Image courtesy of Fromthefloor
There is no doubt that since MAC burst onto the makeup scene back in 1984, they have made a dramatically credible impact on the fashion industry. Not only do they provide high quality makeup to the very best artists for shows and shoots, their professional advice can be accessed through their stand alone stores, along with their expert products. As if offering us the best cosmetics, industry secrets and the artists to teach us how to emulate the latest beauty trends is not enough, MAC produce striking limited edition collections - with collaborators ranging from Zandra Rhodes, to Hello Kitty, to Dame Edna Everage - and even feed further back into the industry with their proactive involvement in both London and New York Fashion Weeks, to name a few. Could we ask much more of a makeup brand? We think not, as we take a look back at their involvement in the Spring Summer 2010 collections...
As the official makeup brand of London Fashion Week, MAC provide a strong team of their PRO artists to designers ranging from industry veterans Pringle of Scotland and Vivienne Westwood Red Label, to the new kids on the block Mark Fast and Louise Gray, retaining their original vision from over 14 years ago, to 'lend support to our number one customer, the professional makeup artist and champion the fashion design community'. If there’s one thing MAC have proven over the weeks of the Spring Summer 2010 fashion shows, it is that they have championed the fashion industry, and now play a pivotal role in its existence.
At London, press and buyers alike were welcomed into the MAC Media Lounge, an area to book a relaxing makeup fix, or simply catch up on the latest catwalk trends and talk to the PRO team working on the latest shows. Keeping up-to-date with technology, 35 senior artists were tweeting live from backstage at shows across the world, giving us fashion obsessives the trends as they were born. Making our busy lives that little bit easier, MAC even collated all of their PRO team’s tweets onto a single website for us to check – macartiststweets.com – which continues to be tweeted on to this day.
Sponsoring London Fashion Week is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how MAC continues to supply and support the fashion industry. The MAC and Milk Studios partnership – an initiative that saw the pair providing a space in which to showcase shows, presentations and press appointments and the MAC PRO artists and products to designers – went down so well that they were fully subscribed in a day and a half. Designers of the moment – including Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Erin Fetherstone and Band of Outsiders to name a few - flocked to be a part of the initiative, which saw MAC giving back considerably to the fashion community. “We’d much rather do this than a bunch of throwaway parties,” Estee Lauder Group President John Demsey explains, “We love the idea of being able to champion and solidify a strong point of view for the next generation. We’re a makeup-artist brand, and we’re inspired by the runway—it’s very organic. Our commitment in terms of fashion is even greater now than when the economy was booming. Some of the most important beauty trends and fashion looks come out of the most lean times. I just have a strong sense that today people care about content. We are going back to focusing on things that move the mark.” The initiative undoubtedly gave designers the support network that they needed, which may have been harder to financially support in the current economic climate. Adi Gil, of ThreeAsFour admitted that showing at Milk made everything a lot easier - “There are so many things to worry about when you’re creating a collection: the invite, the lights, hair and makeup, when all you really want to do is create something beautiful. It’s always a struggle to find the right space. It’s a big plus for us to have Milk this time. We are very lucky".
And it wasn’t just the designers that found the MAC at Milk partnership a delight – press, buyers and attendees of catwalks showcased at Milk Studios, on 450 West 15th St, picked up on the amount of thought and detail that had gone into the creation. The press area was considerably more spacious and equipped than it’s counterpart at Bryant Park, with air conditioning, spacious backstage areas and branded MAC and Milk BMWs, taking busy editors and the like to and from the different venues.
With a showcase of designers, there also came about opportunities for media, retailers, backstage hair and makeup artists, photographers and even schools to get involved with MAC at Milk, furthering the commitment that both MAC and Milk studios deliver to the industry. You really may begin to wonder what else MAC could possibly do for the fashion community, and to think that this is where it all ends, you would be wrong. Their work at the London and New York fashion weeks is only a small proportion of its contribution, as the PRO teams travel worldwide, sponsoring fashion weeks such as South Africa, Sydney and Athens to name a few. They do get something back from all of this though, and this is simply that they get to trial products, sometimes years before they will become available to the consumer. Products are road-tested by makeup artists, who then provide feedback on the application, colour and texture, until the product is then perfected and ready to be sold.
Maybelline may have taken MAC’s place as the beauty sponsor of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, but with the response they’ve had from their initiative at Milk Studios – with a lot of fashion week attendees preferring the Milk Studios setup to the original Bryant Park – they continue to remain seen as on of the most professional, well thought out and reliable cosmetic brands worldwide. We could go on forever to praise MAC for the sometimes overlooked contribution that they provide to the fashion industry, so it just leaves to be said that there is a lot more behind the makeup brand we sometimes take for granted, and that next time that we pick up that excellent Studio Sculpt foundation, or the Viva Glam lipstick we’ll recognise the effort put into making their products so good, and feel lucky to have them. Fashion weeks globally just would not be the same without MAC.