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Maybe He’s Born With It

As Maybelline become the latest brand to employ a male beauty ambassador, Katie Devlin examines the increasing profile of men in fashion.

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JUST over a year since male singer, actor and celebrity spawn Jaden Smith was appointed the face of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear collection and donned a selection of skirts in the campaign shots, Maybelline have named male beauty vlogger and make-up artist Manny Gutierrez as the face of their new mascara.

Instagram superstar Guiterrez is the first male ambassador for the cosmetics giant and joins a growing list of men fronting campaigns for traditionally female products. He follows in the footsteps of teenager James Charles, who became the first ever male CoverGirl last year.

“It’s hard to ignore the fact that men have as much of a place in the fashion sphere as women do.”

Long-time Chanel patriot Pharrell Williams, who last month walked in the brand’s Métiers d’Art runway show in a tweed jacket complete with brooch and pearl necklaces, has been tapped to lead their new handbag campaign. This announcement further moves the attention from men’s female inspired clothes to accessories, and highlights the distinct change to the way the fashion industry is thinking about and creating for men.

The fashion industry, being one of the only industries that operates mostly by and for women, is also one which is constantly plagued with accusations of superficiality. As the month of fashion shows dedicated to menswear draws to a close, the process of division in an industry so focused on appearance and the physical construction of self is proving more and more redundant each year. Vanity is not a trait reserved for women. In fact, style is no longer a feminine attribute nor is it perceived as such.

As the focus shifts again from men’s attire to male cosmetics and beauty products, it is hard to ignore the fact that men have as much of a place in the fashion sphere as women do. Let’s keep in mind that this is not Maybelline mascara ‘for men’; Guiterrez stars in the campaign alongside female beauty guru Shayla, removing any sort of ‘male make-up’ market niche or novelty angle.

It’s more than time to take the exclusivity and frivolity out of fashion, and having men actively partake and engage with the business of style could in actual fact help to lift that trivial taboo while giving a more realistic reflection of the people who value it.