Selfridges Birmingham Launches The Beauty Project

The biggest celebration and issue-raising initiative ever staged by the store on the subject of beauty, 1 May to 12 June

Selfridges continues its commitment to providing customers with extraordinary and beyond-shopping retail experiences with the launch of The Beauty Project, a multi-faceted and thought-provoking exploration on the definition of beauty and what it means in today’s society.

Six central themes – all representing various key aspects of the ongoing beauty debate - have been chosen to articulate the Beauty Project – from the special product selection and in-store services to the talks and workshops staged throughout the Beauty Project. They are Men and Beauty, Age and Beauty, Adornment/Extreme Beauty, Global Beauty, Androgyny and Natural Beauty.

All six themes are illustrated by a new and unretouched advertising campaign shot by German photographer and filmmaker Norbert Shoerner, showing the faces of unknown characters next to the line: Hello Beautiful. Each character embodies an aspect of beauty today. Everyone will be invited to comment at #beautyproject and at Selfridges.com where the project takes over the site.

The Beauty Project debates

At the heart of The Beauty Project is The Salon and its thematically curated programme.
Based on the concept of the French literary and philosophical gatherings popular during the 17th and 18th centuries, The Salon at Selfridges seeks, like its illustrious predecessors to debate and entertain its attendees.

Over six weeks, presented by TV personality Genelle Aldred and with exclusive contributions from several speakers and experts from the Midlands, The Salon will tackle big questions, such as whether it is possible to age naturally and stay beautiful, as well as showcasing figures who represent unconventional notions of beauty, from Britain’s most tattooed man to the transformation of a drag queen.

Wednesday 21st May, 6 - 7.30pm: ‘Skin lightening - is this still an issue within Black and Asian communities?’
Join BBC Asian network presenter Noreen Khan as we discuss whether ethnic women still want to look two shades lighter, or whether we have all become more comfortable with our own skin tones.

Thursday 22nd May, 6 - 7.30pm: ‘Manscaping & Moisturisers: The New Manly Man’ by Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s Laurie Evans and Richard Jones
Successful Midland cricketers Laurie Evans and Richard Jones explore the topic of male beauty and its growing prevalence in today’s society.

Wednesday 28th May, 6 - 7.30pm: ‘Understanding ageing, how to look healthy and natural’ with Vik Vijh and Sajjad Rajpar
Mr Vik Vijh, consultant plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, who is currently the resident plastic surgeon on the Channel 4 TV show Embarrassing Bodies, discusses natural beauty with leading dermatologist Sajjad Rajpar. Learn the secrets to naturally healthy skin and ask our consultants any pressing beauty questions.

Thursday 29th May, 6 - 7.30pm: Creating a Drag Queen: From Owen to Divina de Campo
A rare insight into the journey from man to drag queen. Watch Divina de Campo come to life as Owen talks us through his routine and demonstrates the transformation, live.

Wednesday 4th June, 6 - 7.30pm: In conversation with ‘King of Ink Land King Body Art’ Britain’s Most Tattooed Man
Meet Britain’s most tattooed man, who has changed his name by deed poll to The King of Ink Land King Body Art. He has covered 90 per cent of his body in ink, including tattooing his left eyeball black and is now having some tattoos removed to make space to start again.

Thursday 5th June, 6 - 7.30pm: A discussion around the history of beauty, its change through the ages and the global differences between cultures, with Vik Vijh
Having worked on many TV programmes such as 10 Years Younger, Extreme Makeover and Embarrassing Bodies, lead consultant plastic surgeon Vik Vijh discusses beauty through the ages and how its perception changes across the globe.

Sunday 8th June, 12 - 4pm: Henna Art Masterclass with Pavan Ahluwahlia - The World’s Fastest Henna Artist
Join Pavan as she hosts the ultimate henna masterclasses, sharing tips and techniques including the perfect henna recipe, the best mixing paints and how to make tools for application. She will also demonstrate the diversity of henna art, drawing upon its transition over time from tradition to trend.

Film: As part of its multi-faceted approach to the project, Selfridges commissioned filmmaker and curator Kathryn Ferguson to produce a series of four incisive and impactful interview-based mini documentaries on themes such as north and south divide in beauty attitudes in the UK; the return of natural hair in Afro-Caribbean women and body modification. The films will be showcased on selfridges.com where viewers will be encouraged to engage with each film and exchange views on all elements of the Beauty Project.

The Beauty Project stimulates the senses - The Fragrance Lab
The Beauty Project at Selfridges follows in the footsteps of Harry Gordon Selfridge*, and is once more reinventing the way to experience and shop fragrances with the launch of the Fragrance Lab. An exclusive collaboration with the famous trends forecasting consultancy, The Future Laboratory, and Givaudan, custodian of one of the world’s most impressive collection of ‘Nez’ (perfume makers), the Fragrance Lab is a unique tri-dimensional olfactive journey into perfume during which the customer’s own particular character traits and reactions will define the perfect fragrance formula to match their personality and preferences.

The Beauty Project beautifies
As well as diving to the heart of beauty issues, the Beauty Project also celebrates the diversity in beauty, the plentiful ways it can be changed, enhanced, transformed and gives customers the means to explore their own beauty journey to their superself – the best they can, or wish, to look.
Thousands of products and dozens of treatments and services have been reviewed and edited to showcase the most up-to-the-minute, powerful and original available in 2014, anywhere in the world.

They include:

The Groom Shop – a true male grooming destination with everything covering the basics of shaving to haircare, skincare, well-being and anti-ageing products.

The Barber Shop – a new old-fashioned yet unbeatable shaving destination for men.

Temporary Tattoos – customers will have the option to choose from Henna by Pavan (the world’s fastest henna artist) or a specially commissioned collection of temporary tattoos from leading fashion brands.

For more information on The Beauty Project and to book tickets visit www.selfridges.com.

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