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 chat with Orie to get her thoughts on the year ahead and merging the worlds of writing and beauty.
In 2013, Orie launched a lipstick line called I Love Me with a mission to redefine beauty and remind women and girls to not fall victim to the harmful messages that demean and devalue women. Meanwhile, her publishing company, 13th & Joan, gained steam and consequently, much of Orie’s energy shifted towards helping aspiring authors and ghostwriting. When asked why she decided to try her hand in the cosmetic/beauty space again, she replied,
“In doing so, it became more apparent to me than ever that telling stories is not just limited to books and I found creative ways to merge the messages that are woven through the stories that I tell with makeup because it also tells a story.”
Orie aims to mix her love for words and writing into the brand’s identity. “I tell stories, that is my superpower. In collaboration with my Creative Director, Dr. Allycin Powell, we came up with the concept to mail out our products with “Love Letters” written by me to our customers and supporters to serve as yet another reminder of how special we each are.”
A|Orie Cosmetics will also boast a series of inspirational quotes through their social media channels which will continuously reflect Orie’s love of writing and inspiration. The brand plans to share the stories of everyday ladies who wear their products. “We all have (a story),” Orie emphasized. “There is beauty in that.”
With the intention to be set apart from existing cosmetic lines, A|Orie Cosmetics will blaze a different path. “A|Orie Cosmetics is just as concerned with our brand messaging as we are the product,” Orie stressed. “We believe that women deserve both. I’ve also enlisted an all African-American female team to assist me in running the company. It’s important to us that when a lady sees our products, she is reminded that she is special and to love herself first.” You can tell that this brand wants to create a positive narrative, as Orie reminded us,
“We fight just as hard against negative media messaging as we do to ensure a fierce beauty product. There is a little luxury in each product, yet it is affordable.”
Color selection is incredibly important to women of color, we all know that we can’t wear just any shade. Orie and her team are very aware of this fact. The cosmetic line plans to release three colors for each season, concluding in a total of twelve knockout shades that will be available by the end of the year. Orie told us, “My creative team 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 are fun and really clean. Some you will definitely recognize, and others will be a little funkier.”
Some may wonder… what kind of woman is A|Orie Cosmetics for? “We refer to our clients as chameleons,” she assured us.
“Today’s woman must be able to achieve looks that take her from the boardroom to an afternoon meeting to dinner with friends and make her feel confident enough to close the deal and take a selfie after doing so. Our products tell stories and the narratives of women who aren’t afraid to speak life.”
You can expect a lot of playful colors and fun combinations from this up and coming brand in 2017. “We’ll be bringing looks from the hottest runways and a little bit of charity on top.” Stay in the loop with A|Orie Cosmetics on Instagram as they are preparing for launch events coming to Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago.