Posted by Irene Ojo-Felix | May 31st, 2019

Industry, Now



Portrait by Ben Hassett for

#IndustryNow The cycles of social media impel us to embrace then move on from trends and discourses faster than ever before. The life span of a single work––an editorial, a campaign, a show, a stint––is shorter for it. Fashion’s only unconditional term is the future: operating a year ahead, after all. So, in an industry where change and relevancy are the full stops at the end of every sentence, wanted to highlight individuals who add permanence to the community–some at their start and some at their top. Photographer Ben Hassett gets up close and personal for with the creative forces often behind the scenes. They are the Industry, Now.

There are many ways to hold a paintbrush but only the artist behind it can perfect the stroke. Such is the approach of makeup guru Violette who has for more than a decade to been perfecting her signature bold, heavily-textured beauty looks seen on the pages of the biggest fashion books worldwide. The French, New York transplant and Estee Lauder‘s Global Beauty Director played true to her fearless approach to beauty, replicating that same brave energy when at the height of her editorial career she decided to turn her focus to the digital realm and the wonders of YouTube. With more than a quarter of a million followers (and growing) she’s been able to break the fourth wall and get personal with her legions of diverse fans yearning to understand how to perfect a cat eye or apply the right red lipstick on any skintone.

What has allowed you to stay true to a personal vision as the industry tries ways to adapt to modern challenges?

Well, it’s true that the industry has changed pretty hardcore these past few years but I don’t really give a shit on what’s going on or not. That’s the thing. Two years ago, I got super lucky to work with the best magazines in the world, the most amazing photographers, and then I decided to do my YouTube channel and people told me, “Are you crazy? It’s so hard to be able to reach your credibility to your area. You don’t want to ruin everything with YouTube.” That was absolutely not on trend two years ago.

And I said I don’t really care if the industry rejects me because I’m following what I think is necessary for me as a human being. I don’t need to feed the industry. At the end of the day, it was just vital for me after 13 years at that point to express myself. It was time for me to turn myself towards women, to really help them and start a deeper discussion with women which will change my life in the most amazing way. So I think I got really lucky in a way because I’m so stubborn and I’m so… I cannot do anything else but do what my guts are telling me and do what I want to do. So I feel like because I was focused on my inner voice, then I was able to do whatever I wanted. But for sure, it was a risk and I was ready to take it.

Have the reasons you started doing what you do changed along the way?

Absolutely, for me when I started it I had a creative need to play with women. Never as a blank canvas, that’s never changed, for me a woman is a muse, she is not a blank canvas. I had this creative need of dressing up the face of women with textures and colors and creating an image with a team. I think now, my desire is to help women, to celebrate who they are the way they are. Educate them in a creative way but also in a wellness way. It’s amazing that I was able to express myself so well thanks to the amazing trust of all these people. But now I need to make something out of it that will be useful for women.

Is making beautiful things enough or does it have to be something useful?

I think everything is enough as long as it resonates with what you need to do at that moment. And I needed to show beautiful things. That’s what artists are sometimes, there are artists that just need to express a feeling, express an emotion, express what they think is beautiful and that’s enough. After, if you can add in your work something you support, something you believe in, that’s amazing. A lot of us are doing that right now and that’s incredible. But I don’t think everybody should be pressured to have a meaning and an action to what they are doing.

[There’s a random woman] she’s 30 years old and she runs this multi-billion company and she did three foundations and she’s turning the world. I see all these incredible women and I feel down. What about the girl that is somewhere in Louisiana and she has kids and she’s a stay at home mom because it’s her choice or she just doesn’t have the possibility to follow her fate or what she really wants to do. I don’t want her to feel left out of the movement. I don’t want her to feel like she sucks and she’s not a real woman. So I feel like that’s something that I was like tell this woman that they’re part of it. It’s not just being active and being a superhero by creating things at a super young age.

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