The best stories from the pandemic are forward-looking, featuring ideas that aim to bring Canadians back not only to where we were, but to a much better place. The fashion and beauty industries were already in flux, forced to adapt in real time to consumers expressing their desire for products that more accurately reflect real women. We are available in different sizes, colors and capacities. We also don’t want to be 20 years old forever.
It is a subject MYKIGAI wanted to explore for their first beauty event. MYKIGAI is an engagement platform to promote the goal and leverage career and life experience for an active community of 50+. As part of their service, they organize conferences and present expert ambassadors. From renowned thought and culture leaders to members of their community, they explore what makes sense of what they do and inspiring lifestyle ideas.
Last May, they hosted an intergenerational online conference on a new concept – 19/99 Beauty. âExploring beauty from the intersectionality of age seemed like a very modern proposition and a refutation of outdated ideas,â says Laura Minquini, founder of MYKIGAI.
Camille Katona and Stephanie Spence are the co-founders of 19/99, a brand they describe as âinclusive of all ages and challenges the current flaw-driven idea of ââthe aging industryâ. The duo have a decade of beauty experience, having worked together on Bite Beauty from start-up to launching a flagship store in New York and then selling to European conglomerate LVMH. They then launched Red Earth Beauty in collaboration with US retailer Target last year.
The mission of Mission 19/99 is well defined – “to start a multigenerational dialogue to shatter the idea of ââage and reduce the generational beauty gap”. In other words, the focus is on makeup with an inclusive message, with formulations and color palettes that can work for everyone. The timeless 19/99 vision was developed in collaboration with legendary brand guru, Diti Katona (also Camille’s mother) of Toronto-based Concrete Design Communications, and acclaimed makeup artist Simone Otis, also founding partner of Bite. Beauty. The partnership represented a multigenerational launch for a multigenerational brand.
Otis has seen it all. Based in Toronto, she has traveled the world with her makeup bag, working with international photography legends such as Annie Leibovitz and Francesco Scavullo, leading publications like Vogue and Vanity Show, as well as behind the scenes of the fashion shows of the big names in fashion, from Balenciaga to Marc Jacobs. She has also worked with a dizzying array of top celebrities including Selena Gomez, Salma Hayek and Rita Ora.
From these work and life experiences, Otis has found himself feeling frustrated with the status quo in the beauty world: in your color choices and the fit of your clothes and only choose the “simple classics.” as a rule for your makeup. And these two choices are mostly shown to us without wrinkles.
It is not seen in any of these polarities. “Why just the two choices?” Can we be more? Otis asks.
This desire to open up the “ideals” of the beauty industry aligned perfectly with Spence and Katona. âThe concept of anti-aging doesn’t make sense either. Aging is inevitable. Why do we have to try to stop it ?! “say the founders of 19/99.” Who decided that a wrinkle was the ultimate fault? We want women of all ages to have fun with beauty, and for To do this, the obsolete vision focused on the defects of aging must evolve.
One of the brand’s slogans is “not prescribed”. For Otis, that means there are no rules or hurdles to what you must or can do when it comes to your makeup. The options shouldn’t be less because we have wrinkles or don’t have a certain appearance.
Long live a future of ageless beauty and evolution!
*To follow this link to see the YouTube video of the discussion on intergenerational beauty with Camille, StÃ©phanie and Simone, with MYKIGAI founder Laura Minquini, who were joined by Laura deCarufel, editor-in-chief of The kit.