Last weekend, bloggers, influencers, industry experts and philanthropists who braved the snow to be part of the huge success that was the Luxe Beauty Soirée, an event that tackled the 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.
The extraordinary group came together to learn, network and discuss the many facets of diversity in the beauty and lifestyle industries. It was both eye-opening and inspiring. Beauty met diversity in London, but 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. A lot of great testimonials came out of the 1-day event.
Here’s what some of the organisers and panellists had t0 say:
Co-Founder Eryca Freemantle recounts 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.
Co-Founder Chioma Onwutalobi also said:
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.
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), and 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.
During one of the panels Executive director, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Kathi Scott said:
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.
Entrepreneur Fatiha Rouf – Founder of Fatihas World had to say:
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 have worked with industry giants to learn about sustainable growth. I look forward to being part of more of these educational events in the future.
The attendees also had good things to say about the 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
Stylist Uche O said on social media post-event:
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.
Aisha Ibrahim – Social Media Influencer and Fashionista also said:
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
Click on the gallery below to see all the photos from the event