INSTANT CONNECTION: British rapper Pa Salieu, whose debut single “Frontline” was the most-played track in 2020 on BBC Radio 1Xtra, is the latest face for Samuel Ross’ fashion venture A-Cold-Wall. Salieu fronts the pre-fall 2022 campaign.
The artist from Coventry, who walked earlier this year in Ozwald Boateng’s first London show in 12 years, was styled by Robbie Spencer and photographed by Ken-Tonio Yamamoto.
Salieu said he had an instant connection with Ross the first time they met.
“I try and paint the pictures of what I’ve seen in my music and this is exactly what Ross does in his work. He’s constantly drawing influence from his experiences and surroundings, it’s clear to see the essence of the urban surroundings. He’s experienced and reflected in his pieces, straight from his eyes to his art,” he said.
“I felt quite overwhelmed the first time I was able to look through his collections. He’s a big inspiration to me and it’s an honor and very motivating to be a part of this campaign,” he added.
Salieu is known for blending his Midlands upbringing with his Gambian heritage to create a unique brand of rap that has seen him carve out space as an innovative new voice in British music.
Having collaborated with the likes of FKA Twigs and Yussef Dayes, he dropped his latest collaboration “Blessing Me” with Mura Masa and Skillibeng last week. — Tianwei Zhang
BRUNSON’S BEAUTY: Quinta Brunson is embarking on her first partnership in the beauty world.
The creator and star of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” — who received three Emmy nominations for the project — is the new face of Olay, which is owned by Procter & Gamble. Brunson appears in her first campaign on Monday for the brand’s Retinol 24 + Peptide Night collection.
“It is an honor to be the new face of such an iconic brand,” Brunson said in a statement. “When I was growing up, society pushed a beauty standard that was unattainable. Brands told me I needed to change everything about myself to be beautiful. It’s exciting to be a part of the latest Olay campaign and to help change that narrative. This partnership coming to life as my first-ever beauty collaboration is truly a ‘pinch me’ moment.”
Olay stated part of the reason it tapped Brunson to be the face of the brand is because of the actress and producer’s authenticity and how she’s outspoken about unrealistic beauty standards that have historically been the norm.
“Quinta’s fearless confidence is unmatched, and she represents the ‘Fearless to Face Anything’ confidence we want for all women. When the standard of her own beauty was being molded by society, she decided it was time to share her unique point of view, said Stephanie Headley, Procter & Gamble’s senior vice president of Olay and North America Skincare, in a statement.
Brunson has also been a longtime fan of the brand, stating she grew up watching her mother use Olay skin care products.
Brunson had her breakout role this winter with the mockumentary-style ABC show, “Abbott Elementary,” which follows a group of school teachers at a predominately Black elementary school in Philadelphia. Brunson created and stars in the series, which she was inspired to write based on her mother’s career as a schoolteacher.
“Abbott Elementary” received seven Emmy nominations this year, including for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The show has been renewed for a second season, which will debut in September. — Layla Ilchi
NATURAL EVOLUTION: Biolage, the professional hair care brand, has gained a new certification.
The brand has reformulated its entire assortment to meet vegan and cruelty-free standards, gaining a Leaping Bunny certification. All of the brand’s packaging is now manufactured with 100 percent recycled plastic, with the exception of bottle caps.
A statement from the brand said the packaging change would save more than 30 tons of virgin plastic annually.
Mounia Tahiri, the brand’s senior vice president and head of brand in the US, said the brand’s more environmentally conscious chapter was a natural next step. “We do it to stay true to the mission of the founder of this brand. We’re always trying to modernize,” she said. “It’s still the iconic white bottle, but we’re modernizing to meet the look and feel to meet the needs our consumers and stylists have today.”
The journey wasn’t without road bumps. Products were reformulated to stay true to consumer experiences, and products that weren’t up to par were discontinued.
“It’s been a year of highly engaged chemists working with marketing and Cruelty Free International. It was an intense year,” said Rafael Lopes, vice president of Biolage’s global marketing. “It’s an important step, and it’s really inscribed in the natural evolution of the brand.”
Paring back the formulas was also part of the plan to cater to aesthetic trends.
“There’s been a rediscovery of the Biolage brand, a professional performance you can trust that’s centered around the idea of conditioned, soft hair,” Tahiri said.
Added Lopes, “What we’re seeing is what we saw in the makeup segment a few years ago when no-makeup makeup was booming. We see that transferring to hair, consumers want to wear their hair natural, looking beautiful without doing too much .”
The decision comes as consumers turn more attention to sustainability — and also to their hair. As reported by WWD, hair care is still the fastest-growing category in prestige beauty; and Biolage was said to be performing well at Ulta Beauty on the retail giant’s last earnings call.
Salons are still driving the business’ growth, Tahiri said. “Salons are definitely back,” she continued. “The return was incredible. We’re continuing to see that consumers are searching for a real connection in the salon…they want an experience . There’s no better way to deliver that than the salon.” — James Manso
HAIR-RAISING: Creations by Charlie Le Mindu, who takes the métier of hairstyling to new — and otherworldly — dimensions, by weaving tresses into clothing and sculptures, will be auctioned off at Artcurial this fall.
On Oct. 5, at the close of Paris Fashion Week, at 3 pm CET a selection of the artist’s iconic works will go under the hammer at the Right Bank auction house. Twenty-one of Le Mindu’s creations are to be there, including ” Blonde Lips,” which was worn by Lady Gaga in her “Bad Romance” music video that garnered 1.5 billion views. Made of natural hair, silk and polyurethane foam, the supersized lips perched atop her head.
Le Mindu’s madcap creations starred in his Haute Coiffure shows, which mostly took place in London. These had names such as “Gold Sabah,” “Metal Queen” and “Girls in Paradise.”
“Florescent Species,” another artwork, resembles a massive, florescent jellyfish, with a gray-purple top and greenish tentacles that cover the wearer’s face. That was part of Le Mindu’s spring 2014 Haute Coiffure collection, which was presented in Paris in January of that year.
“The works of Charlie Le Mindu are the very incarnation between Haute Coiffure and Haute Couture,” said Clara Vivien, luxury fashion and accessories specialist at Artcurial, in a statement. “We are proud to be the first to offer at auction the work of this extraordinary visual artist.”
“What I look for is details, and what the message behind beauty is, basically,” Le Mindu said in a WWD article published in December 2020. “I don’t really care if something is beautiful [visually]because we all have a different perception of what beauty is. I want to see a message behind it.” — Jennifer Weil