Profile: Barbara Walters, Television’s Legendary Inquisitor | Vanity Fair
The brand’s dedication to its core customer is also seen in the names given to each foundation shade. Powerful Bronze, Confident Copper, Alluring Cocoa and Precious Onyx are just a few of the fun monikers. “When we started this project it became so personal,” said Wilson. “The names came from a list of attributes of black women that we always keep top of mind.” FFC plans to stay at the top of their customers’ minds with this new foundation line and with the highly anticipated debut of Sam Fine’s first signature color cosmetic collection set to launch during the holidays. “We might have fell asleep for a couple of years, but we’re awake and we’re in the game,” said Wilson. “This is just the beginning of getting back to addressing her needs.” And while one would think FFC has a corner on the multiethinic cosmetics market, women of color have become the inspiration behind several product lines released by mainstream companies as of late. LOreal Paris, Dior and Chanel are just a few of the brands that have developed extended foundation offerings to accommodate a growing number of minority customers . However, FFC isn’t worried about the competition. “The black consumer isn’t simply an extension of Fashion Fair,” Wilson said. “They are Fashion Fair.” A sentiment that rings true in FFC’s campaign ad for the True Finish foundations. Instead of using a celebrity or model, the company sought out a “real woman” to serve as the face of the new line. They found that face working at a Starbucks in Los Angeles and it belongs to Amanda Nassali Kiggundu. The bold and beautiful campaign image shows a flawless Kiggundu gazing off into the distance and adorned with nothing more than a plethora of green beaded bracelets. And what makes the image even more powerful is the fact that Kiggundu is bald–and by choice.
I was just so busy and I didnt think I could spare that four days traveling, the interview, a weekand Im kicking myself. For Walters and Geddie, selecting the group was always more art than science; from New Years Day to Thanksgiving, theyd keep a running list of more than 100 possibilities and often make 11th-hour changes if whoever felt like a defining personality back in February didnt radiate relevance come November. They did no formal polling, but, Walters says, If youre delivering the turkey sandwich, we ask your opinion. I might say, Hi. Hows the turkey sandwich? Did you ever hear of so-and-so? You did? What do you think of him? Walters had first been captivated by the Middle East when visiting Israel in 1973, for the 25th anniversary of the countrys founding. On that trip, she had interviewed not only former Prime Minister Golda Meir, but also Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan, with whom she formed a lasting friendship. (Dayans widow, Raquel, would wear to her husbands 1981 funeral a dress that belonged to Walters.) The historic nature of what was at stake for Israel and its neighbors, as well as the powerful and charismatic personalities of the players, made it irresistible; to this day, Walters says her all-time favorite interviewee was then Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. After her 1977 joint interview with Sadat and Israels Begin, she wanted to hold a similar joint interview with the Egyptian and Israeli ambassadors, in the United States. Because Egypt and Israel had been at war since 1948, the two men had never met, and the Egyptian ambassador, Ashraf Ghorbal, didnt want to be in the presence of his Israeli counterpart, Simcha Dinitz, for the first time on television. Walters held an off-the-record dinner for them at a hotel in Washington, an elite gathering also attended by William Safire, Sam Donaldson, Peter Jennings, Katharine Graham, and Henry Kissinger. Walters was at (or, as it were, just outside) Camp David, when Sadat and Begin signed the Peace Accords, in September 1978. She was in Jerusalem with Begin, in March 1979, when word came from Cairo that Sadat, meeting with President Carter, had agreed to sign the treaty that had emerged from the accords; Walters and her crew then raced to Egypt, flying through Cyprus because direct flights from Israel were illegal, and at Sadats residence in Giza the crew threw pebbles at his window at 11 P.M. in the hope hed come out and talk. (He didnt.) Walters nevertheless reported from outside the residence at two A.M., before finally heading to a hotel, where she and three colleagues shared twin beds. Of being a woman in such settings, Walters says, It never got in my way, and Im not so sure that in some places, like with Castro, it didnt help. (But, no, she says, despite the lingering rumors, she and the Cuban revolutionary never slept together.) In more ways than one, Walters believes that such international excitement is part of the past.