The 50 year economic embargo against Cuba made many things on the island stagnant — 0ne of those things was fashion.
Now, since Raúl Castro’s government has allowed internet use, young people are eating up what their peers are wearing around the world. They love seeing what a hipster sports in Brooklyn — flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and all.
One of these young people is Gille Mesa Valdes, a tattoo artist who travels to France and imports clothes, ink and needles. He’s been able to earn up to $50 dollars per design, which is more than a doctor makes in a month!
Most can’t afford those luxuries and resort to extreme measures to look fashionable. It’s as extreme as using shoe polish and the insides of batteries to dye their hair.
“They’re taking a risk because it’s toxic,” said Andy Gomez, a former University of Miami professor. “But desperation is a powerful thing. Looking in the mirror and feeling hip, attractive — and free — is an escape from the world they live in.”
Kat Von D has become a titan in the beauty industry due to her eponymous makeup line’s ultra long-wear highly pigmented products that also happen to be vegan and cruelty free.
And although fans have long looked to the Queen of Ink because of her unconventional aesthetic and beauty expertise, the Von D recently announced she has decided to permanently step back from her successful business to focus on other projects as well as her new family.
On Thursday via Instagram, Kat Von D announced the unexpected news that she was selling her shares in Kat Von D Beauty in order to focus on other projects.
In the lengthy statement, Von D explained that 2019 had been a year of “great change” due to the birth of her baby boy as well as her expansion into music. She went on to explain that, while she tried to balance all of her projects to the best of her ability, she wasn’t able to fully contribute to each of her projects at “maximum capacity.” Therefore, she would be officially stepping down from Kat Von D Beauty.
“I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years,” she said. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that.”
Von D went on to reveal that the beauty line would be re-branded as KvD Vegan Beauty in order to “avoid any confusion” for the brand’s customers.
Although the Sephora-based Kat Von D Beauty came out of the gate strong–even being named Sephora’s fastest-growing brand in 2018–the brand subsequently suffered from a highly-publicized dip in sales after Von D herself was embroiled in multiple controversies. Among the controversies was Von D declaring that she would not be vaccinating her child. Additionally, Von D had long been plagued by accusations of antisemitism throughout her career.
The line will in all likelihood be in good hands with the LVMH beauty incubator Kendo, which also produces other popular brands like Fenty Beauty and Marc Jacobs. The former Kat Von D Beauty website has already been updated with the name change along with a statement from the CEO of Kendo. “I want to thank Kat for helping to change the beauty industry with us,” the statement reads. “We are fully positioned to continue the brand’s growth and development in both product and marketing…The same KENDO team that made history with KVD Vegan Beauty is ready to do it again.”
Since its inception, Von D has been extremely hands-on with her makeup line, involved in every aspect of the business from product inception to packaging.
“I name every shade, design every piece of packaging, help choose the colors and textures, the finishes and formulations,” she told HELLO! magazine in 2016. “There isn’t a font used on my packaging – I personally design and draw every letter on it. I even curate the content for our Instagram. I poured myself 100 per cent into this and I know that my customers appreciate that.”
And the tattoo artist and television personality obviously hit a chord with customers who felt connected to her through her products. In addition, Kat Von D’s products were truly high-quality at an affordable price-point. You could say that Von D was a trailblazer in the media personality-turned-businesswoman model that so many celebrities have since tried to replicate.
As for fans of Kat Von D, they took the news with a mixture of admiration, disappointment, and acceptance.
Kat Von D has such a devoted fan base that many of them would follow her to the ends of the earth.
This person expressed undying devotion to Von D, no matter what she decides to do next:
Some Kat Von D supporters are ride-or-die.
This person thanked Kat for all she’s done for the beauty community.
Part of Kat Von D’s appeal is that she’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. For her, makeup was a means of artistic expression, not a means of blending in with everyone else.
This person shared a touching story about how Von D’s past generosity changed her life.
This kind of personal touch is hard to replicate once a brand becomes super corporate.
This person was 100% supportive of Von D’s decision to step back.
It’s especially hard to juggle so many products as a new mom.
This person was just excited to hear Kat’s new album.
Not many people go from being a makeup mogul to being a rock-star. Talk about a pivot.
The fashion world is embracing diversity more and more each season. And although the fight for representation is no doubt still ongoing, some strides have been taken toward inclusivity and representation. Women from Mexico, Central America, and South America have been breaking boundaries all on their own for years, and the success they’ve earned can speak for itself. Just look at Joan Smalls, or Christy Turlington, two of the most well-known (and well-paid) models in the world.
Latinas that are icons, trailblazers and true beauties.
Latinx women of all shapes, sizes and skin colors have been gracing fashion shows and magazines for years, and we thought we’d round up the most iconic ones to prove it.
A true icon. Christy was part of the first wave of top models that gained celebrity status in the 90s, also known as ‘The Supers’. Alongside beauty queens like Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen; part Salvadoran, Christy Turlington fronted iconic campaigns for brands like Versace, Coca Cola, Mugler, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and so many more.
With a Peruvian mother and a Danish father, Helena was lucky to get some great genes! Not only is Helena a former signature Victoria’s Secret Angel and a former Miss Denmark, she was also part of the 90s ‘supers’. She’s appeared on many a magazine cover —Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and W, she’s been the star of several music videos and has been the face of some of the biggest brands —Chanel, Prada, Valentino, Versace, just to name a few. She’s even gone on to design her own clothing as well as serve as creative director for Nylon magazine. She certainly is an icon.
Born to a Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn, Talisa was raised there and in Massachusetts. She started modeling at age 15 and has appeared on the covers of major magazines like Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour and more. She’s also been on a “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue and even played a Bond girl in “License to Kill”. She has been making film appearances since 1988, and was a true celeb in the 90s.
Now, here’s a trailblazer. This Brazilian queen has been slaying the fashion world since the 90s —and the best part is, she’s still showing no signs of slowing down (or of aging for that matter). Blessed with the gene pool of a goddess, Gisele’s luscious blonde hair and infinitely long legs have landed her the most iconic jobs in fashion. She has been the queen of the Victoria’s Secret Angels, the face of top houses like Givenchy, Chanel, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton… and the list goes on.
My personal fave. Her tanned skin, is highlighted perfectly against her striking green eyes —and the Brazilian’s charisma just tops the whole thing like a cherry on top of a cake. She’s beautiful, talented and altruist. Adriana has walked world-class fashion shows and fronted campaigns alongside fellow Brazilian top models Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrosio, and the trio has definitely left a mark in the industry.
Another Victoria’s Secret model and Brazilian super. This beauty was the first one to model for the company’s “PINK” line, launched for the younger VS shopper. She’s modeled for other brands, including Dior and Ralph Lauren, and is one of the top-earning models in the world. She’s not all about the catwalk though: she also serves as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
This Puerto Rican goddess is one of the biggest models on the scene right now— and is definitely leaving her mark! With a ton of magazine covers under her belt, as well as lending her image to front brands like Gucci, Gap, Chanel, Versace, Dior and more, this stunner’s star only continues to soar.
After being discovered by makeup icon, Pat McGrath to front her first beauty line, plus-size model Paloma Elsesser has become an outspoken voice for plus-size models through her vast Instagram following. Fronting campaigns for Fenty Beauty, Glossier and Nike, and appearing in editorials for Allure, Elle and Teen Vogue, the model of Chilean descent is only just getting started —and we can’t wait to see where she’ll go next.
This Afro-Dominican beauty made history in 2008 when she appeared on one of Vogue Italia’s 4 ‘All Black’ issues. She’s also been on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and has fronted major brands like Hermes, Lanvin, Levi’s, Oscar de La Renta and many more.
The special thing about Issa Lish is that she doesn’t look like anybody else. She’s a little Japanese, a little Mexican, but most of all, unique. Born in Mexico City in 1995, Issa started modelling for Mexico’s independent designers aged 14 and has already made a name for herself in the industry. She’s walked for major brands like Alexander Wang, Haider Ackerman, Yves Saint Laurent and Coach among others.
This Afro-Brazilian model has become a force to be reckoned with in fashion. She’s been featured in all the top magazines, has been the face of many fashion and beauty lines and designers can’t stop booking her to walk their runway shows —she’s definitely on the way of becoming an icon of this generation.
This Mexican model made her runway debut walking for Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Proenza Schouler at New York Fashion week in 2017 at a very young age. She has made the cover of magazines like Vogue Mexico, T Magazine China, and French Revue de Modes. Her modeling career began after she was approached by a talent scout at a local shopping mall and she only continues to rise.
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