The Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis (WTFM) is this weekend and IGW and WTFM sat down and spoke to Cynthia Dones Promotional Events & Makeup Artistry Manager of IMAN Cosmetics about why their global company supports WTFM. IMAN Cosmetics was founded by retired supermodel, wife, mother, book author, and CEO IMAN. Launched in 1994, IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare and Fragrances are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades and are sold throughout the world including the United States, Canada, UK, France, Brazil, Africa, and the Caribbean.
IGW: Although the company’s founder IMAN is an international icon, you could say that she has not forgotten where she came from. She embraces her heritage as a Somalian, and is sensitive to the challenges of refugees worldwide. How has this shaped the IMAN Cosmetics brand, its insistence on excellence, and its commitment to giving back to the global community?
Cynthia: Cosmetics supports and champions causes that reflect Iman’s commitment to an array of global issues and the interests of our consumers around the world. Our initiatives are often aligned with organizations that address diverse communities which might not ordinarily gain much-needed exposure.
IGW: “Diversity” has become a catch phrase now, one that many companies use to be politically correct. Can you share with us what it is that really makes IMAN different from other cosmetics companies that claim to cater to women of color or those that have a product line specifically for women of color?
Cynthia: At IMAN Cosmetics, we refer to our consumers as “women with skin of color”. The difference is that “women of color” in many markets connotes ideas of specific ethnicity. At IMAN, our focal point is – and always has been – about skin tone, not race. Our commitment is to ensuring that, regardless of background, our consumers find products that match their complexions and address their needs. We have Latina, Asian and African America and other consumers who may all have the same skin tone. None of those women should feel alienated within a brand because of her ethnicity. With IMAN, she will always feel included because her tone and her image are always reflected. She is never a fringe afterthought as with other brands.
IGW: Out of the numerous requests that you receive each year, what was most attractive about aligning with the 2014 Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis?
Cynthia: At IMAN, we are a lifestyle brand with a variety of initiatives that appeal to our consumers’ interests. We support the arts, women and culture. So, the commitment of Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis, was a perfect synergy with the brand as a partner for 2014.
IGW: You have been involved in supporting other theatrical products in recent years, some that were even on Broadway. Please share more about IMAN Cosmetics and your support of the performing arts.
Cynthia: Each year, we select one of more entertainment partners in film, TV, music and theater based on their potential appeal to our audience. Beauty and theater have a lot in common. It’s about creating looks and styles that communicate a mood, feeling or story. Everyday women do this with makeup just like actors do when they create their characters So, we have had quite a bit of success with our theatrical partnerships.
IGW: Now that IMAN is a global cosmetics brand, the brand has expanded into IMAN Style and Beauty, which features the IMAN Global Chic fashion line, and the IMAN Home and Decor Line, which is available through Bed Bath & Beyond. What are some exciting features about these new products and DestinationIMAN.com?
Cynthia: All of the IMAN brands work together to support great lifestyle selections for today’s women. It’s all about self expression and style, from face to apparel, to accessories to decor. Iman is the ultimate curator and editor of style and beauty. The IMAN brand takes Iman’s global aesthetic eye and turns that into products that every woman can incorporate into her lifestyle.
IGW: What would you say is the IMAN formula for success?
Cynthia: Be willing to blaze new trails where others are afraid to go.
IGW: IMAN supports many charities such as Stand for Children, Action Against Hunger, The Children’s Defense Fund and many more. How do you feel that companies like IMAN Cosmetics will influence other companies to be good corporate citizens?
Cynthia: We definitely encourage other corporations to embrace cause related initiatives. At the end of the day, it’s all about people. When your company has a culture that cares about things that matter, everyone benefits. When companies stop caring about people, people stop caring about those companies.
The Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis is so grateful that IMAN Cosmetics cares. Get your tickets now! The festival takes place on Thursday – Saturday, August 7 – 9, 2014 at The Circuit Playhouse, Hattiloo Theatre, Playhouse on the Square and TheatreWorks in Memphis, TN. The Gyneka Awards Gala takes place on August 7th at 7:00 p.m. at The Circuit Playhouse. Visit here to see the schedule of plays, workshops and readings and purchase your tickets as soon as you can. There is limited seating so get your tickets before they sell out!