Posted by steven yatsko | October 1st, 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.

Sometimes the best makeup artist is invisible––lofty beauty disguised as the lightest touch. It’s a sleight of hand, that comes only from experience, something that West African-born, Paris-raised Yacine Diallo has built her reputation on. Know that Yacine is ever present in all her work, whether it’s bringing out the best in Mica Argañaraz, Alek Wek or Ashley Graham, she serves great skin above all. Yacine now lives in New York and is called upon for her sensibilities both in beauty and the principles behind it.

What has allowed you to stay true to a personal vision as the industry trials ways to adapt to modern challenges?
I think doing what I love and always seeking inspiration through art, travel or by meeting and interacting with people inspires me in the best way to feed my personal vision. Also, I have worked very hard and am lucky to have massive support throughout my career from people in the industry that understand my approach to beauty from the beginning – my agents, photographers, editors, clients, producers or hairstylists… teamwork is key! In my case, all of these elements combined together is the perfect formula to feel confident and have the space to really express myself.

Can commercial work be personal?
To me, your work is always personal. We are not only executants––clients come to me with an idea, an inspiration or even a marketing goal and I feel like my job is to help to materialize their vision with the help of my artistry. It doesn’t really make a difference to me if it’s a commercial or editorial job. Of course, you have more parameters to work around on a commercial job and probably a little less creative freedom, but that does not mean that you can’t bring a part of your identity in the final result. People hire you to bring something to the table after all.

How has heightened attention to self-image influenced your work and craft?
I am from that pre-internet / pre-social media era. Most of the people I looked up to growing up, or even my mentors when I was assisting, are not so much known by the public or don’t have social media. These people have been working in the industry for decades––you have probably seen their work every day without even knowing who was behind it. The public doesn’t know who they are because they are very private people.

As artists, we used to be the people backstage or working behind the lens. We make the magic happen and the focus was never on us. This has obviously changed a lot. I would be lying if I said that I am not conscious about how people perceive me or my work. I am not seeking validation and always just try to be true to myself. Being publicly exposed and sharing more of myself as “Yacine” the person and not just the makeup artist has undeniably brought me some new work opportunities that I could never have expected.

Is fashion and beauty better than it once was?
I don’t necessarily think it’s better, it’s just evolving. We are constantly using references and inspirations from the past. Even though we replicate more or less what’s probably already been done, technology and innovation have given us more tools to play with to be creative. I’m fascinated by the beauty industry because it’s timeless, but at the same time, it evolves with the society we live in. For instance, I like how more and more people and brands are conscious about sustainability, inclusivity, or even ecology and try to implement these things into the beauty and fashion industry. I am also very passionate about branding, packaging and beauty innovation in general so I obviously look more towards what is coming next.

What was the turning point in your career?
Moving from Paris to New York for sure; just leaving my comfort zone! New York City has brought me a lot of new opportunities and a lot of personal growth that gave me more confidence in my work and made it better. It can be very challenging and tear you down, but you go through it and you learn and come out stronger.

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One Comment to “Industry Now: Yacine Diallo”

  1. I worked with Yacine in Paris! Very happy to see her sucess in NYC!