IN THE STUDIO WITH SASHA PLAVSIC

IN THE STUDIO WITH SASHA PLAVSIC

Sasha Plavsic is the Creator and Chief Creative Officer of ILIA Beauty.

Sasha Plavsic wears our Critter Garden Button Down with our Hand Embroidered Cardigan from the new FW21 collection "What Dreams May Come."

Sasha Plavsic wears our Critter Garden Button Down with our Hand Embroidered Cardigan from the new FW21 collection "What Dreams May Come."

‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎

HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH JONATHAN COHEN?

Our Marketing Director at ILIA is a friend of Sarah Leff, and told me about his amazing designs.

THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS CHANGING AT SUCH A RAPID PACE. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR THE FUTURE OF FASHION?

Sustainability will be the biggest challenge amongst all industries in the coming decade and beyond.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE OF FASHION

Sustainability and supporting underserved communities around the globe with production possibilities. Everything has become so much more mass in our world. What can we do to return to more simplicity and quality?

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START ILIA? WHY IS NATURAL BEAUTY SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO CONSIDER AND WHAT ROLE DOES IT PLAY IN YOUR OWN LIFE?

I was inspired by curiosity and the challenge to see if I could create a more natural and clean beauty line. The first ten years were all about the product and ensuring we continually pushed the boundaries in innovation. The next ten start to encompass more lifestyle aspects that involve additional pillars of new sustainability efforts and social responsibility.

Sasha Plavsic wears the Critter Garden Party Button Down from our new FW21 "What Dreams May Come" collection.

Sasha Plavsic wears the Critter Garden Party Button Down from our new FW21 "What Dreams May Come" collection.

WHILE WE ARE MAKING GREAT SHIFTS OF AWARENESS OF WHAT GOES INTO EACH GARMENT, WE ALSO FEEL WHAT WE PUT ON OUR SKIN IS IMPORTANT. WHY IS NATURAL SKINCARE AND MAKEUP IMPORTANT TO YOU?

I believe the world in many ways is becoming more aware and with that awareness brands need to become more thoughtful. Clean beauty is important as a category because there is a desire for transparency. I am a customer of this new category and want to know the details of a product, what went into it. That there was careful consideration into ensuring it performs as a product, and delivers on it’s claims. At the heart, ILIA is a beauty brand with a purpose to protect and revive the skin. Two small words that mean so much to those looking to take care of themselves and their skin.

WE ARE AT AN INTERESTING POINT IN TIME FOR RETAIL, WITH MORE AND MORE SHOPPING OCCURRING ONLINE. HOW HAS COVID IMPACTED YOUR ONLINE SHOPPING PRESENCE AND HOW HAVE YOU STRIVED TO PROVIDE A UNIQUE ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS DURING THESE TIMES?

COVID was something nobody could plan for. In the world of DTC, it was an immense opportunity to engage a new customer. Everyone was on their phones much more during lockdown, and this opened up new possibilities to speak to and acquire a new customer. It was the golden era of the digital age, and sadly came about as a result of a global pandemic. As we move forward into living life out of our homes, I believe continuing to provide excellent customer service online and physically in all of our retail partner locations will be instrumental to continued growth.

Some of ILIA Beauty's best sellers in their sustainable packaging made using recycled aluminum, glass components, and responsibly sourced paper.

Some of ILIA Beauty's best sellers in their sustainable packaging made using recycled aluminum, glass components, and responsibly sourced paper.

HOW DO YOU STRIVE TO EXPAND INCLUSIVITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY, ESPECIALLY WITH SHADES IN MAKEUP?

We look outside of the brand and work with a handful of shade experts. Many of them come from diverse backgrounds, and have experience working as makeup artists daily on set. We also listen to our customers and gather data to support where we need to expand in shade range. It’s a continuous journey.

HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITHIN THE FASHION AND BEAUTY INDUSTRIES AS A BRANDING EXECUTIVE PRIOR TO STARTING ILIA INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION-MAKING WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING FOR ILIA PRODUCTS?

The idea for ILIA happened over 12 years ago, and at that time the idea was to create part of the packaging out of recycled aluminum. The shift into more sustainability packaging is very recent in the beauty industry, roughly a couple years in the making. There were not the resources with the vendors to be more sustainable in the right way. Now, there is lots to explore. We are re-working much of our packaging to be more sustainable which will take a few years as a result of our size, yet it is something that is very important to me.

Sasha Plavsic wears our Critter Garden Button Down with our Hand Embroidered Cardigan from the new FW21 collection "What Dreams May Come."

Sasha Plavsic wears our Critter Garden Button Down with our Hand Embroidered Cardigan from the new FW21 collection "What Dreams May Come."

HOW DO ILIA'S FORMULAS DIFFER FROM OTHER MAKEUP AND SKINCARE BRANDS? WHAT DO CUSTOMERS TYPICALLY NOTICE IS UNIQUE ABOUT ILIA AND THEIR SKIN WHILE AND AFTER USING IT?

At ILIA we make clean skin-centric beauty, meaning it all starts with the skin. We are looking to protect and revive the skin with active ingredients blended with a base that help neutralize and balance the skin. Ultimately there should be a visible difference over time that is brighter, smoother, and more even in tone. When wearing our products, they should feel weightless, easy to apply and make your skin look and feel alive.

ON ILIA'S WEBSITE, THERE IS A DESIGNATED AREA TO FEATURE YOUR COMMITMENT TO RECYCLING, PARTNERING WITH TERRACYCLE'S "ZERO WASTE BOX" PLATFORM. SINCE COVID STRUCK, OIL PRICES HAVE DROPPED, THEREFORE MAKING THE PRODUCTION OF NEW PLASTICS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN RECYCLING. HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHER BEAUTY BUSINESSES TO FOLLOW YOUR LEAD IN PRIORITIZING RECYCLING, ESPECIALLY DURING SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME FOR THE RECYCLING INDUSTRY?

The beauty industry is one of the biggest polluters as an industry overall. With the climate crisis on the horizon, we have no other choice but to investigate further into how we can do this better. Color cosmetics are especially challenging and today there are some things we won’t be able to change. But I do believe we will see a much bigger shift in making the customer part of the solution, with the ability to recycle and dispose of empties. It just requires great education and an openness to something new.

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