MAC Cosmetics is determined to conquer a new continent — Africa — by entering a trio of new countries and planning a three-year strategy to build business.
The brand will open its first freestanding store in Lagos, Nigeria, on Saturday, on the heels of launching other units in Zambia in December and Botswana in early January.
The Lagos store, which the company is doing in partnership with Essenza Co., will be located in the Ikeja City Mall. A second MAC store is planned for The Palms Mall in Lagos later this year, and within three years, the city may be home to as many as five MAC stores. The capital city of Abuja will be next, followed by Nairobi, both within the first three years MAC is in Nigeria, noted Karen Buglisi, global brand president for MAC Cosmetics. “Each market we enter will have to have the ability to support multiple stores,” she said. RELATED STORY: MAC to Open Paris Flagship >>
While MAC has been successful in its 22 doors in South Africa for more than a dozen years, the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa was highlighted by William P. Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and MAC’s parent company, at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in November.
Nigeria is an especially attractive market given that it is the most populated country in Africa, with approximately 166.6 million residents, noted Buglisi. About 17 million people live in Lagos, and as a bonus, cosmetics consumers in Nigeria are very brand-loyal, she said.
As well, despite the fact that MAC isn’t yet sold in Nigeria, the brand has tremendous awareness from the wealthy Nigerians who purchase it in Paris, London and New York, Buglisi said.
“MAC has always been a trailblazer in emerging markets — India, Brazil and Turkey, for example,” said Buglisi. “We believe that the breadth of our product line, particularly in foundation shades, and our pricing will appeal to the Nigerian market, as well other African markets.” For instance, she noted, the brand’s Studio Fix Foundation is available in 50 shades, including very dark shades, and the formula is humidity-resistant. Visuals in the stores will feature black models.
Buglisi is also looking to install a resident trainer and a senior makeup artist, who will also serve as a media spokesman, in the market within the next 12 to 18 months; until then, employees from South Africa will get things set up.
“We will have a full menu of services,” she said, noting this has been true of each of the brand’s entries into emerging markets. “We want customers to be able to go to any market in the world and have a seamless service experience, and we will provide top-notch education to make this happen. We want to go in to Africa boldly and say, ‘We’re here.’”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.