Could the pandemic be the catalyst for beauty’s Roaring Twenties?
MAC Cosmetics threw a fête Friday night in celebration of Saweetie, who earlier that day was revealed as the brand’s newest ambassador. The Boom Boom Room in lower Manhattan was filled with red roses and clear crystals in keeping with the party’s theme: icy, a nod to Saweetie’s song “Icy Grl,” that marked her mainstream music entry.
Guests were required to show proof of vaccination prior to entering the venue. By 10 p.m., the room was filled with Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. executives, VIPs, editors and guests, who mingled and swayed to the beats of DJ Miss Milan.
A couple of years ago, Saweetie was an emerging rapper who used social media to brand herself in the vein of her hit song. Critics originally struggled to place her within rap, but Saweetie stood firm, embodying a subgenre she has called “pretty b–ch music,” which is also the title of her upcoming debut studio album.
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Saweetie has mastered social media and branding throughout the pandemic. Now it’s paying off. She collaborated with McDonald’s on a Happy Meal earlier this year, and on Friday, she told WWD she is working on a “high-fashion campaign.”
Then there’s her MAC ambassadorship. Saweetie declined to reveal whether a product collaboration is in the works. Instead, she said the partnership would span “everything icy, everything exclusive, everything expensive.”
Speaking from a booth in between bites of appetizers, Saweetie explained that her mother was once a video vixen who wore MAC Cosmetics.
“My mom was a video vixen when video vixens were being paid top-dollar,” Saweetie said. “She was one of the girls who paved the way for the girls who are here today. She was respected. Watching her get ready inspired me to be the woman I am today.”
That woman is who John Demsey, executive group president, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. described as “now.”
“I believe that she is the glamorous inspiration of the Roaring Twenties,” Demsey said of Saweetie. “Since the pandemic, I’ve been listening to the airwaves, on Spotify. She’s glamorous, she wears MAC and she’s incredible.”
Saweetie often draws fashion and beauty inspiration from the 1990s and early 2000s, mixing elements of these with old Hollywood glamour. On Friday, she wore a silver Christian Cowan cutout dress with an orange stole draped around her shoulders and arms. Beauty-wise, she wore oversized eyelashes, highlighter and a pearl tie that held her platinum blonde hair into a sleek ponytail.
Her genuine attraction to makeup — and not of the no-makeup-makeup kind — makes her an ideal match for MAC Cosmetics, which is preparing for a period Demsey predicted will mark the comeback of color cosmetics.
“It’s happening slowly,” Demsey said. “People are getting used to putting it out there. A night like tonight, people haven’t been out like this in New York for a year and a half. People are dressed up and listening to music. The world needs a release. Beauty and makeup and hair. In the toughest of times, actually, makeup does the best.”
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