A rendering of the MAC lounge.

NEW YORK — MAC Cosmetics is continuing its quest to bring backstage beauty to the front of the house. <BR><BR>In addition to its role as official makeup sponsor for Olympus Fashion Week, MAC plans to create a lounge in the Bryant Park Tents that...

NEW YORK — MAC Cosmetics is continuing its quest to bring backstage beauty to the front of the house.

In addition to its role as official makeup sponsor for Olympus Fashion Week, MAC plans to create a lounge in the Bryant Park Tents that will be open to show goers, particularly the reporters from far and near who swarm the tents during the ready-to-wear collections here.

The finished space will resemble a cross between a lounge and a newsroom and is intended to bring backstage activities into the tents’ front area, noted John Demsey, president of MAC. Video screens featuring backstage preparing and primping — both live feed and from shows already completed — will be featured, as will shows in progress and show schedules for the week. The space will also include laptop docking stations for visiting reporters.

“MAC has always been an insider brand — so we thought this approach would be a wonderful way of creating a service and highlighting MAC’s backstage involvement at the same time,” said Demsey.

As well, the brand has hired writers and illustrators to pen daily trend reports, which will be disseminated in the tents, added James Gager, senior vice president and creative director for MAC. Gager worked with designer Harry Allen to design the space for a high tech appearance. That look will be achieved with lots of black and reflective surfaces, said Gager. Seating will be upholstered black patent leather. Furthering the reporter motif, MAC-branded pads and pencils will be handed out. Another reporter staple, high-octane espresso and lots of it, will also be available.

The lounge area will be open when the tents are during the shows’ run from next Wednesday to Sept. 15, with the exception of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday. During that time, MAC will hold what it is calling the MAC Satellite Media Tour. The brand will work with regional TV stations on fall 2004 makeup trend pieces, featuring MAC’s current fall cosmetics collection, Tease Me, Tempt Me. “Originally we thought of doing spring 2005 looks for this project, but in the end we decided to focus on trends for the present,” said Gager. “It’s about immediate gratification,” he added with a laugh. The brand has also created a separate video featuring the collection for use in-store this fall.

This story first appeared in the September 3, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Demsey added that he hopes to replicate the MAC lounge concept both in New York and abroad in upcoming seasons. The brand will be involved in more than 50 ready-to-wear shows in New York this season, as well as a to-be-determined number of runway shows in London, Milan and Paris.

— J.N.