In this month’s Artist Spotlight we profile one of professional beauty’s most respected and dynamic artists, Naeemah LaFond. The global artistic director for amika, LaFond has carved a deep-rooted identity for herself in this industry as an equity advocate, serving as a beacon of strength, positivity and acceptance. She works tirelessly to uplift others through her myriad platforms and endeavors where she explores the need for inclusion in all aspects of beauty (including salon professional brands, trade and consumer media, as well as salon owners and stylists), both on her own Instagram page as well as through her texture-inclusive collaboration with Pinterest and youth-uplifting partnership with the Wall Group.
To know LaFond deeply is a tremendous gift—one that Beauty Launchpad’s own editorial advisor, Keya Neal, can speak to: “‘Queen’” is how I address her, and a ‘Queen’ she is,” shares Neal. “Naeemah has been an enormous source of inspiration to me. Her presence is felt instantly when she walks into any room. While Naeemah and I have cultivated a personal relationship, I have to confess that I fan-girled her for years. As I would watch her walk the floors of major shows or on stage, Naeemah was always laser-focused on the situation at hand. She had the unspoken task of representing every Black artist in a space where very few of us were, showing up in excellence that surpassed her peers, while carving out a legacy for herself in the industry she loves so much. She made it a point to speak up about the lack of inclusion and opportunities for Black artists. She has mentored many along the way, sharing necessary information that Black artists are simply not privy to. Naeemah and I bonded over the pains of the industry when #GeorgeFloyd was murdered. Our conversations were life giving. Naeemah’s voice carries our ancestors, and is one to be celebrated and honored as one that has spoken difficult truths to power.”
To read about LaFond and celebrate her voice with us, turn to page 34 in the May digital magazine.