Fashion Fair President Resigns Out Of The Blue

By Robert Stitt

The president of Johnson Publishing cosmetics company Fashion Fair, Amy Hilliard, received her appointment in February of 2014. She resigned from her post after less than two years as head of the cosmetics line. Her predecessor, Clarisa Wilson, left Fashion Fair in 2013 after serving just two years in the position. Hilliard said that she wanted to return to work for The Hilliard Group and Wilson left to join the haircare industry.

This time, Johnson Publishing CEO, Desiree Rogers, said that the position of president would not be filled, but that she would be taking over the role herself with support from the management team.

Hilliard is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School. She led the company’s operations, including marketing, sales and retail partnerships. Prior to her time at Fashion Fair, she served at L’Oréal, Burrell, and the founder and CEO of The Hilliard Group.

Although Hilliard’s absence will be felt, Rogers said she was “very excited about the new team that I’m putting in place. Our sales in the past two months have been moving in the right direction.” According to Crain’s, Rogers said that she was strengthening the team with promotions such as moving “Karyn Pettigrew to executive vice president from her current role as director of marketing, and Marcelle Burke to director of sales; from her role as account executive, to manage the brand’s retail relationships.”

Hilliard said the decision to leave was hers and that things are looking up at Fashion Fair. “Fashion Fair is a wonderful brand and it has a very loyal following, so I think people are very excited about the future for Fashion Fair. You have to keep being out there and keep talking to your consumers, and that’s what Fashion Fair is doing.”

Rogers said that several of the problems the line was having have been resolved. A big step was cutting out the 15 percent of the inventory with the lowest sales. “We’re making fixes to the business,” she said.

Fashion Fair was birthed by Johnson Publishing (Ebony and Jet) founder John Johnson and his wife Eunice in 1973. Their goal was to create a fashion line that would “cater to women of color”. At the time, most other companies did not have diversified brands, but times have changed and competition has increased.

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