Silver has featured fragrance brand Byredo several times in the past. Since its launch in 2006, scents created by Byredo’s creative director Ben Gorham have captured the hearts of core group of fashionistas from around the globe. In recent years, the brand has expanded its range of products from fragrance to apparel and leather goods, steadily growing into a lifestyle brand. When rumors of their new endeavor in makeup targeting women reached us, I found it somewhat surprising—since in past interviews Ben claimed, “Byredo’s products reflect my memories and past experiences; I create only what I want to wear.” However, the more I found out about the concept behind it, I realized that this makeup collection perfectly captures the spirit of Byredo. For this project, he collaborated with Isamaya Ffrench, perhaps the most innovative and sough-after makeup artists in today’s fashion scene. What led to a Byredo makeup launch? We shall unravel the brainchild of two great talents through this interview.
“As I worked with scents, I realized that fragrances and concept of beauty go hand in hand,” Ben begins to explain the path that led him to the launch of Byredo’s makeup collection. “Scents make people feel more beautiful. Through realizing this, I started to think about visually expressing Byredo’s idea of beauty. I felt that this was achievable through makeup, just as we did through fragrance. However, the majority who use makeup are women—in fact, I’ve ever used it myself. I was struggling to move forward while implementing the color concepts and functionalities that I envisioned. That’s when I met Isamaya.”
Based in London, Isamaya Ffrench, creative director of top-tier fashion brands and beauty editor of magazines, is one of the most innovative makeup artists in the industry. Isamaya has captivated the world with her self-taught avant-garde makeup style. “I felt that Isamaya’s work was truly unique and creative,” says Ben. “Immediately I knew that she shared the ‘outsider’s perspective’ that we value deeply at Byredo and contacted her. We met few times after that and turned our ideas into reality. While fragrance is all about the scent itself, this project is all about color. How will Isamaya define color in the world of Byredo? This is a project that has been in the works for years.” The results speak for themselves—encased in beautiful packaging, objets d’art in their own right, the bespoke hues are a testament to their dedication and focus on color selection.
“Looking back, our color selection process for the brand was quite unique,” recalls Isamaya. “First, I collected several images which I found very beautiful. Then I extracted parts of the images per pixel. The colors that existed in these images—in pixel units—spoke to me; beautiful colors in pink, green, and brown tones. I organized these pixel colors into a folder and turned them into a color palette. This became the foundation of our color selection. We gave some colors an extra touch, and our color library was formulated. Generally, brands choose sellable tones of red or blue, but we didn’t do that. What we wanted was something unique, custom made, and personal—colors that evoke emotions in people.” You probably won’t find color combinations like theirs in other makeup brands. Selecting colors that stir the imagination of the users is undoubtedly the story of Ben and Isamaya’s collaboration.
Founder and creative director of Byredo. With a unique past as a former professional basketball player, his fragrance is based on his experience of living and growing up in many places all over the world.
© Marcus Ohlsson
After learning 3D design and product design, she launched her career as a makeup artist. She is Dazed Beauty’s creative director and global beauty director for several brands.
© Hugo Yangüela