Millennial Duo Creates New Online Beauty Market for WOC

coil2.png

When you visit Coil Beauty’s website and see four fists of color, you know you’re home. In an industry traditionally known for its lack of inclusiveness, Founder and CEO Aisha Shannon-Bates and COO and partner Kethlyn White decided to create an online community and marketplace that caters to the unique needs of women of color. The new e-commerce site carries emerging beauty products for women of color - and it gets better, because the brands they carry are owned by people of color too! The site launched in 2018 after Shannon-Bates became frustrated with her shopping experiences at major retail stores. There was often no one to answer questions, make product suggestions, or give any advice on common beauty woes. Seeing this void, Shannon-Bates worked with White to not only improve the online shopping experience for WOC, but offer a well-curated selection of products to address their concerns. Their growing product selection includes some well-known brands, such as The Lip Bar, Camille Rose and Lime Green. From nail polish to tinted moisturizer, they have products women of color are eager to try.

In a MILQ Magazine exclusive, Coil Beauty Founder candidly discusses the upheavals of creating a brand from scratch, and offers some much needed insight on the value of more African-American women represented in the digital beauty arena.

MILQ: Why do you believe it's important to have a digital space for WOC and their beauty needs?

Aisha Shannon-Bates: We believe it is essential for the beauty industry to have representation and a space for all types of beauty in order to continue to evolve. Our site and social media pages showcase women of color in all shapes, sizes, color and everything in between. Coil Beauty gives us the opportunity to engage with our customers through a variety of platforms: they can email us, they can chat with us on any of our social channels, some of our #CoilBeauties and #CoilKids have made videos we’ve featured on our Youtube channel and our ever present “Hey” button lets customers interact with us quickly.

MILQ: What were some initial challenges that both overcame when starting a business?

Aisha: The biggest challenge I've had to overcome when starting Coil Beauty was not really knowing where to start when starting a business. The first task I completed was getting a logo which I thought was my brand but it was not a brand it was just a logo. Once I sat down with someone who develops brands for a living and went through brand discovery, logo development and creating our voice that was the moment Coil Beauty was born. And, the brand development paid off because now when people have questions about my brand or even when my team and I are trying to work through something whether it’s creating a social media graphic or a discount code we revisit our brand book to guide us and without it I do not think we would be where we are today.

MILQ: What makes COIL Beauty unique?

Aisha: Coil Beauty is unique because it’s a site that was created with the idea of showcasing people of color and making it easier to shop for people of color. Coil Beauty was created to make our customers feel like they are important and not an afterthought; we accomplish this with the products we carry and also they way we choose to showcase so many types of black beauty. Coil Beauty also interacts directly with our customers via email, via social media and our “Hey” button which resides in the top right corner of every page on our website. Questions our consumers ask are typically answered by professionals in the field of beauty. We also attend hair shows and expos always looking to interact with our customers, look for new products and to be educated at these events.

MILQ: What is the vision for the company in the long run?

Aisha: The vision for Coil Beauty in the long run is that Coil Beauty will be the go to place to shop for products for people of color. We want people to say I’m having this issue and I need something to fix it and then to say ‘let me go checkout coil and see what they have for me’. We want brick and mortar stores and we want our customers to know that Coil Beauty is theirs and we welcome their feedback and their smiling faces.


visit coilbeauty.com and be sure to follow their Instagram @coilbeauty

coil.png

2019 Style Tips with Celebrity Stylist Scot Louie

 
courtesy of Scot’s Instagram @scotlouie

courtesy of Scot’s Instagram @scotlouie

 

Behind every fashion forward celebrity is a stylist with a keen eye and a pension for aesthetic. In the case of young mavens including Ryan Destiny, Kehlani, and Elisa Johnson to name a few, that master of style is none other than Scot Louie; one of the industry’s youngest rising stars. Louie got his start in the industry at only 15 years old as a styling assistant on the sets of reality television shows. Now more than 10 years later, he’s created his own lane in the industry, known for taking young talent and helping them harness their own signature flare.

Sharing his glitzy work on his personal Instagram account, he boldly proclaims the phrase #FashionNEEDSMe with every post —and we must say that we agree. From red carpets to editorials, Scot Louie has truly done it all and along the way, he’s picked up a sixth sense on how to stay ahead of the pulse of what’s trending in mainstream fashion.

To kick the year off right, we’ve asked Scot Louie to dish on his best tips for cultivating a distinct sense of style while staying up on the latest trends


What was your favorite and least favorite trend of 2018?

I loved seeing a lot of the western from Fall 2017 carried over into 2018 especially from Calvin Klein. I’m a sucker for those Fendi cowboy boots for women.

Personally I don’t have a “least favorite” I’d definitely like to see less of the illusion nude and overtly sexy dresses on the red carpets. I love smart and timeless dressing personally especially when it comes to evening wear

Can you tell us a trend that will never go out of style in your book?

Women in suiting will always be timeless in my eyes. You can put a woman in suiting for everything; press looks, street style, red carpets, dinners. Suiting is so transitional.

Who is your ultimate celebrity fashion crush and why?

For the past like 8 - 10 years it’s been Rihanna and still is. She is so versatile with her effect. Always unexpected and noteworthy. I’ve also always loved Tracee Ellis Ross as Joan Clayton but these past two years she’s been killing the scene with her personal style.

In your opinion, what is a quintessential item that every person should have in their closet?

Forget the little black dress; the black blazer is a must. You can do so much with a black blazer. Go for sexy with no bra and no top. Go for studious with a fitted turtle neck. Go for street with jeans and a loose fitting tee.

Can you name a look that you think any body type can master?

I think the effortless “sexy tom boy” look has become easy for all body types to master and is something all my clients mention. There’s a huge surge of women who are tapping into their more masculine side and find more comfort in that realm. Most sexy tom boy looks feature a fitted item and a looser fitting item and every body type needs proportions

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

What is the key to mastering the power suit aesthetic that has become a signature look featured on your clients?

The key to the power suit more than anything is to have fun with it. Suits have a stigma for being a “serious” look. Have fun with it. Add some hardware (a strong earring, a bold ring, a belt). A burst of color or texture is fantastic with a suit. Try a colored shoe or a mock neck top for an additional layer. Also pay attention to the fit. An oversized suit can easily go from chic to sloppy if it’s too oversized

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

Courtesy of scotlouie.com

What are some of your favorite go-to designers to dress your clients in?

I actually try as much as possible to not pigeonhole my clients into go to designers. I love a wow factor and every designer provides something different. I think switching up designers is imperative especially when building someone’s image

What is your no-fail tip for making any look polished?

Pay attention to fit. A proper fit will always be no-fuss and comfortable. Fit can easily make you look much sharper.

What trends do you forecast that will dominate in 2019?

While it’s a timeless constant I think we’ll be seeing a bigger surge of faux animal use. (Snakeskin; leopard; feathers). Also plenty of tie die and the colors Coral and Marigold for spring.

What tips do you have for a fashion lover who wants to play with trends while staying true to their personal sense of style?

Have a point of reference. I as a stylist always reference another look I’ve loved whether it be from a runway or a old red carpet; music video etc. References make dressing up fun and aspirational.

Stay inspired and keep up with Scot Louie by following his Instagram @scotlouie

2018 MILQ Mavens Of The Year

award.jpeg

It’s official; we’re living in the era of the influencer. Thanks to the impact of social media, the power of fashion has been liberated where high fashion runways forecast what trends we can watch out for, but style influencers truly determine what’s in and what’s not. Now more than ever, everyday women of all hues, sizes and walks of life possess the power to shift the fashion landscape with the upload of a single photo. And thanks to these influencers, we can connect with content that truly depicts the multifaceted nature of our existence in an inspiring and relatable way.

Thousands of new influencers pop up everyday, but there’s a selected few who refuse to take their foot off of our necks, serving us with style inspiration that is coveted and editorial-worthy. For the first time ever, we’ve compiled a list of some of our top favorite influencers who we’ve given our official stamp of approval.

Here is our 2018 List of MILQ Mavens of the Year:

@Thedailyseyi

Style Profile: ‘Structural Flow’

WHY WE LOVE HER:

A master of simple chic, her style is subdued yet vibrant in all of the right ways, making it relatable for the everyday girl seeking some style inspo.

“I find myself gravitating towards structured asymmetric pieces paired with flowy designs. Materials such as satin and silk are the cherry on top when it comes to dressing up.”

Style Lessons Learned from @TheDailySeyi:

  • You can never go wrong with a classic wrap dress

  • Denim always wins

  • Make the trend; don’t let the trend make you

 

@Caribbean_Cowgirl

Style Profile: “Man Repeller Meets Fashion Bomb”

WHY WE LOVE HER:

Zesty and bold, she keeps us at the edge of our seats with her remarkable knack for mixing patterns. She’s always one to take the road less traveled to turn a look that’s true to her distinct style and vibe.

“I’m drawn to...iconic and recognizable and fashion aesthetics...I'm a show off in true Jamaican fashion. You gone see my outfit and remember me.”

Style Lessons Learned from @Caribbean_Cowgirl:

  • Knowing how to mix prints is a gift, not a privilege

  • Black designers need love too

  • Ankara is the new black

 

@Missenocha

Style Profile: “Eclectic”

WHY WE LOVE HER:

She’s the DIY Queen of fashion that can make a homemade piece look designer. She’s an avid travelista who knows how to reinvent her style to fit the aesthetic of every city, while remaining true to her signature vibe.

“[My personal style] is inspired by my travels and surroundings.”

Style Lessons Learned from @missenocha:

  • If you can’t afford it, make it yourself.

  • Rich in texture, rich in life

  • When you travel, pack light & shop often

 

@Lifeinbeverlyheels

Style Profile: “Sophisticated Flare”

WHY WE LOVE HER:

She mixes high and low fashion like no other, always a serving a look that’s sleek with an extra splash of sass.

“[My] fave designers are Victoria Beckham, Cushnie, and Brandon Maxwell.”

Style Lessons Learned from @lifeinbeverlyheels:

  • It’s called a power suit for a reason.

  • You can never have enough statement pieces in your wardrobe

  • Buy pieces worth repeating, then reinvent them.