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Published November 12, 2019
Published November 12, 2019
Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Fashion Fair Cosmetics is under new ownership. Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, who recently acquired the global beauty brand Black Opal, have entered into an agreement to purchase Fashion Fair from Johnson Publishing Company.

WHO: Fashion Fair Cosmetics was founded in 1973 and was owned by Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines. Regarded as a heritage brand for African Americans, the line was created to develop products for darker skin tones. Initially launching with a capsule collection, due to demand the company quickly grew into a full-fledged cosmetics line. At one time, Fashion Fair was the largest black-owned cosmetics company in the world.

Desiree Rogers was the former chairman of the Chicago tourism agency, former CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, and the Social Secretary of the White House and Special Assistant to the President under Barack Obama’s administration.

Cheryl Mayberry McKissack was the former CEO of Ebony media operations, and a 19-year veteran as the founder and CEO of one of the largest online market insights businesses, Nia Enterprises.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Fashion Fair is just too valuable for our community to lose,” says Desiree Rogers. “We plan to modernize the brand and products, but will remain true to the company’s roots, which was to create prestige products focused on women of color.”

“We want to know which of our products are favorites amongst members of our community and what other products they would like to see from the brand,” says Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. “This conversation will be important as we breathe new life into this iconic brand.”


  • Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack are acquiring Fashion Fair from Johnson Publishing Company.
  • Desiree and Cheryl will have majority ownership of the brand and have partnered with Alec Litowitz, who is a key minority investor.
  • The terms of the transaction were not released.
  • Desiree and Cheryl both worked at Johnson Publishing Company.
  • Last month the duo acquired Black Opal from Mana Cosmetics.

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