Fanbytes | Jacqueline Smith - Black Lives Matter Fashion

Jacqueline Smith: How Black Lives Matter Changed the Fashion & Beauty Industry

To celebrate Black History Month, we interviewed Jacqueline Smith, Senior Campaign Manager in the Fashion & Beauty pod at Fanbytes – to discuss the effect of Black Lives Matter on the Fashion & Beauty industry.

Jacqui is a TikTok and influencer marketing expert, having worked on some of our top campaigns for the likes of Clinique, Vestiaire Collective, Origins and Joah Beauty. She’s also an influencer in her own right, with over 25K followers on Instagram. She posts regular fashion, beauty and lifestyle content (follow her 

As a black woman working within a social media marketing agency, she’s passionate about diversity and representation in advertising, particularly when it comes to influencer campaigns. 


How has the Black Lives Matter movement shifted the way Fashion & Beauty brands approach social media campaigns?

Since the Black Lives Matter movement, several brands that I work with have been ensuring that they are shortlisting more diverse influencers across their influencer marketing campaigns. Personally, I’ve been impressed with our clients that have been upfront and open with their requests that we work with black content creators, saying that it’s a big priority for them to be more inclusive. 

There has also been more of a focus on including influencers of different races, body shapes and fashion styles. This allows us as an agency to provide more campaign opportunities to diverse talent and those who may have not been given as many opportunities in the past. We have seen this across fashion, beauty and personal care brands. 

We have also worked with a number of hair brands who have specifically brought out new ranges to target black consumers and different curl types. This is amazing as those who may have felt that certain products were not for them now have an option and can start to feel like brands are considering them.


What are your thoughts on the representation of diverse creators on TikTok compared to other social media platforms? 

In the past year, there has been a wave of diverse creators and celebrities joining the platform. But before this, finding diverse talent in the UK was quite difficult. After the Black Lives Matter movement, we were in a position where brands were very intentional about working with influencers of different races, but we found that there were so many options in the US but not as many in the UK. There’s definitely a gap for more black creators on TikTok, especially within the fashion and beauty sphere.

When I compare their representation on other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram there are so many talent options but it seems that content creators are much slower to join TikTok. I’m not sure if it’s due to the misconception that a lot of people have about TikTok being for younger audiences or that dance content performs best. 

Contrary to what they may think, TikTok is another platform that has something for all ages, there is a space for every niche, community or interest, and the opportunities to go viral with niche content are endless. So I’m using this as an opportunity to tell black influencers and influencers of colour that there is definitely a gap for you, brands want to work with you and we at Fanbytes would love to have you on our campaigns!


Can you tell us about a Fanbytes campaign that has challenged conventional beauty campaigns?

Recently, we worked on a really creative campaign with Yves Saint Laurent to promote their new Black Opium Extreme fragrance. Rather than simply going down the route of using luxury aesthetics, Yves Saint Laurent briefed us to work with black British dance influencers to reflect the diverse consumers they have, but to also appeal to Gen Z audiences that are interested in luxury. 


Each influencer danced in slow motion whilst using the fragrance and showed how using the product made them glow up. The vibe was reminiscent of the silhouette challenge that went viral earlier this year. This concept differed from the way traditional luxury beauty campaigns are presented, usually they follow the same narrative in terms of the talent used. They’re often centred around a romantic scenario involving a female model wearing a glamorous dress with a male love interest wearing a suit and the female model is looking to catch the man’s attention with her scent – we’ve seen this time and time again. But this Tiktok ad was cool, fun, alluring and extremely diverse in terms of the influencers we recruited.


From our insights, we know that TikTok audiences don’t want to be sold to through obvious marketing messages, they want to be engaged, inspired and drawn in to the content first and that’s what we were able to achieve from this activation.


Ad @YSL Beauty I make my own rules. Confidence is key! ##blackopiumextreme ##yslbeauty

♬ original sound – Regina 

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