Currently, Desirée Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack maintain majority ownership of the beauty brand, which first launched in the '70s as part of the Johnson Publishing empire, the original owners of EBONY. Rogers and McKissack both worked as executives at Johnson Publishing. They also own Black Opal, another cosmetics brand that caters to WOC, which recently relaunched with Ulta Beauty.
EBONY founders Eunice and John Johnson founded Fashion Fair Cosmetics in 1973 with money earned from Johnson Publishing. In a 2020 interview with WGN-TV, their daughter Linda Rice Johnson reminisced about how her father walked into a local department store and negotiated counter space for Fashion Fair.
“He liked to test things at home in Chicago so at that time, the first store we went into was Marshall Fields and it was because he wanted Fashion Fair to be what he called a highline. Very prestigious,” Johnson Rice recalled.
From there, Fashion Fair's reach expanded to 2,500 department stores, spanning three continents.
The relaunch of Fashion Fair will take place in September. Click here to learn more.