From dismantling systemic racism to being champions of love, expression and inclusivity on a scale no generation has seen before…gen-z are toppling the archaic structures that have preceded them. Utilising the likes of TikTok, every user has the power to be a part of the conversation, speak their truth and become an activist. It’s this moment in time and the possibility of “creating a world free from constraint” that most excites FACULTY co-founders Umar Elbably and Fenton Jagdeo.
Crucial to the foundation of FACULTY as a brand, Elbably credits gen-z with “rewriting the masculinity story”. “First wave masculinity, which reigned for most of history, embodies machismo and shows of dominance. The toxic masculinity conversation focuses a lot on first wave [behaviours]. The second wave encouraged men to disavow their nature, and to take on some “traditionally feminine” behaviours, such as talking about mental health and taking on acts of self-care…Yet overall, masculinity has lacked any conversation [around] beauty…Unfortunately, for many of the thousands of men we’ve spoken to, they feel it’s not “cool” or part of “masculinity” for them to take pride in their care or style. The same conversation is echoed when discussing men’s mental health. We see it differently. The near future holds an opportunity for anyone, whatever your background is or how you identify, the comfort and permission to be you, whoever you are.”
Launching with a dark green nail lacquer in collaboration with Chase ‘Lil Huddy’ Hudson, FACULTY is a men’s beauty brand invested in “educating, and leveraging idols who are already using products to show others they can too,” says Elbably. “Our first product [is] vegan, cruelty free, non toxic and handmade in California.”
“There is nothing more liberating than having the freedom to be yourself, and the comfort to show the world,” he says. “Normalizing makeup in the male-identifying cabinet means getting them to use the products. It’s quite simple. But navigating the conversation is difficult because of the sensitivities related to masculinity. More male-identifying individuals than ever are interested in using makeup. However, we commonly hear they don’t know where to start, and no brand speaks to them.”
On the partnership with Chase, Elbably explains he was the natural choice for FACULTY. “Chase embodies our ethos as a brand. He has an unapologetically bold style that has already started conversations around masculinity”, his trade-mark e-boy style strongly resonating with his near 22 million TikTok followers and nine million Instagram followers. “In response to a comment on his video promoting his crop top, he mentions he’s “taking a stand against toxic masculinity”. Widely known for wearing nail polish on the regular, “we saw him as the absolute best individual to launch with. He’s already the part,” Elbably says.
Launching today with the first of their nail lacquer shades, FACULTY will be dropping new shades each month in low order quantities, before moving into cosmetics with concealer and tinted lip balm. “Our goal is to create an entire kit of makeup products and everyday skin care necessities,” he says. “FACULTY is more than a product or a brand; we’re catalysing a movement that encourages expression in all forms.”
FACULTY’s collaboration with Chase Hudson will be available via the brand’s website here, with the added channel of notifying subscribers via SMS of new product and exclusive product launches (text FACULTY to 29071). Currently only available in the US.