Byredo’s Ben Gorham held his first meetings with the trailblazing makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench as only very busy people would think to: sitting in traffic, stuck between shows during Paris Fashion Week in 2017. Three years later, they’re putting the finishing touches on the resulting collaboration, Byredo Makeup, at a moment when such hectic schedules have ground to a halt. When we speak in early June, Ffrench is stuck at home in East London, and Gorham is working from Byredo’s studio in Stockholm. On a video call, Gorham points out the window to his nearby apartment and his daughter’s day care. “It’s the first time I’ve been in one place for this long in 15 years,” he says.
Although Byredo’s inaugural makeup line won’t be released until October, you may have a hunch about its aesthetics. The cult brand’s pharmaceutical-chic fragrance bottles and candles have become signifiers of stripped-back Scandinavian good taste. But Byredo Makeup turns out to be a far cry from what most fans will have anticipated. Gorham is banging the drum for makeup as a creative, colorful free-for-all. At the core of the first drop are 16 color sticks in shades ranging from swampy green to ’70s orange, which are intended for use anywhere and anyhow. There are also a liquid liner, mascara, and lipstick in 15 shades, all elevated by their sculptural packaging. The swooped red mascara tube wouldn’t look out of place on the mantel of a 1980s Memphis-style home. Now that Byredo’s minimalism has been absorbed (read: copied) by the mainstream, Gorham is betting on ultra-expressiveness as the future of beauty.
from Vogue Sept 1 2020 https://www.vogue.com/article/byredo-makeup-collection-isamaya-ffrench-ben-gorham