MAC Cosmetics has teamed up with Sanrio Global Consumer Products to create a Hello Kitty color cosmetics collection.
The line will arrive on MAC’s Web site Feb. 10, in North American stores on Feb. 12 and into overseas stores in March.
“MAC has been mining pop culture since the brand was founded,” said John Demsey, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “This is a sexy and innocent fashion line, and a true MAC moment. In these times, everyone can use a little fun — and a little Kitty.”
“The partnership was a no-brainer,” said James Gager, senior vice president and creative director of MAC Worldwide. “We cater to people who love to play with makeup.”
While in many licensing partnerships, the licensor shops his or her property around, MAC went after Sanrio, Hello Kitty’s owner, to do the deal. “They had never done makeup before, and I was certain that all those women who already own a bit of Hello Kitty would also want to own branded makeup,” said Gager.
“We are thrilled to partner with a brand that shares the vision of offering an innovative, authentic and transforming experience to our loyal fan base,” said Janet Hsu, president of Sanrio. Sanrio’s worldwide retail sales of licensed products for 2007 is estimated at $5 billion.
While the 34-year-old Hello Kitty character is usually assumed to be a cat, she is actually a girl, according to Sanrio. And a girl without a mouth, so she “speaks from the heart,” the company said. “She may not have a mouth, but she’s going to sell a lot of lipstick,” cracked Demsey, noting that a waiting list for the items will go live on Jan. 7 at maccosmetics.com.
“To me, MAC Hello Kitty embodies the ultimate beauty icon,” said Jennifer Balbier, senior vice president of product development for MAC Worldwide. “She’s sweet and sexy, slightly edgy, and appeals to a wide range of customers. We wanted to reflect that through a sweet side, but also something slightly mischievous when it came to the colors. I started out by creating a palette of pinks, since they fit and always trend well in the spring. And this look is so much about the eyes that we did two eye shadow quads.” The Lucky Tom quad has violet blue, brown, gold and pink-coral shades, while the Too Dolly palette has mint, blue-silver, pale pink and magenta shades.
“We incorporated glitter eyeliners because she loves anything that twinkles, and we took the coral and hot pink theme and did pretty, poppy [colored] blush,” added Balbier.
While this collection is intended to have a sophisticated presentation, MAC hopes to appeal to younger fans with two shades of lip conditioners.
The Hello Kitty offerings fall into two collections: the Hello Kitty Colour Collection and the more high-end Hello Kitty Kouture. The bulk of the items are in the former category: six shades of lipstick with names like Fashion Mews and Strayin’, each $14; six Lipglass shades, each $14; and two tinted lip conditioners, $14.50 each; two eye shadow palettes, which each contain four shades and retail for $38; two shades of pigment are $19.50 each, and two Reflects Glitter stockkeeping units — one blue, one pink — are $17.50 each. Four Glitter Eye Liners, each $16.50, two shades of Beauty Powder, each $22; three shades of nail polish, each $11; a black mascara, $12, and false lashes, $12, round out the color offerings. Shades range from pinks and turquoises to lavenders and greens.
Hello Kitty Kouture is intended to be the high end of the collection. Two shades of Dazzleglass, each $28, each feature a reusable silver chain pendant with Hello Kitty outlined in white Swarovski crystals on black with a pink crystal bow. Sheer Mystery Powder, $90 and available in three shades, is packaged in a silver powder compact with Hello Kitty outlined in white Swarovski crystals with a pink crystal bow on a black background.
“We wanted to have affordable luxury and a high-low aspect, so it made sense to do the Hello Kitty Colour Collection and Hello Kitty Kouture,” said Demsey.
The Hello Kitty Colour items, a Petite Makeup Bag, $22, and a medium Makeup Bag, $35, will be in all doors, currently about 581 department and specialty stores in North America including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, as well as MAC’s 138 freestanding stores in North America and at maccosmetics.com. Internationally, the items will be in 1,307 doors in 69 countries, including 296 MAC freestanding stores outside North America. Hello Kitty Kouture will be available at MAC stores and maccosmetics.com only. At the maximum, the collection will be available for eight weeks.
A plush doll, $42; purse mirror, $22, and three-brush collection, $49.50, will be available at MAC stores, Nordstrom doors and maccosmetics.com only. A mirrored key clip, $16; beaded bracelet, $34, will be sold in MAC retail stores and at maccosmetics.com only, and a tote, $45 and soft vanity kit, $55, will be exclusive to maccosmetics.com. These items are intended to animate the counter presentation and create an entire Hello Kitty world at retail, Gager noted.
While none of the executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the limited edition MAC Hello Kitty collection could do upwards of $12 million in North American retail sales. That projection is slightly larger than that of the hit Barbie collection.
In-store visuals, shot by Nick Knight, show the polar opposite aspects of the collection. One is an image of a blonde model holding a black vinyl Hello Kitty doll, which will be part of the accessory line. The other visual is what Gager terms “more of a dominatrix creature.” The point, said Gager, is to show that makeup can be transformative. Makeup was done by Val Garland, with hair by Sam McKnight.
And Demsey promises the surprises aren’t over yet. “There will be more products to come in the next three months with this partnership,” he said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast