FIT Magnificence Suppose Tank Unveils Outcomes Of ‘The Future Of Accessible Magnificence’ Research

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) master’s program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM)—named the “Beauty Industry’s Think Tank”—unveiled results from “The Future of Accessible Beauty,” research study.


This comprehensive study was from FIT’s 2024 Capstone initiative focusing on traditionally overlooked consumers due to physical, emotional, social, or economic limitations. The research was presented at the college, along with an awards ceremony for graduates and a reception for industry professionals sponsored by Shiseido Americas.


Professor Stephan Kanlian, founder and chair of FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management program, said, 


“Following the launch this month of The Beauty Center at FIT—a collaborative industry/academic hub for consumer and business research with the beauty industry—we are proud to debut our first global research study that can utilize this new center for industry salons and roundtables that integrate the academic research into industry strategy.”


Corey Moran, head of industry–Luxury and Fashion at Google, CFMM adjunct faculty member, and program alumnus, said,


“The capstone research of the FIT Beauty Think Tank provokes discussion and provides a roadmap for future-proofing brands on critical issues of importance to brands and brand leaders, time and time again. The research is informed by extensive field work in global markets, interviews with experts from across industry sectors, and original quantitative research with consumers.”


The class of 2024’s study aims to elevate industry inclusivity across three pivotal realms: Emotional Impact, Economic Consequences, and Social Implications. The study identifies the opportunities in each of these areas, offering suggestions for how to capitalize on each to develop deeper connections with consumers. 


FIT’s graduate students participated in six months of original quantitative and qualitative global consumer research to explore strategies that will help guide organizations through the evolving landscape of beauty and accessibility.

Here are the findings: 

1. Emotional Impact—Meet the Needs of All Consumers 

FIT’s study looked at the emotional impact of inclusivity for people with disabilities on consumer perceptions and organizational culture.


Inclusivity is a powerful movement reshaping the beauty industry, impacting everything from boardrooms to product labs to marketing campaigns. While there have been increasing efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas such as skin tone, body type, gender, and age, a significant demographic remains overlooked: the 20% of the global population that identifies as having a disability, as reported by WGSN Insight Team in the report, “Lifestyle Strategy: Inclusive Cities.” 


This group advocates for a holistic approach, integrating accessibility into every facet of the beauty experience to truly meet the needs of all consumers. As a group that commands spending power of over $13 trillion (according to Interbrand’s report, “Inclusive Design: The Pursuit of Barrier-Free Brand Experience”), their inclusion is not only a moral imperative but also a lucrative business opportunity for growth and shifting expectations.

Opportunity for Beauty Brands: Fully Embrace Diversity & Inclusion

The beauty industry must include people with disabilities—whether neurological, physical, or sensory—in product design, omnichannel sales, and marketing strategies. This will tap into an underserved consumer base and foster brand loyalty.


Additionally, meeting the needs of people with disabilities requires a multifaceted approach across all brand functions to be authentic and effective. Developing inclusive workplace policies and educating associates across all functions will create a supportive environment for all people with disabilities, enriching organizational culture and spurring innovation.

2. Economic Impact—Aim to Eliminate ‘Beauty Deserts’

‘Deserts’ are an often overlooked challenge—geographic areas where services or products are unavailable. In the United States alone, 121 million consumers live in healthcare deserts (GoodRx); 54 million live in food deserts (USDA). What deserts exist within beauty?


With an industry-first concept of beauty deserts, our mission is to identify the unmet needs of consumers in deserts, create widespread access to fundamental beauty products and services, and reignite our responsibility to serve consumers of all socioeconomic strata.

Opportunity: Expand Access & Affordability

The beauty industry must navigate the three factors that define its existence: excessive distance and time spent traveling for beauty products and services; high prices; and the sparse assortment and availability of products that meet key consumer needs.


Brands must re-envision their traditional distribution, pricing, and investment strategies to create lasting change to reach overlooked consumers—and capitize on this $10 billion opportunity.   

3. Social Impact—Consider Women’s Hormonal Health

The social implications at the crossroads of beauty, wellness, and societal norms.

While the beauty industry has long championed women’s empowerment, there’s a vital yet overlooked area: hormonal health. Despite the wellness market’s moves to integrate into beauty, there is a disparity in supporting women’s comprehensive hormonal health needs throughout key stages of their lives.


From puberty to menopause and beyond, women face a journey fraught with hormonal fluctuations leading to many wellness concerns, yet find scant support. Our mission is to bridge the gap between beauty and wellness by advocating for accessible education, products, and research tailored to women’s comprehensive holistic well-being.

Opportunity: Integrating Wellness and Beauty

Integrating wellness and beauty offers the industry a profound opportunity to develop educational initiatives and resources that raise awareness about the impact of hormonal health on beauty and well-being—empowering individuals to make informed choices and prioritize self-care.


By considering hormonal health in product development, research, and education, the industry can cater to the unique needs of women across different life stages.


Supporting women’s holistic well-being through their hormonal changes enables the industry to seamlessly integrate into their lifelong journey, fostering authentic and lasting relationships.


Look Back at FIT’s Capstone Research Over the Years


2022: Beauty After Covid (Video via Vimeo)



2020: The Future of Wellbeing (Video via YouTube)




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