US black cosmetics ranges launch in the UK

Two US cosmetics ranges for black women are to be launched in the UK: Black Opal for the mass-market, and Interface for upmarket customers.

Both ranges are produced by BioChemical Research Laboratories and will be distributed in the UK by the Fragrance Factory.

The Black Opal range comprises over 100 items, including skincare products, make-up and a men’s shaving range. It will be launched at the end of this month and will be sold through independent chemists.

According to Howard Shaunassy, managing director of the Fragrance Factory, Black Opal will be supported by press ads from June.

In the US, the range sells in about 10,000 stores and is the biggest seller in mass drug and mass retail for ethnic skincare, according to Biochemical Research Labs.

Donna Italiano, the company’s vice-president of corporate com munications, comments: “We like to bring class to the masses.”

Interface is scheduled to launch in July and it will be available through department stores.

According to Yvonne Thompson, managing director of black com-munications agency ASAP, black women in the UK are spending more on make-up as they move into higher paying jobs. She estimates that there are about 500,000 black women in the UK.

She says mainstream brands, such as Bobbie Brown and Mac, cater for darker skins and that some premium brands target non-white women.

“Fashion Fair, which is the UK’s top seller, sells to Asian, Iraqi and Spanish, as well as black, women,” says Thompson.

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