Dec 21, 2018

What companies can learn from Barneys New York ‘s latest move.

The American chain of luxury department stores Barneys New York entered into — for them — a new space after introducing their first hair care line for women of color. The beauty brand that is going to disrupt the luxury beauty industry  is Brown Butter Beauty. And the response has already been outstanding. 

The secret behind this smart move  is Candace Marie, Senior Social Media Manager at Barneys NY, who  sourced and introduced the brand to their buyer’s team.  

Candace Marie (Barneys NY Senior Social media manager) for Brown Beauty Butter

‘’I’ve always felt it’s important to use my voice to speak up for women, like me, who are often under-catered to in the beauty space. And as long as I’ve worked at Barneys I’ve taken pride in being part of a company of movers and shakers in the luxury environment that has allowed me to express myself. I hope to be part of a change that not only resides under our designer walls but will set the bar higher industry-wide for other luxury retailers to cater to women like myself’’. she says after releasing the news on social media. It’s not the first time for a luxury house to put someone of color in the position to make a ground breaking decision and use it’s voice from within the company to change the perspective and serve a wider consumer market. So I am wondering why it is taking so long for other companies that have big teams, constantly in need of new people — to not actively represent women from all paths and cultures so they can expand further into untapped spaces.” she says on her instagram account. 

As I mentioned  in a recent  post, the lack of diversity is a true loss for the industry. Cultural diversity increases opportunities and introduces companies to new patterns of thoughts and networks. Eventhought, the open conversation  about diversity has encouraged many to look around them, it is still not always being integrated as a way of working. Therefore the absence of different voices and faces in higher levels of the chain is what will continue to hold companies back from the longterm profits. 

Brown Butter Beauty sold out twice and the sales doubled according to Candace, who announced the next  steps on  the window, also known as Barneys blog. Where she revealed  that the retailer  will extend the range of brands to cater to all women within this space.

With this being said, this is yet another great example for companies to start understand that diversity is an opportunity to represent the real world. A connection to  divers experiences, cultures and ethnicities will allow you to serve customers on a global basis. And it is  not just about hiring someone of color to be a voice to a single market, it is about creating a space that inspires all your employees to look to the world from different perspectives which will increase  the ability to stay relevant in this new era.

We are witnessing a time where consumers want authenticity, so diversity for diversity’s sake is not going to work. If it is not  executed in a way that feels genuine it can still come of as tokenism.
So may I congrats  Barneys New York for starting from within and doing it the right way!