Hosted by Derek Blasberg, the virtual summit will feature timely panel discussions as well as informative beauty segments with celebrities and YouTube content creators

By Hanna Flanagan
April 29, 2021 12:03 PM
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It's officially festival season, and YouTube is (virtually) participating!

PEOPLE can exclusively announce that the video platform is set to host an inaugural summit with YouTube content creators, public figures and celebrities to discuss all things beauty, aptly named, The YouTube Beauty Festival.

Premiering May 14 on youtube.com/fashion, the virtual event will be hosted by YouTube's Head of Fashion and Beauty Derek Blasberg. Celebrity beauty brand owners like Jessica Alba (The Honest Company), Miranda Kerr (Kora Organics), Pharrell Williams (Humanrace founder) and Millie Bobby Brown (Florence by Mills), along with influencers including Emma Chamberlain, Manny MUA and Patrick Starrr are set to attend.

Derek Blasberg
Credit: Stephane Cardinale/Getty Images

The global summit will feature panel discussions about diversity in beauty, the history of the industry and much more. Viewers will also be able to tune into segments like Black Beauty Founder Roundtable with YouTube's Head of Beauty Creators Chanel Tyler, Ask a Drag Queen with RuPaul's Drag Race winners Bob the Drag Queen and Monét X Change, and Pharrell Glow, where the Grammy-winning musician will reveal the secrets behind his flawless complexion.

Pharrell, Jessica Alba and miranda kerr
Credit: Getty (3)

Want to know more? Us to! So we asked Blasberg and Tyler to give us the full festival low-down.

How did this idea come about?

DEREK BLASBERG: I joined YouTube in the fall of 2018, and a year later we launched YouTube.com/fashion. (Since then, it's grown to become the world's largest aggregate of style content!) My original mission was to create a big moment in 2020 celebrating all things beauty on YouTube, and we were planning a live, in-person activation in the first half of May. For reasons that are obvious, that didn't happen in 2020. However, we spent the last year incubating our ideas, and now we're super excited for them to come to life on May 14th in our inaugural Beauty Festival! This year will be virtual but we are optimistic that we'll be in-person next May. Beauty is one of the strongest and largest communities on YouTube and, since I joined the company, I've been continually inspired and fascinated by the incredibly talented creators, many of whom started by shooting videos in their bedrooms and have since grown into their own media empires.

How did you get so many major industry players to participate?  

DB: Beauty creators on YouTube are pioneers and push the industry in new and unexpected ways — whether it's race or gender or age, people who love beauty are celebrated on YouTube. When other creators and public figures heard that we wanted to celebrate the world of beauty, it was easy to find folks to join us. Also! We have a few more tricks with a few other top creators and beauty industry pioneers up our sleeve, so watch this space.

Without giving away too much, what else can you tell us about the event line-up?

DB: One of the first people I thought of when we were coming up with concepts for this festival was Pharrell Williams. Have you seen recent pictures of this man? He has not aged a day in, like, three decades. What's the secret to his glow? He agreed to go over his beauty routine with three of YouTube's top beauty creators, Asia Jackson, Sylvia Gani, and Nailea. Speaking of creators, one of my favorite YouTubers is Emma Chamberlain, who we've seen be embraced in the style space. (I took her to her first Louis Vuitton show in 2019, and now she's a brand ambassador for them.) I'm sending her all the craziest beauty gadgets I could find and asking her to review them for us. And of one of my favorite segments will be: #askadragqueen. As you know, drag culture and LGBTQ+ representation has been a hallmark of YouTube's beauty community. And, as you probably also know, drag queens know everything! So we invited RuPaul's Drag Race champions Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change to answer life questions from the Twittersphere. They told me they have their own exciting announcement too, but you'll have to tune into to see what that is.

What will the experience be like for viewers?

CHANEL TYLER: As much as we would have loved to activate YouTube Beauty Festival in person this year, (fingers crossed that we can in 2022), we believe that we have created an amazing virtual experience for beauty fans and enthusiasts around the world! Viewers can expect to be inspired, energized and maybe even emotionally moved by some of the stories that are being shared.

What are you most looking forward to?

CT: I joined YouTube last summer but I've been a fan of the platform and beauty creators  since I was a teenager. It was one of the first places I could go to experience the world of beauty with people who looked like me. I think so many people that are a part of our beauty community have similar stories, YouTube is the place where many of us felt understood and seen for the first time because we were not represented in mainstream beauty campaigns. 

As we continue to strive for inclusivity and equity across the beauty industry at large, I wanted to make sure voices from across the space are being heard so I am absolutely looking forward to the Black Founder Roundtable discussion that I had the privilege of moderating. There are so many gems from how to take up space and be a force in an oversaturated market, what it feels like to be one of so few, how to build a strong and engaged community, how to be an ally as a brand and founder, and what having equitable business practices actually means. Also, as a personal fan, I am truly looking forward to seeing the original beauty creator, Michelle Phan, walk us all through the incredible history of beauty on our platform. If I am being totally honest I am looking forward to it all!