This September, Disney’s scoundrels are getting their due — in the form of a new color cosmetics collection, Venomous Villains, from MAC Cosmetics.
This story first appeared in the July 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Four of Disney’s nastiest characters — Cruella De Vil of “101 Dalmations” fame, the Evil Queen from “Snow White,” Maleficient from “Sleeping Beauty” and Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog — are getting their own color lineups come Sept. 30.
“Come on — aren’t the nastier ones more fun?” laughed James Gager, senior vice president and creative director for MAC Cosmetics, who worked with Jennifer Balbier, vice president of product development for MAC, in collaboration with Disney to create the collection. “It’s great to be sweet and kind, of course, but everybody wants to take a bite of forbidden fruit from time to time.” And given MAC’s “all races, all ages, all sexes” positioning, Gager and Balbier were eager to include a guy — Dr. Facilier — in the mix.
The bold hues in the lineup — 40 in all, ranging in price from $12 to $29.50 and divided into four collections emblazoned with the characters’ images — were inspired by Pantone reproductions of Disney’s original drawings. “Disney gave us the colors used when these characters were drawn throughout their history,” said Balbier, noting that Cruella and the Evil Queen share more “real woman” shades, such as red lips and peachy blush. Maleficent is “pure fantasy,” said Balbier, noting that offbeat purples, blackened shades and pearlized nails were used. Dr. Facilier headlines the new Magically Cool Liquid Powders. “This is a featherlight powder that goes on like a mist and either sets or enhances foundation, but also lends dimensionality on naked skin,” said Balbier.
“In beauty, women look for fantasy and transformation,” said Johanna Mooney, beauty director for Disney Consumer Products. “When you go to a makeup counter, you want to express an attitude — what we’re finding is the Disney characters are great mediums to tell those stories. I think it’s a little unexpected when people see Disney playing in adult beauty, but as adults, we relate to the classic stories on new levels.”
While none of the executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated the limited edition lineup could generate retail sales of about $5 million.
“These collaborations allow MAC to step into a different persona for a period of time, and to connect with a different audience,” said Guillaume Jesel, senior vice president of global marketing for MAC, noting that he believes they also create an emotional connection with current customers. “We challenge ourselves to be relevant to people in many fields — fashion, entertainment and pop culture, as well as professional makeup artists.”
MAC doesn’t often drink from the same well, Jesel noted (“We do dates, not weddings,” he opines) but the Venomous Villains line marks the brand’s second color lineup with Disney. The first, 2006’s Tint Toons, offered lip colors focusing on the kinder, gentler Disney characters — such as Miss Bunny from Bambi. “It was the antithesis of this collection,” Jesel said.
The products will be available in 1,500 MAC retail and partner department and specialty stores globally and online at maccosmetics.com. As well, a significant online campaign designed to leverage MAC and Disney’s Facebook fans, among others, is planned.