It’s a hit!  All the beauty counter staff are wearing the uniform in their own personal style.  They look great.  We love it.
– Anna-Marie McCann-Ellerington, National Education Manager, BareMinerals

BareMinerals is the San Francisco-based beauty brand that has connected with its loyal customer base globally for almost four decades through a range of original, natural products that allow the wearer’s personal style to shine through.

“We’re never content with just making them look pretty, we want to make a positive difference in women’s lives,” is their mantra. So when the company approached Jermyn Street Design – because of our experience and reputation working with top international beauty brands – it was no surprise that they asked for this ethos to be reflected in a new uniform for the 800 beauty counter staff (95% female) who promote the BareMinerals community across the UK.

The brief was to create a single piece – the client stipulated a casual denim-influence shirt – that would have instant stand out recognition for customer, something that had been missing in the workwear to date. Previously, there was no consistency and staff had no pride in what they wore.

“Now all that has changed. Our role was to capture the influence of the brand and to allow the personality of each individual employee to shine through in a single garment,” says JSD Sales and Marketing Director, Ann Dowdeswell, who worked closely with BareMinerals from the first.

“Above all, it was vital to create a design that allowed everyone to interpret how they wear the shirt in their own personal style and to feel good about themselves – not to be in any way ‘masked’ by the uniform,” explains JSD designer, Christina Burke.

“The strapline for BareMinerals is ‘Be Original. Be Natural. Be Good.’ I have used the products myself for years and so I understand their brand values and was excited to be designing this uniform piece to reflect all of that.”

Working to brand guidelines from the US parent company, the JSD in-house design team visited a BareMinerals flagship store before creating mood boards that showed trends (‘elevated denim’ is currently enjoying a second coming), shapes, details, finishings and colour palettes.

The client then selected what would fit best with the brand: a light blue chambray tunic-length shirt for women – go easy, yet style smart – that can be worn every which-way and always over a black base, with personalised accessories. For men, there is a similar casual shirt with a concealed buttoned-down collar and the same smart styling, and brand details. Most important, these shirts link all those who wear them: whatever their ethnicity, size, shape and age.

With over 35 years of experience designing uniforms and corporate wear, JSD was well-placed to advise on the most suitable fabric. “We specified a 55%/45% blend that combines the breathability of cotton with the durability of polyester. It holds its shape better than 100% cotton chambray and so is not just comfortable but looks crisp at the beauty counter all day,” confirms Christine Burke.

“The BareMinerals branding is in a neutral shade and that was picked out for the golden stitch detailing on the shirt, and for the logo on the front pocket and the company’s strapline that runs across the back yoke. The natural wood-look buttons also reflect the ethos of the brand. Mock pockets on the front of the tunic shirt were stitched down at the client ‘s request, to create an ‘American girl’ look.”

The sleeves are cut so staff can wear them long, short or scrunched up casual – or they can flip back the cuff. At the back, the tunic is cut with a dipped hem and a deep vent running up to the horizontal waist seam – unusual for a shirt, says the design team. The side seams have a shaped split on each side, which gives an intriguing perspective.

At the wearer trials that JSD ran in the BareMinerals Covent Garden store through autumn 2016, staff loved experimenting with different ways of wearing the shirt, to reflect their own individuality. Customers loved it, too. Feedback was that they all looked great, and the new uniform rolled out in 2017. Stock is held in the JSD warehouse and ordered through a bespoke online system.

“I have yet to see two girls wearing the shirt-tunic in the same way when I visit a BareMinerals outlet,” says Christina Burke. “Everyone brings their own interpretation to the piece. Some wear it open, over a tiny black T-shirt. Some button it to the neck. I didn’t visualise the shirt being tied under the bust – it was designed to be worn tucked in, belted, or hanging loose … and everything inbetween. So the fact that the versatile styling is encouraging some beauty staff to tie it makes me very happy. It’s all about how they want to interpret their own personal style and what makes them feel good – which makes it totally on brand for BareMinerals!”