LONDON — Fine jewelry designer and fashion front-row fixture Bao Bao Wan is doing a one-off collaboration with MAC Cosmetics.
The Beijing native, who is a Dior ambassador in China, plans to unveil a limited-edition, jewelry-inspired color cosmetics collection that will land on counters in 33 countries and territories in March. The collection will be available for four weeks.
“It’s all about gemstones and the colors that I love,” Wan told WWD. She called the color palette “easy” and said it will work on a variety of skin tones.
“I’m very conservative with makeup color, and I’m very much about gold shades. I used my logic and my senses: I didn’t want any crazy colors in the collection, and I wanted it to be practical and to suit every skin tone,” Wan said.
The MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection includes five shades of gold eye shadow, including green gold and oxidized rose gold, which take their cues from the precious metal that Wan uses in her jewelry.
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There are four lipsticks and three nail polishes — all inspired by gemstones — and a beauty powder. “You can make your own jewelry on your face,” she said. Wan and MAC declined to reveal the specifics of the color palette and packaging.
The photographer Chen Man, an old friend of Wan’s who did her own collaboration with MAC last year, shot Wan for the campaign. To mark the collection, a short film, directed by the photographer and cinematographer Wing Shya, features Wan as the romantic lead.
Wan claimed she found the part to be particularly difficult. “It’s a love story, and I had to act — and I discovered that I cannot hug a strange man,” she said, adding that a professional orchestra provided the music for the film.
Wan also designed the packaging and said her job as a jeweler helped. “When you design jewelry, you have to match material with color and decide how you want your ‘picture’ to look. That picture became the packaging,” she recounted.
Wan, who studied photography at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, designs high-end jewelry and also has a collection of more accessibly priced items called And the Little Ones. The tiny charms, which measure one square centimeter, are made from diamonds and colored stones and shaped like cameras, bicycles, teapots, eye glasses and guns.
Wan, a free spirit whose ponytail is currently tie-dyed blue, pink and white, said she felt right at home at MAC. “I had total creative freedom. I had an immediate connection with [MAC senior vice president and group creative director] James Gager,” said Wan, adding that he too did not interfere in her creative process. “You could create the most impractical yellow, and MAC would make it.”
The collection will launch to Asian press in Hong Kong on Dec. 4, and Wan said a gala dinner is planned in Beijing for the end of January.