Special Collections

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Inspiring Beauty: No.7

No7 is one of the UK’s most enduring beauty brands. To celebrate its 80th anniversary, this exhibition features previously unseen material from Boots Archives, charting key moments in the history of this Nottingham-born brand, from its initial launch in 1935 to its development as an international
beauty range.

Originally created with modern women in mind, No7 has developed over the years to address their changing beauty needs. Launched in an era which was soon to be transformed by the Second World War, this exhibition explores the social changes
affecting women during the last eight decades, and the extent to which No7 responded to them. It charts the measures taken to counteract war-time shortages
and the explosion of colour and choice in the 1960s to enable glamour-on-the-go.

The exhibition shows how in more recent years the demands of women for purity and efficacy have helped to shape product development. Through the
packaging, advertising and formulations of No7, we can deconstruct the cosmetic evolution of the modern woman.

Using the hidden voices of the women behind the brand, we will bring to life the inspiring stories of those who made designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling beauty, their business. 

Jointly curated by Boots Archives, Dr Richard Hornsey (Lecturer in Modern British History at The University of Nottingham) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.