What happens when a writer has an affinity for lipstick? Two words: Ardre Orie. Acclaimed writer, publisher, playwright and media maven Ardre Orie is flexing her entrepreneurial muscles with the launch of A. Orie Cosmetics in 2017. We sat down to talk with Dr. Allycin Hicks, appointed Creative Director of the brand to get her thoughts on the year ahead.
1. Why did you accept the invitation to join A. Orie Cosmetics in the role of Creative Director?
I accepted the role because I have, like many women my age, an obsession with cosmetics and a deep desire to support Black owned business. I’ve known Ardre for a while and respect her work ethic and kindness. So, when she asked me to be Creative Director I jumped at the opportunity.
2. How does Orie plan to mix her love for words and writing into the brand’s identify or are they two totally different ventures all together?
Ardre’s writing is a natural part of her personality so therefore is is part of everything she does. Each of our colors arrives to our customers with a “Love Letter” written by Orie to serve as yet another reminder of how special we each are. The company will also boast a series of inspirational quotes through our social media channels which will continuously reflect Orie’s love of writing and inspiration.
3. What makes A. Orie Cosmetics different from the existing cosmetic lines?
A. Orie cosmetics is founded by acclaimed writer Ardre Orie and she is a busy writer at that. So, she has integrated her love of prose into the product and it has a truly emerged as a motivational brand. Orie has enlisted an all African-American female team. That’s something that you don’t typically see. We’re a package deal. It’s not just about the lipstick. We put a lot of time into making sure that each and its associated message are communicated to our users. A. Orie Cosmetics is also about expanding your mind, developing your character and understanding who you are as an individual. This obviously goes beyond just lipstick but the lipstick is our route into people’s homes and hearts.
4. Why is the brand’s message so important?
We live in a world where positivity is becoming passé. We want to be a voice for unity, positivity, self-love, self-expression, understanding of others and a drive to do well. We definitely don’t think that were alone in this desire but we know that we desire to stand out as a cosmetics company with emphasis on inward beauty as well as outward beauty.
5. What is your vision for the line’s role in inspiring women and girls?
In a culture where every thought is featured on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Facebook, we have to be cognizant of the fact that we are always being watched and that everything we do from making lipstick, clothes, or even writing books, you can be a form of inspiration for someone. For A. Orie Cosmetics, we really want to focus on African-American women, considering that they are a group who has been so vulnerable to media images. This is a group that obviously most of us in the company have been at one point and we really want to reflect that you can do anything you want to do, that you are beautiful, and if you work hard and produce good products you will be successful.
6. How many colors will be featured in each collection?
You have three colors for each season so that is 12 amazing colors that will be released in 2017. My creative team and I conducted a lot of market research and a lot of research on runway shows and projected trends for 2017. We came up with colors that I think are really fun and really clean. Some you will definitely recognize, and others will be a little funkier.
7. What was your inspiration for 2017?
I was thinking about the needs of the today’s woman. We are chameleons. We transition from mommy mode to girl boss mode and into turn up mode. I worked to create a color story that was playful but also has the basics that every woman needs. Each lipstick isn’t necessarily meant to be worn alone you can actually buy all three lipsticks for each season and wear them together.
8. What can we expect from A. Orie Cosmetics in the coming year?
Expect a lot of playful colors, fun combinations, looks from the hottest runways and a little bit of charity on top. We also have launch events coming up in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago. Everyone be ready to come out!