Crain’s Headlines: Fresh Start for Iconic Cosmetics Brand Fashion Fair


A group of familiar faces has bought Fashion Fair out of bankruptcy for nearly $2 million.

The iconic cosmetics brand designed for women of color is now owned by former Johnson Publishing executives Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, along with Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz.

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Rogers said in an emailed statement that the new owners plan to modernize the brand and products, but it will stay true to the company’s roots.

The group also owns Black Opal, which debuted in 1994.  

In other Chicago-area news:

The Chicago-area chef behind Siena Tavern and Prime & Provisions is quickly building a dining empire.

A fan favorite on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Fabio Viviani is sitting on 35 restaurants around the country, with plans to open at least a dozen more in the coming year.

Revenue for his Loop-based Fabio Viviani Hospitality is on track to reach $100 million this year.

Restaurant analysts say he might be moving too fast. But Siena and Prime each take in close to $14 million annually, which is considered huge by industry standards.

Finally, Sara Lee has been going viral for reasons that have nothing to do with the Downers Grove company’s own marketing.

In a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, singer Harry Styles plays a social media manager who mixes up the family friendly corporate account with his personal one.

Sara Lee’s owner told the New York Post is was not involved with the sketch, and that the content doesn’t align with the company’s brand.

Still, it led some viewers to express a sudden fondness for the company’s products on social media.


Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 


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