Online shopping in the past few years has arguably become the most accessible way for consumers to update their wardrobes and keep up with fashion trends. In quarantine, the desire to online shop is heightened by the fact that it’s something tangible and exciting to look forward to - for those who are stuck at home, shopping becomes not only a hobby, but the delivery is actually exciting. Content creators in particular have been focused on updating their social media accounts at home, and are often ordering new outfits for photoshoots. Moreover, online shopping is every introvert’s dream: as our world becomes more digital, and our needs can be met more quickly and efficiently if we don’t leave the house, the pull for ordering clothes online is indisputable.
Luxury brands have definitely been stepping up to the plate in terms of encouraging consumers to order their products online in the last few years. One thing I’ve noticed as a consumer is the tendency of luxury brands to be elusive and creative on social media, rather than outwardly marketing their products. Gucci is an excellent example of this, as their Instagram revolves around creative photoshoots and editorial-style pictures, without the option to buy the clothes highlighted in the picture. However, their website is tailor made for online shopping. This seems to be the model for various high-end brands, as they draw in consumers with creativity and seal the deal with online accessibility.
They understand their brands are more compelling when they don’t attempt to convince consumers to buy their products - they nonchalantly tease their audience with glimpses into the world of high fashion, daring them to shop online.
When online shopping was first introduced, there was a tendency to assume that consumers would gravitate solely towards low end-middle end products. This makes sense: without actually trying something on, feeling fabric or textiles in your hand, or analyzing how an article holds your body, it can be difficult to commit to an expensive purchase. Luxury brands have adapted to this by adding style guides to each article, adding details on how the product should fit, and sometimes having the option to book an online consultation to ensure you receive your perfect fit. If dissatisfied, customers can also often return their purchase for free.
As our cultural psyche accepts online shopping as the norm, luxury brands have been consistently stepping up and making the experience easier for consumers. I’m excited to see how high-end brands, led by people of colour in particular, innovate and contribute to the development of the online shopping experience.
How this Atlanta based brand looks to change the skincare industry
"Many people are fixated on physical appearance, and when they are not able to achieve it, it messes them up mentally. By fixing that one factor, you are boosting someone’s confidence". - Danielle Bahi
Ayele and Co. is a natural skincare line centered around natural and holistic mixtures of olives, sunflowers, almonds, hazelnut oil, and other organic ingredients, Ayele & Co has embarked on the journey to offer transformative products for all skin colors and types since their founding.
In our one-to-one interview, founder Danielle Bahi gives us a peek into her vision for where she looks to take the skincare industry and the underlying unique opportunity she seeks to provide in helping people understand their largest organ, their skin.
Alysha Mohamed: Can you tell me a little about your brand’s vision?
Danielle Bahi: Ayele believes in nurturing people's skin naturally. No need to use topical medication or sell your soul for clear skin, we believe we can provide people with a safer approach.
Alysha Mohamed: It’s rare and exciting to see a Black-owned skincare line with the intention of creating products for all skin tones. How was the idea for the brand inspired?
Danielle Bahi: The brand was created at first to fulfill my own skincare needs. As someone who used to suffer from cystic acne and currently has hirsutism (a condition where women develop an excess amount of androgens which causes excessive hair growth on the face and body), I tried numerous brands hoping to find a resolution to my skin’s needs. After two unsuccessful tries of accutane and other acne treatments, I wanted to give up hope.
I figured the last resort would be to use my grandmother’s at-home natural remedies and experiment from there which created Ayele. Not only did it help my skin, but I developed the love to help others who have gone through the same struggle as me.
Alysha Mohamed: With skincare becoming more mainstream, where would you suggest consumers start in the attempt to understand their skin?
Danielle Bahi: Love your skin first. We know that’s not what people love to hear, but in order to properly cater to your skin’s needs, you must love it first the way it is. By showing it the proper love it needs, you’ll be able to treat your skin’s needs. You won’t rush to buy things that may cause your skin to react negatively because you took the time to first love and understand your skin.
The brand’s goal is “to create a new standard for the cosmetics industry”. What does this new standard look like?
The new standard is having people love their skin regardless of how they look. We live in a society where a certain beauty standard is pushed, however, that is unrealistic. People should be able to look in the mirror and genuinely appreciate their skin.
Alysha Mohamed: A recent blog post on the Ayele website detailed an introduction to skin care for men. Why do you think this is an important topic to cover?
Danielle Bahi: Men tend to neglect their skin a lot more because many of them naturally have good skin. However, what they fail to understand is your skin will fluctuate. It’s good to start taking care of your skin now rather than in the midst of an outbreak.
Alysha Mohamed: Why do you think skincare is so therapeutic?
Danielle Bahi: Skincare is therapeutic because it heals something for others. Many people are fixated on physical appearance and when they’re not able to achieve it, it messes up with them mentally. By fixing that one factor, you’re boosting someone’s confidence. @ayeleandco