|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1984|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Parent||Estée Lauder Companies|
MAC Cosmetics, stylized as M·A·C, is a cosmetics manufacturer founded in Toronto, Canada in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. The company is headquartered in New York City and became part of the Estée Lauder Companies in 1998. MAC is an acronym for Make-up Art Cosmetics.
During his time as a photographer and makeup artist, co-founder Frank Toskan realized the lack of suitable colours and textures needed to maximize performance and result of makeup for these industries. Further, he realized how limited conventional products in the cosmetic industry were to responding to the needs of the modern woman. For the first time ethnicity in makeup was addressed. Toskan began to craft a niche market in the world of makeup. Family joined forces including brother-in-law and chemist Victor Casale. The Franks created the brand that was "by makeup artists for makeup artist." They were also were known for creating many vivid and rich colours, for every skin tone, focusing on darker skin tones. MAC very quickly cultivated a following in both the fashion and the retail markets, and was responsible for creating many trends. Initially sold exclusively at the BAY in Canada it quickly expanded to Henry Bendel in New York. Nordstrom department stores welcomed the brand soon after marking MAC's first foray into the mass North American retail market Saks, Macy's, Dillard's, and Bloomingdale's rapidly followed suit as well as dozens of MAC owned stand alone stores. Unsolicited celebrity endorsement was key to MAC's success as Madonna, Mariah Carey, Princess Diana, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cher, and Janet Jackson embraced this new world of makeup art. MAC continues to be the leader in creative cosmetic innovation worldwide.
The company's products were originally intended for makeup professionals, but are sold directly to consumers worldwide. Frank Toskan stated that he "first manufactured makeup for models, but then the models wanted this makeup for their sisters, friends, and so on... ". Today, the brand continues to work with in fashion show professionals: "From a niche brand [mainly for photo or film], MAC has become a global brand."
In the 1990s, the brand had over a hundred stores worldwide, earning 200 million francs. The development of the brand internationally, the opening of new points of sale, and the adaptation of product lines tailored to each continent, left little time for the founders to create new products. In 1994, the company Estée Lauder took control of 51% of shares of MAC Cosmetics and began managing the business end while the two founders retained creative control. In 1997, co-founder Frank Angelo died of cardiac arrest during surgery at the age of 49. At that time, MAC had a revenue of US $250 million, which doubled ten years later. Estée Lauder Inc. completed the acquisition in 1998, and Frank Toskan decided to sell his remaining shares shortly thereafter before leaving the company at the end of the same year.
MAC Cosmetics is named one of the top three global makeup brands, with an annual turnover of over $1 billion, and 500 independent stores, with over thirty stores in France. All stores are run by professional makeup artists. MAC is an official makeup brand, used to create makeup for movie actors. The most popular products by the brand are Studio Fix Powder Foundation and Gigablack lash mascara. The most popular lip product by this brand is Viva Glam Lipstick, which became popular due to smooth formula and rich pigmentation. The lipstick was released in 2014.
In September 2012, MAC Cosmetics launched in India firstly the "MAC Selena" collection in collaboration with the estate of Selena Quintanilla Perez. A petition on Change.org proposed the idea of this collaboration to MAC Cosmetics. Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, worked with MAC to create the perfect collection that really represented Selena. The collection sold out within hours not only at MAC stores but also at other retailers that carried the collection such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy's. Fans stood in line for hours to get their hands on the collection but some did walk away empty handed. Due to the high demand for this collection, MAC restocked the collection in December 2016. Her posthumous collaboration with MAC Cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in the cosmetics history.
On August 24, 2017, MAC Cosmetics announced that a collection involved with the estate of late singer Aaliyah will be made available in the summer of 2018. The Official release date for the "MAC Aaliyah" collection will be made available on June 20 online and June 21 in stores. Along with the MAC collection, MAC and i-D Magazine has partnered up to release a short film titled "A-Z of Aaliyah" which will coincide with the launch.
In September 2018, Amy Winehouse fans started a petition on Change.org to ask MAC Cosmetics to collaborate with the estate of the late British singer for her own make-up collection; "MAC Amy Winehouse". After seeing other late female artists Selena and Aaliyah getting their own posthumous lines, fans stated; "Amy Winehouse is a fashion icon. Her image alone inspires so many looks and trends today and has had a massive impact in women, as well as the society we live in." It has been said that the proceeds would go towards the Amy Winehouse Foundation; which raises awareness and helps young vulnerable people struggling with drug/alcohol addiction, as well as mental health issues.
The MAC AIDS Fund was established in 1994 to support men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally by addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS. According to MAC Cosmetics, the fund has raised over $400 million through the sale of MAC's Viva Glam Lipsticks and Lipglosses, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. The Viva Glam product line has been a best-seller for the MAC Cosmetics brand. MAC has collaborated with many celebrities for its Viva Glam line, on limited edition lip glosses and lipsticks to support the Mac AIDS Fund. Every year MAC selects a new spokesperson for Viva Glam. The first was drag queen RuPaul in 1994. RuPaul's Viva Glam lipstick was the first product MAC Cosmetics advertised. The tries to prevent HIV/AIDS by focusing on the connection between HIV/AIDS and gender inequality.