DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).
CH: As a multi-disciplinary designer with over ten years experience executing outstanding design, for print, web, and now, visual retail merchandising, I create experiences that informs, entertains, and inspires audiences. Having worked for some of the industry’s top fashion beauty brands (from Bobbi Brown and M•A•C, L’Oréal to Givenchy) my flare for creativity, eye for precision and unique people-passion has brought exceptional value to these organizations and teams.
DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?
CH: Diversity in the beauty and fashion industries is vital in today’s global, inter-connected world. A brand’s mission has to stand for more than just pushing product;,but rather, for satisfying the needs and desires of diverse consumers. Beauty brands, particularly, can stand for more than just offering a wide range of tones and shades for skin foundation. [They] should be platforms for social change; and, spaces for communities and institutions for solving humanity’s world problems.
DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?
CH: Yes. For example, under the “Pretty powerful Campaign for Women & Girls,” Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has partnered with like-minded organizations—including Girl Rising and Broome Street Academy—to improve the lives of those in our community and beyond.
Another example is the “VIVA GLAM“ campaign, sponsored by M·A·C Cosmetic’s AIDS Fund; it is truly the heart and soul of the company. It all started with the VIVA GLAM lipstick campaign with a focused mission to end HIV/AIDS. This year’s campaign raised over $500 million; but, it also marked the 25th anniversary since the campaign launched. VIVA GLAM funds continue to go to the most vulnerable, underserved communities.
DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?
CH: In a perfect world, an ideal evolution for the industries of beauty and fashion would be for them to evolve into spaces known for personal connections, authenticity and honesty. There are, of course, many examples of this in the industry today, certainly. But, I still feel it’s plagued by a reputation for being shallow, selfish, and ego driven; which, at times, has revealed itself to be true.
DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry, inspires many people around the world?
CH: Yes, I do. Although, sometimes when you’re in the trenches (sort of speak), managing creative for a Global beauty brand, it takes some reminding. I realize I hold a unique position as a Black man in the beauty and fashion industry. There are not many examples of African Americans in senior leadership roles out there; but, we do exist. I feel it is important for us to challenge the status quo by expressing ourselves creatively – to speak up and be heard.
DT: What advice would you give your younger self?
CH: I would advise my younger self, “to be patient, listen more, love more, and to create more.”
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