I had the privilege of speaking with the CEOs ,Joseph Chargois and Jermelle F. Pitts, of the luxury cosmetic line Body of Royalty. This line is not only equipped with some of the best lipsticks, lip-glosses, and shadows in beauty, but it was all created behind the message of women empowerment and royalty. Body of Royalty is now launching their newest campaign, #PhuckYourShade, featuring Ms. Alyssa Edwards. In this interview, Joseph and Jermelle tell us all about the line and the #PhuckYourShade campaign. Check it out !
Can you give our #PYNKGirls a little background about Body of Royalty cosmetics and the inspiration behind the cosmetic line?
Joseph: With Body of Royalty our motto is be confident, be provocative, be royalty and that’s what we strive to do with everything ,from the name of the cosmetics to the little stories we have with the lipsticks and the lip-glosses. It’s really about empowering women to feel like royalty and to look like royalty and that’s again, what we strive to do.
What makes Body of Royalty so different from other cosmetics lines?
Jermelle: With Body of Royalty we built the brand with a message so it’s all about being confident and having a message to deliver. That’s definitely one thing that separates us from other brands. The message behind Body of Royalty and then also the quality of our products. I know with our lip products especially, just the formulation is different and the pigmentation is very pigmented. We focus a lot on the quality of the product. The lip products are gluten free, they have vitamin E in them, so things like that really separates us from other beauty brands on the market. And also with us, Joseph and I are the youngest minority CEOs owning a beauty brand, so that separates us. With us being male, I think that it really adds to the brand itself because its easy to put something on yourself to say “Oh this looks dope, it looks good, let’s sell it to other people.” But with us we are able to really go in and just focus on the quality and the message behind it and the actual product itself and create things that are universal for everyone not just this demographic or that demographic.
What was the inspiration behind the campaign #PhuchYourShade?
Jermelle: With #PhuckYourShade, I’m the creative director so I definitely came up with the concept two years ago. I knew that I wanted something sexy, something raw and edgy and something that kind of cushioned the envelope also delivering a message. It’s easy to get models and go really raw and uncut in some sexy photos so I wanted to do that but also something that had a message. So with #PhuckYourShade, especially with where we are now in society, especially everything that’s been happening with the owner of the LA Clippers and just everything that happens in society that’s based on race or color, I really wanted to address that situation. Especially in beauty, there’s a lot of underrepresented demographics in beauty so I wanted something that touched on that and so with #PhuckYourShade we came up with the ad campaign and the message. It’s all about empowerment and it’s all about saying no matter what your color is or what your shade is your beautiful inside and out. That was just the message that I was going for.
Joseph: And also with the word shade, it’s a double entendre so it can mean skin color or it can mean the shadiness of it all, so I thought that was a nice spin on it.
I like that because people act like colorism isn’t a big thing, but it is. And they pretend that colorism and racism doesn’t exist anymore but it does.
Jermelle: It does and it’s sill very prevalent and it still lives. Joseph and I were having this conversation you know during the concept and creating of it and Brown vs. Board of Education wasn’t that long ago. Like our grandparents lived through those times when things were very black and white. So it’s not that long ago and it shouldn’t be something like “oh it doesn’t happen”. Kim Kardashian wrote an essay and addressed the issues she’s been experiencing ever since she’s given birth to North. She’s able to see how society is still focused on black and white.
How did the collaboration with Ms. Edwards come about?
Joseph: So when we think about campaigns we wanted to go with a celebrity and you know Jermelle and I have so many meetings and so many kind of brainstorming sessions and I brought Ms. Edwards up in a conversation and with her, we think that she represents a lot of the things in Body of Royalty .We call our ladies who support the brand beauty queens and she’s actually a beauty queen. So again, she’s beautiful, she’s talented, she’s experienced, she’s poised, she’s elegant but she still has a little edginess to her. She’s also very confident and well rounded; it takes a lot to be in a campaign nude, or almost nude in her case. So again, Ms. Edwards embodies everything that a Body of Royalty woman is.
When choosing the models for the campaign was there an important thing you looked for?
Joseph: With the models, we wanted ladies from different backgrounds. We have a Creole model, we have an African-American model, one of the ladies is from Nigeria, and we have Ms. Edwards who is Caucasian and Colombian. We wanted diverse backgrounds and spoke to all of them before hand and made sure they understood what they were taking part in and that’s definitely how we picked them.
Jermelle: And also, again they needed to be able to be in front of the camera nude. There are a lot of pretty girls but can you be confident when there are people on set. Being confident is a lot of what we stand for.
What has the response been to the #PhuckYourShade beauty campaign?
Jermelle: They definitely like it. The response has been great and they love the message behind it. The Body of Royalty beauty queens, they definitely love it [The edge of it]. Alyssa Edwards brings a whole new dynamic to it. The response from the beauty queens have been great.
Have you received any backlash?
Jermelle: (Laughs) We have definitely seen some but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. But everyone has their opinions. Some people think it’s too sexy or it’s too risky. You know it’s addressing color and that makes people uncomfortable. But it brings up a conversation so it’s backlash, but it’s not backlash because it’s something that needs to be addressed. You get to talk about homosexuality because we do have Alyssa Edwards, you get to talk about skin color, and those are things that make people uncomfortable. So it’s good I like it. It’s backlash but you get a conversation from it.
Joseph: And if they aren’t with it then sorry, but #PhuckYourShade
Any last things you want our PYNK Girls to know about the #PhuckYourShade campaign?
Jermelle: I’ll say support it, support the message, use the hashtag, address color in beauty, just support the message. Even if you don’t have Body of Royalty products you can still use the hashtag; you can still address the issues and the concerns within the beauty industry and other things like that. There’s a picture surfacing that’s free, repost it and retweet it. Things like that, you can use just to support the message and also make sure you follow Body of Royalty’s social media accounts which is @bodyofroyalty on Instagram and Twitter and like us on Facebook. In the upcoming weeks you may find that your favorite celebrity is supporting the cause.
Joseph: Also with the campaign as Jermelle had mentioned previously, some people do think it’s a little racy or a little too sexy or a little too provocative but in life we are not remembered by the things that we do, but by the things that we don’t do. So by being afraid to do something, even by supporting a campaign like this in fear that people will look at you differently, again it’s about being confident within. So I definitely do think with the #PhuckYourShade campaign it should inspire our beauty queens again to be confident, be provocative, and ultimately be royalty.
Any makeup trends for the spring and summer that our PYNK girls should look out for?
Jermelle: For summer, the lips are bold. We have a purple out that’s a soft purple that’s called “Girl Code”, that’s really big. “Silence”, an orange, that’s also really big. It’s all about big fun makeup. I always remind people that for spring and summer less is a little bit more. It’s hot, you don’t need all the caked up makeup and the dramatic shadows. So keep it simple, but keep it daring and bold at the same time.
Joseph: I would agree we do have this lip-gloss its more like lip lacquer and its called “Always and Forever” in homage to Alyssa Edwards because that’s like her catch phrase “Always and forever”, and its so bold and so bright and it’s pink and electric. I think that’s definitely going to be the go to spring/summer colors.
#PYNKGirls ! Don’t Forget, Use the hashtag #PhuckYourShade and support the movement and follow @bodyofroyalty !