The brand will launch a line this fall that is designed to take it out of the traditional cosmetics-bag arena and into full-scale fashion accessories territory.
"MAC has had a heritage since its very beginning as being the first professional makeup artist brand to really have accessories," noted John Demsey, president of MAC. "Our cases and brush rolls have been part of the vocabulary of the brand since the beginning. But with the continued evolution of MAC from a color and fashion perspective, we felt that now was the right time to step up our cosmetics accessories. This is part of the evolution of the upgrading."
Added James Gager, senior vice president and creative director for MAC Cosmetics, "We felt we had an opportunity to do something special. Since we are known as a fashion brand, we decided to do a line that stepped out of being ‘just a makeup bag’ and moved into the realm of a fashion bag."
Demsey and Gager tapped Matt Murphy, head of Matt Murphy Design, whose clients includeLagerfeld Gallery and various makeup packaging, lighting and accessory packaging firms, to design the collection. Murphy, who has designed bags since 1993, aimed for a collection that was not only fashionable, but functional. "My background is in architecture, and this project worked well in terms of shapes and sensibilities," noted Murphy. "I wanted these bags to be completely useful to makeup artists and consumers, so I designed them around the sizes and shapes of cosmetics and brushes." Everything, down to the zipper pulls and fabric used inside the bags, was custom-designed for MAC, he added.
Murphy and Gager also turned to makeup artists to fine-tune the bags. "They’re the lifeblood of our brand," said Gager. "If they’re not functional to makeup artists, it doesn’t matter how good they look."
Or, as Demsey puts it: "I want to be equally relevant in Saks Fifth Avenue, a photo studio and a mall in Bergen County."
While the bags will be available both at department store counters —?which currently number 292 in the U.S. for MAC — and MAC stores (there are currently 40 in the U.S.), Gager’s aim is to "give consumers a little something different" when they visit MAC stores. To that end, certain colors and shapes will be available only in MAC stores — a strategy the brand already employs with certain cosmetics stockkeeping units. Black bags will be available both in department stores and MAC stores, but red, white and beige will be exclusive to MAC stores. "We know black sells well, and MAC is about black, but MAC is also famous for colors," said Gager. As well, shapes and colors will evolve with the collection, which could mean new colors once or twice a year, he added.The initial collection of vinyl bags will roll out in three phases, beginning in October. The bags will roll out to MAC’s global doors at roughly the same time.
The first bags, a small clutch bag retailing for $20 and a pencil/brush zip pouch, also $20, hit department and MAC store counters on Oct. 21. On Nov. 18, a small product zip pouch for $15 and a medium clutch bag for $28 hit department store and MAC store counters and a toiletry case, $50, launches in MAC stores. In the final phase, tentatively slated for late December-early January, small square clutches that are sold separately and fit into a larger carrying case, as well as a brush roll and a tool belt, will be rolled out. Like many high-fashion bags, each item will be tucked into a sleeper bag with a MAC logo.
While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that the bags would do upward of $3 million at retail inthe U.S. in their first year on-counter.
National advertising is not currently planned for the bags. The bags are, in fact, the first phase in a plan by the brand to update its ancillary items. Also in the works: an update of the brand’s travel cases. While he’s keeping mum on most of the details, Gager revealed that the company is currently working with a luggage company to conceptualize new travel cases, which are tentatively slated to be released within the next year.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)