It is my personal belief that whilst it's OK to enjoy the successes that creating a critically and comercially acclaimed cosmetic brand brings, it is important for companies [not just fashion and beauty] to use their exposure to promote worthwhile causes and charities. So much has gone into creating Illamasqua as a brand that champions empowerment, experimentation, individuality and tolerance that you have to truly believe in the values of Illamasqua as much as the product for the brand to realise it's full potential. To highlight what I mean about values, I would like to tell you about Sophie Lancaster:
Sophie Lancaster, a 20 year old gap year student and her 21 year old student boyfriend Robert Maltby were walking through a park in Lancashire, UK in the early hours of August 11th 2007, when a group of youths attacked them without provocation. The severity of the attack was such that both Sophie and Robert's injuries left them in a coma. After two weeks, Robert showed signs of improvement but it became clear that Sophie's injuries were such that her family took the overwhelmingly tough and courageous decision to switch off her life support machine and she died.
During the subsequent trial, the judge labelled the attack as "feral thuggery" and remarked that the behaviour of the attackers "degrades humanity itself."
It is widely recognised that the attack on Sophie and Robert was provoked simply for their belonging to a different subculture. As the prosecution team at the trial of the murder acknowledged; “Sophie and Robert were singled out not for anything they had said or done, but because they looked and dressed differently."
Sophie’s Mother, Sylvia Lancaster, has since set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation a charity that works to raise awareness of social prejudice and work towards a more liberal, less aggressive society. Illamasqua is a proud sponsor of this charity and we even have a black Medium Pencil called Sophie in her memory. This Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' is our best selling product - a rich inky black pencil that is super-blendable and the type of pencil that is irresistably strong and intense on the waterline. £3 of the selling price goes straight to the charity - I will find out how much we have raised so far and let you all know.
We also sell S.O.P.H.I.E wristbands for £2 [all proceeds go to the charity] so next time you place your Illamasqua order online, be sure to pick up one of these and show your support for an extremely brilliant charity.
Lazula80 wrote a wonderful heartfelt post about Sophie recently and I'd like to thank her for inspiring this post. Click here to read it.
Check out the myspace page for the charity here.