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Alfred Richard Fornay

Maker interview details

Profile image of Alfred Richard Fornay
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  • July 23, 2007
  • July 19, 2007


  • Category: MediaMakers
  • Occupation(s): Magazine Beauty Editor


  • Born: June 8, 1941
  • Birth Location: Cincinnati, Ohio


  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Favorite Food: Southern Style Garden Salad
  • Favorite Time of Year: Fall, Spring
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Bermuda; Paris, France

Favorite Quote

"Develop A Skin As Thick As A Rhinoceros Hide."
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Magazine beauty editor and consultant Alfred Fornay was born on June 8, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from high school, Fornay moved to New York City, where he attended the Wilfred Academy of Beauty and Hair Design. In 1966, Fornay went on to earn his A.A.S. degree from the City College of New York in merchandising and marketing, and another A.A.S. degree from the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

In 1971, after completing his education, Fornay was hired as the Assistant Ethnic Marketing Manager for Clairol Cosmetics. The next year, he moved to Essence magazine, where he was the Associate Beauty Editor. In 1973, he returned to cosmetics as Beauty/Training Director for Fashion Fair. Five years later, he was hired by Revlon and became Creative Director for Revlon’s “Polished Ambers” Collection.

In 1980, Fornay became an editor for Elan magazine’s beauty section. Two years later, he was hired as Ebony’s beauty and fashion editor. When Ebony expanded with a new magazine, Ebony Man, in 1985, Fornay served as the magazine’s first editor in chief, and worked with the publication in various capacities thereafter. He also wrote contributing pieces for other magazines and in 1989 wrote and published Fornay’s Guide to Skin Care and Makeup for Women of Color.

Fornay has been affiliated with a number of organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Boys and Girls Choirs of Harlem and the nonprofit styleWORKS. Beginning in 2000, he has taught evening classes on color, cosmetics and men’s grooming at the New Rochelle High School. He published two additional books, The African American Woman’s Guide to Successful Make-Up and Skin Care and Born Beautiful: The African American Teenager’s Complete Beauty Guide. From 2005 to 2006, he served as a special assistant to David Paterson, then a New York state senator. Fornay is developing a new magazine, Luxe Living and another book, Beauty for Life, for older women. Fornay opened the Image Connection Institute, a personal development company, purveyors of business protocol, etiquette, manners, courtesy, fashion, beauty, grooming programs for men, women, young people and children. His first clients were professional interns for the Bill Clinton Foundation.

Fornay was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 19, 2007.

Previews from the Digital Archive


Watch the full interview in the Digital Archive