A-Z of Erika Geraerts: its all fluff
By Ruby Staley
This article is a component of our series; “REPLICA” : A project for A-ZINE exploring fashion, it’s influence and counterfeit culture.
In the current climate of disingenuous propaganda and Facetune inducing body dysmorphia, attention on appearance has reached an all-time high.
Relentlessly flooded with digital content, it can be hard to see through feeds of celebrity endorsed products and superficial trends. Where few have resisted trending products and heavy concealing and contouring, revolutionary makeup brand; Fluff, stands out.
Melbourne owned and run, Fluff (@itsallfluff) focuses on subverting beauty norms to empower girls (and guys) to feel beautiful in their skin, rather than in 10 layers of makeup.
They believe in a ‘less is more’ approach, and that makeup can be “whatever a girl wants it to be” – not what money hungry corporations are telling them they want.
“People are resistant to Fluff because it’s not something that they can validate that they have seen before. It’s not pink, it’s not minimal. It’s loud, it’s in your face, it has an opinion.”
- Erika Geraerts
Fluff believes in listening to their audience and, in turn, creating beautiful and ethical products that will enable them to feel like elevated versions of themselves. And beauty products are only the beginning, with interactive content and an inclusive Instagram page, they’re pushing young people to engage with the brand on a deeper level - starting discussions about what interests and effects them.
Founder of the independent brand; Erika Geraerts has an extensive background in copywriting and business ownership.
After starting her first company, a copywriting and editorial agency, in 2013 called Willow & Blake she then opened a café in Melbourne called; Little Big Sugar Salt. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, in collaboration with her friends, Erika developed Frank Body, the hugely successful skincare brand best known for their natural coffee scrub. For someone still under 30, Erika’s gained a level of entrepreneurial success. But, it isn’t always everything.
Finding herself losing passion for the work she was doing, Erika left Frank Body to do more with her voice. She sought to structure a company around socially empowering and liberating pursuits, rather than ticking a box with an ‘all shapes, all colours’ campaign, or following social trends to gain attention. And just like that, Fluff was born.
“Beauty isn’t my thing”, Erika told us, “I’m really passionate about brands and people and this way we can create a brand for this younger audience, talk to them and hopefully change something in the industry.”
Erika explains that the idea of “purpose versus profit” drives the work she does at Fluff. But after spending over a year engaging in genuine conversations with their audience, Erika and her team developed an understanding of what they needed to do to set themselves apart from other brands.
“I really think there is a place for Fluff, our message is really resonating with a lot of people, which is great”, she told us.
With unique and luxurious design concepts sold at competitive price points, Fluff makes buying ethical and independent easy.
Only having released a bronzing powder and a kabuki brush, so far, Erika and her team worked tirelessly to ensure the products were of the highest quality and only included ethical ingredients. With palm oil on their blacklist, they underwent rigorous processes and testing to perfect the products and ensuring they still performed without it. Erika told us; “creating products without palm oil is really tricky because it’s the base of most formulations”.
Maintaining an ethical conscience whilst listening to and appeasing a young audience has always been at the forefront of the operations at Fluff. And however difficult the production processes proved, Erika refused to cut corners.
“The world doesn’t need more makeup, or a new beauty brand. But I think that it needs a better brand, and better makeup and a brand that speaks so much more to an audience rather than telling them what to do,” said Erika.
Continuing to go beyond creating revolutionary makeup, Fluff also houses a space a for young people to publish their creative work. In the “Issues” section of their web page, a growing collection of quirky ‘thought’ pieces can be found.
In an inclusive space which champions emotional expression, Fluff not only publishes words and imagery from their creators, they also accept submissions from their audience. Experiences, concerns and opinions are voiced to generate genuine conversations about standards of beauty and the traps of social media in a fun, highly readable form.
Speaking to us about the importance of young people voicing their opinions above the noise generated by social media, Erika explained she wanted Fluff to be more than makeup. “I do want to change the idea of what beauty is because right now it’s so literal, and so superficial and focused on outward layers”, she said.
Setting themselves apart from the grain of the beauty industry, Erika told us; “if girls choose to buy Fluff, we want it to be that they’re making a statement about what they care about. ‘I like to get a little bit made up but it doesn’t define me’”.