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MAC, Milk Studios Make Changes to Their Partnership

Starting with the September fashion shows, the name of the MAC & Milk shows will change to Made, Presented by MAC.

NEW YORK — After four seasons, MAC & Milk has a new name and partnership arrangement.

This story first appeared in the August 24, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Starting with the September fashion shows, the name of the shows will change to Made, Presented by MAC. According to sources, Made has signed on Creative Artists Agency as a partner, and Lexus as a sponsor. Neither Mazdack Rassi, founder and creative director of Milk Studios, nor CAA officials could be reached for comment.

The original concept of MAC & Milk was to be a community incubator for emerging design talent, and that will continue. There was no cost for the designers to participate in the shows, and that remains. This season, Made, Presented by MAC will sponsor 37 shows/presentations.

John Demsey, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., which owns MAC Cosmetics, confirmed that MAC will continue to collaborate with Milk Studios, and is the official makeup sponsor at Made, Presented by MAC.

MAC, which generates more than $1 billion in sales and whose financial commitment to New York Fashion Week is in the seven figures, has increased its show budget by 25 percent this year. It continues to be the largest sponsor of New York Fashion Week, and is the largest working makeup brand during New York Fashion Week. MAC has deepened its relationship with designers backstage at Lincoln Center, as well as in off-site presentations and events. Although it doesn’t have the front-of-the-house sponsorship at Lincoln Center — that sponsorship is held by Maybelline — MAC is extremely involved both backstage at Lincoln Center and in other venues. This September, MAC will provide makeup artistry to 95 fashion shows. Worldwide, MAC is involved with 23 fashion weeks, ranging from Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil, to Paris, Copenhagen and Sydney.

Demsey cited multiple reasons why MAC Cosmetics has become so involved in fashion weeks.

“It hones the craft of our makeup artists and keeps the skill set of our makeup artists at a high level,” said Demsey. It also enables the company to turn backstage makeup trends into products. “No brand has the depth of involvement with the fashion brands, and we’re the ‘go-to’ brand for emerging design talent. We’re here to bring to life the designer’s inspiration or creative vision,” he said. Often, makeup looks on the runway become trends that people wear.

Demsey noted that following New York Fashion Week, they’re able to tweak shades that go on counter several months later. “We’re able to pick up major trends and countercultural trends,” he said. Generally, MAC will use about 10 to 20 makeup artists backstage at any given show. Unquestionably, he said they’ll see an uptick in their cosmetics business following a fashion week.

Among the shows in which MAC will provide makeup artistry this season are Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Nicole Miller, Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Ohne Titel, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang and Peter Som. MAC will also host a private dinner celebrating Gurung’s show. In addition, on Sept. 16 MAC will support the opening reception of Daphne Guinness’ Museum at FIT exhibit, which runs Sept. 16 through Jan. 7.

In other activities, MAC Cosmetics will participate in Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 8 at its SoHo location. Beth Ditto will be at the store, where she will perform three songs. In addition, performance artists Gill & Jill Bumby will be in attendance, providing “fair and honest appraisals of your appearance.”

The following night, MAC will sponsor the BOFFO Building Fashion program. BOFFO is a nonprofit arts and culture organization based in Manhattan that provides exhibitions and events that showcase collaborations with artists and designers. MAC will sponsor the Nicola Formichetti and Gage/Clemenceau Architects installation. Each architect’s collaboration will transform 57 Walker Street in Manhattan into an original retail environment, rotating every two weeks.