I saw an article on WWD that really caught my eye; Chanel are soon to be debuting their first men’s makeup line. The three products will be introduced in South Korea, starting this September. The range has been named, ‘Boy de Chanel makeup’.
The brand is diving into the growing men’s grooming trend. The collection is said to include a tinted fluid, coming in four colours; a matte moisturising lip balm, and four shades of eyebrow pencil.
Chanel’s Boy franchise already includes products such as handbags and a perfume and is named after Boy Capel, the lover and muse of Gabrielle Chanel. The company stated; “Just as Gabrielle Chanel borrowed elements from the men’s wardrobe to dress women, Chanel draws inspiration from the women’s world to write the vocabulary of a new personal aesthetic for men.”
I really believe that in today’s modern society there are no absolutely feminine or masculine gender specific items anymore. Stereotypes are slowly slipping, with style alone now defining the person we wish to be.
This makeup line confirms and reiterates the ever-changing codes of a narrow minded society led criticism. “Beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style.” The collection will be released out to the rest of the world in November on the house’s e-commerce platforms and in January 2019 in Chanel’s boutiques.
It’s no secret that men wear makeup, they have been doing so for centuries but, despite this fact, society has long deemed cosmetics a signifier of femininity. I feel that this is as a result of heavily gendered marketing and the myriad of successful beauty influencers that dominate Instagram. This industry has always been largely ruled by women.
However, there is a growing movement among men who are taking a stand to prove that beauty doesn’t have to be gender-specific, which is something I truly admire. YouTube stars such as Manny MUA have demonstrated that men can wear makeup just as well as their female peers.
However, I almost feel that with makeup, like this range, being marketed specifically towards men is potentially missing the point that makeup is for everyone. Having said this, I truly believe that this is a huge step forward.
Chanel isn’t the first brand to create cosmetics for guys: Clinique and MMUK, Tom Ford offers a vast collection of products designed especially for men that include concealer, brow designers, lip balm and range of skincare staples.
Gender diversity is becoming increasingly visible and traditional stereotypes are beginning to dissolve. Although I feel that anyone can buy a makeup product, whether it is designed for men or women in mind, I completely understand that some people may feel comfortable purchasing products outside of their binary categorisation, others may not.
If lines like Chanel’s, in dark shades of black and steely blue, encourage more males to have the confidence to purchase makeup without feeling ashamed, I feel that this is the way forward. I feel that more and more brands will soon tap into the gender-neutral market. I have seen more company’s actively marketing themselves as unisex over recent months, which I respect and praise. I hope that more products and brands will limit their use of gender categorising in their new launches.