YSL Beauty's Latest Collaboration Celebrates Black Expression

Ariana Yaptangco
·2-min read
Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

From ELLE

Freedom is a means of expression, and YSL Beauty knows there's no better way to express ourselves than through beauty and art. One year after the launch of Libre Eau de Parfum, the brand is celebrating with a special collaboration featuring four influential artists.

For the project, YSL Beauty enlisted singer and artist Mashonda Tifrere, who founded the advocacy platform ArtLeadHER in 2016 to empower female creators in the male-dominated art world. Tifrere selected three rising Black artists, Amani Lewis, Melissa Kolby, and Uzo Njoku, to reimagine the Libre Eau de Parfum with a commissioned artwork series.

Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

Based in Baltimore, Amani Lewis captures their city and its inhabitants. "[Lewis] has one goal for their works: to reimagine the mechanisms used by media, to deepen their subjects’ perspectives of themselves, their power, and the relationship to their surroundings," a press release stated.

Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

Working out of Tampa, Melissa Koby addresses social justice and racism in her artwork."[Koby's] ability to create art is her way of expressing when there are no words to express," the release adds.

Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

Lastly, Nigerian artist Uzo Njoku, known on Instagram as "UzoArt," creates contemporary African art with Black women as its center. Njoku finds inspiration by viewing the world "through the lens of her culture."

Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

All three artists embody the spirit of Libre Eau de Parfum, which is rooted in freedom and individuality. "Libre is an important pillar for the brand, but moreover, it’s a representation of freedom," says Ali Ivanoff, YSL Beauty's Director of Social Media Strategy. "These four women openly and authentically share their individual messages of freedom and gender expression through their art. We hope that this empowers women from varying communities to see themselves through this collaboration, while highlighting the need for equality of women in the arts.”

Photo credit: YSL Beauty
Photo credit: YSL Beauty

Featuring notes of orange blossom, lavender essence, and musk accord, Libre Eau de Parfum is undefinable, working the balance between masculine and feminine. The commissioned artwork will be showcased on YSL Beauty's website and social media platforms, and featured in a perfume mailer to YSL Beauty loyalty customers.

With each purchase of Libre Eau de Parfum, consumers will be able to donate to the artists, as well as redirected to the ArtLeadHER website for more ways to support the BIPOC artist community.

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