging from $32 to $115, will also include some jewelry and T-shirts.
Preorder for it will begin on June 27 on Isamaya.com, prior to launching in some brick-and-mortar locations, such as a pop-up in London’s Soho between July 1 and 3. That will be located at 15 Bateman Street. The introduction at Selfridges in the U.K. is to start on July 4.
Steven Klein worked on campaign imagery for Industrial, featuring Ffrench.
“It’s so important that if I’m doing this brand, that I’m able to really embody and be as present as I can in as much as I can,” she said.
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