McKissack, Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz and Rogers Purchase a Black Owned Cosmetic Company Out of Bankruptcy
The Former executives of Johnson, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, Magnetar’s Alec Litowitz and Rogers purchased a black owned cosmetics company out of bankruptcy. The beauty line of Fashion Fair is now managed by a collection of familiar faces.
The former CEO and COO of Johnson Publishing, Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, together with the hedge fund Magnetar from Alec Litowitz, recently acquired Fashion Fair out of bankruptcy for $1.85 million.
Founded in 1973 to primarily serve African American women, the popular cosmetics brand designed for women of color was owned by the publishing company. At one point, it was the world’s largest black-owned cosmetics company and distributed in department stores and online body, hair and perfume items.
“Fashion Fair is just too valuable to lose to our family,” said Rogers in an emailed statement. “We expect to modernize the brand and products, but will remain true to the origins of the business, which was to create prestigious color women-focused products.”
Earlier this year, after exhausting attempts to restructure, refinance or sell its assets, the 77-year-old Johnson Publishing, founded by John Johnson, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in the Federal Bankruptcy Court.
In recent years, the publishing company has struggled to keep items from Fashion Fair in department stores. His daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, took full control of the company after the founder’s death in 2005 and appointed a number of supervisors, including former social secretary of the White House Rogers as CEO in 2010. While Rogers tried to revive the struggling brand of Fashion Fair with new colors and marketing, it mounted inventory snafus and left in 2017.
Rogers, Litowitz and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack also own Black Opal, another colored women’s beauty brand that was introduced in 1994.