The Future of Beauty Doesn't Have to be a Panopticon
Good afternoon my friend and hello to new subscribers who’ve taken advantage of the subscription sale going on until tomorrow! Your support helps me say no to more exploitative work and helps me pay other artists and freelancers more equitable wages, so I very much appreciate you.
Here’s the beauty news I’m thinking about this week. First, ALT’s death at 73 years old:
Rachel’s obit for Andre Leon Talley for GQ. I know that Vogue’s Nicole Phelps wrote an obit for him that just went up - I do hope there will be a multipage situation reflecting on his impact in a future issue. It is what the man deserves. I will be re-reading his autobiographies (he’s written two) over the next few weeks in his honor! I hear the audiobook of The Chiffon Trenches, his most recent one, is really good.
Rebundle, the plant-based hair extension company, has raised $1.4M in a pre-seed funding round. I’ve been following this Black-owned hair/tech company since the very beginning, and I’m thrilled to see them gathering more support in the VC space. Hopefully it’ll provide more resources for them to scale up as they see fit, as they continuously sell out within an hour of restocking. It is perhaps not surprising that the venture capital investment for this came from a Black woman investor, Syndey Paige Thomas, on behalf of Precursor Ventures, who namechecked other Black women in the finance space for tipping her off. It’s always encouraging to see more beauty brands get funded that aren’t being valued for their data mining practices and are simply creating better solutions to existing problems.
Extremely relatedly, this piece from Beauty Independent: How BIPOC Founders Can Secure Smart Money to Build their Beauty Brands
Beauty Giant P&G launched a virtual storytelling “metaverse” called Beautysphere a few days ago. What that looks like in reality is a series of pre-recorded video events and film spots on different things, like beauty product origin stories, inclusive design, etc. It does have captions and transcripts available, which is nice! There’s even a game at the end. I look forward to even more experimental storytelling from companies in the future that can certainly afford to be playful.
My favorite secret!MLM is undergoing a change, too. Beautycounter has made Marc Rey CEO and founder Gregg Renfrew is now going to be Chief Brand Office. Rey was previously CEO at Shiseido Americas, so they pulled in a big gun. Will be interesting to see how this shift shakes things up.
In just good reading, I’m really excited for Sheila Heti’s new newsletter for NYT. The first one is so good! Unfortunately, it is also paywalled. You’ll figure a way around it somehow. Here is an excerpt, I have recited it three times today in a trance, like it is a prayer, or a curse, or a summoning:
And lastly, I feel compelled to informed those of you who appreciate good lingerie that Rosamario is having a very extensive sale right now. I love their silk slips, some of the nicest I own. Worth looking through if you appreciate a good chemise.
Ok! Talk soon. Until then, I leave you with this tiktok video on Pat McGrath. Bye!!