After a rough couple of weeks, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for U.K.-based transgender model and DJ Munroe Bergdorf who was announced as the new face of beauty company Illamasqua, who has featured Bergdorf in prior campaigns.
Announcing the campaign, Illamasqua wrote on Instagram, “Illamasqua is a beauty brand with a voice, and encourages you to have one too. We are not afraid to be provocative and talk about the complex issues that affect our generation, whether they be religion, race, gender or the environment. That’s why for our next campaign, we will be exploring gender. Featuring long-term Illamasqua collaborator and activist, Munroe Bergdorf alongside “gender capitalist,” Rain Dove.”
The announcement matters because it comes in response to global beauty brand L’Oréal choosing to drop Bergdorf in response to her since-deleted August post on Facebook in which Bergdorf responded to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia by writing, “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.” Bergdorf has said the statement was taken out of context.
Whatever one might conclude about Bergdorf’s Facebook post, for certain she didn’t deserve the level of vitriol heaped upon her on social media following L’Oréal’s announcement. Part of the heat she came under was because of how L’Oréal chose to address the controversy, making a big splashy statement about cutting ties with Bergdorf rather than working with her behind the scenes when the controversy first started bubbling up. L’Oréal could have used its considerable platform to help Bergdorf add nuance to her statement and create a teachable moment, but instead chose to very loudly drop her, setting up push back from customers but also putting Bergdorf in a dangerous position.
The new campaign will roll out in November. In the meantime, check out the announcement from Bergdorf and Illamasqua below.
“It’s not about being a girl, it’s not about being a boy. It’s about being free to explore your individuality; celebrating who you are today, and who you want to be tomorrow.” Illamasqua is a beauty brand with a voice, and encourages you to have one too. We are not afraid to be provocative and talk about the complex issues that affect our generation – whether they be religion, race, gender or the environment. That’s why for our next campaign, we will be exploring gender. Featuring long-term Illamasqua collaborator and activist, @munroebergdorf, alongside ‘gender capitalist’, @raindovemodel. All will be revealed in November…. #humanup #gender #illamasqua #illamafia #genderisover