History of MAC

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Feb 12, 2005
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Since a lot of us here are MAC addicts, I thought you might be interested in this info.


1984: M·A·C founded in Toronto, Canada by makeup artist Frank Toskan and

business partner, Frank Angelo, as a makeup for professionals. M·A·C's

mantra: "All Races, All Sexes, All Ages" conceived to embrace all consumers.

First M·A·C retail location opens in Toronto at the prestigious Simpsons

department store (now The Bay).

1986: M·A·C wows the crowds at the Festival of Canadian Fashion in Toronto

with its far-out looks and bald-headed bride.

1987: Fashion Cares launches in Toronto as an annual fundraising event in

support of people living with HIV/AIDS. A high-energy, hyper-creative

presentation of joy and celebration, M·A·C creates 40 different looks on 40

different models.

1988: M·A·C hits Fifth Avenue with its first U.S. location at Henri Bendel in

New York. Roll out the red carpet - M·A·C launches its soon to be famous matte


1990: Russian Red Lipstick worn by Madonna on her entire Blond Ambition World

Tour. The look for the tour was created by international makeup artist Joanne

Gair and M·A·C's own Frank Toskan.

1991: M·A·C on Christopher Street, N.Y. opens and the infamous Lady Bunny

becomes its fabulous hostess/receptionist. N.Y.'s M·A·C addicts rush the store -

and spill out into the street. Lip service! Supermodel Linda Evangelista makes

Spice Lip Pencil her fave backstage choice. Sales skyrocket!

1992: Studiofix, the product that fuses foundation with powder to create a

flawless matte finish, launched to all-out raves. Since its sell-out

introduction, Studiofix has remained a top favorite amongst M·A·C aficionados.

M·A·C becomes presenter of Wigstock - New York's heady celebration of downtown


1993: VIVA GLAM Lipstick launches in North America - every cent of its

selling price is donated to helping people living with HIV/AIDS. This innovative

program makes M·A·C one of the first makeup companies to take a cause right to

the counter. M·A·C's "Twenty First Century Techno Rave Glam Tour" takes VIVA

GLAM on the road for a promo-tour extravaganza. Live-action, full-on fun, and

featuring glamatron versions of Cher, Marilyn, Naomi and Madonna, this tour

takes M·A·C's progressive edge uptown, downtown ... everywhere!

1994: M·A·C AIDS Fund gets incorporated as a charity and powers up its campaign

to raise funds for people living with HIV/AIDS. Drag queen diva RuPaul declared

the First Face of M·A·C when the "Who is the M·A·C Girl?" campaign launches at a

star-studded party at the M·A·C Henri Bendel location, New York. Million dollar

lipstick! Twelve months after its launch, VIVA GLAM raises its first million!

Kids Helping Kids seasonal greeting card fundraising program launches to support

children living with HIV/AIDS.

1995: M·A·C hits Hollywood. Loni Anderson and Roseanne praise M·A·C; singer

Michael Jackson takes his orders to M·A·C on Santa Monica. Ooh la la! M·A·C

opens in Paris. VIVA GLAM Couture Colour collection launches at Fashion Cares,

Toronto, then takes off for Montreal, London, Tokyo and Melbourne. Starring

RuPaul, featured designers include Todd Oldham, Rifat Ozbek, Cynthia Rowley,

Zapata, Marc Jacobs, Philip Treacy and Katharine Hamnett.

1996: Getting hauter! The M·A·C·Pro Team makes its official mark backstage at

Katharine Hamnett in London and Matsuda in New York.

1997: Declaring "I hate makeup, but I love M·A·C," international recording

artist/actor k.d. lang signs on with M·A·C as spokesperson for VIVA GLAM II.

VIVA GLAM II, a muted mauve-pink, launches in conjunction with the "Girlie

Party" tour. With the support of k.d. lang, VIVA GLAM II raises more than $1

million within its first few months. From chic to shriek: Neve Campbell sports

M·A·C for Scream II! M·A·C mourns the passing away of cofounder, Frank Angelo.

1998 : Supporting its pro roots, the M·A·C·Pro concept store launches in New

York as a one-stop resource for makeup professionals. Key industry spots,

Toronto and L.A., quickly follow suit.

1999: Globe-trotting M·A·C reaches over 300 locations worldwide! Jet set, go!

The M·A·C·Pro Team attends the collections in New York, London, Paris, and Milan

to do Spring/Summer 2000 for over 45 designers, including Alexander McQueen,

Richard Tyler, Oscar de la Renta, Collette Dinnigan, and Julien MacDonald. The

M·A·C AIDS Fund reaches $14 million plus (U.S.).


January: Forget Nirvana! M·A·C launches into the new century with Huetopia.

February: Doggone! Violet, spokespoodle for M·A·C's Puppy Love Valentine's

collection, makes a guest appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue.

VIVA GLAM III launches. VGIII spokespeople, Mary J. Blige and Lil' Kim sing its


In New York, M·A·C President John Demsey presents a check on behalf of the M·A·C

AIDS Fund in the amount of $500,000 to the United Nations Development Programme

to help support UN-sponsored HIV/AIDS relief in Africa.

The M·A·C·Pro Team creates a red riot backstage at the New York, London, Paris,

Milan F/W 2000 collections...

April: Extra-revolutionary Hyper Real Foundation launches. Under a heading

"Immaculate Complexion," American Elle notes that Hyper Real manipulates light

to achieve a "synthetic skin texture."

M·A·C Viva Glam Floating World Tour launches at Toronto's 14th Fashion Cares

event. The tour highlights the passionate hue of Viva Glam III with designs from

some of the world's top designers. Touch-down spots include Bahrain, Auckland,

Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and Los Angeles.

May: C'est bon! M·A·C shows off the chi-chi new layout and look for all

upcoming M·A·C stores when it opens its Montreal flagship store on boulevard

Saint-Laurent. Helping rev up the celebrations: the M·A·C Viva Glam Floating

World Tour, and singer, Martha Wash.

John Demsey presents a donation of $500,000 on behalf of the M·A·C AIDS Fund, in

the name of the late Frank Angelo, co-founder of M·A·C, to La Maison du Parc, an

AIDS hospice in Montreal.

Inspired by the work of 1950's "pinup" photographer, Bunny Yeager, M·A·C

launches its Summer 2000 colour collection, Bombshells, and in doing so dares to

bring back the lure, panache and playful sexuality of retro beach glam!

June: M·A·C adds a feather to its fez and opens up in Bahrain- the 2nd store in

the United Arab Emirates.

July: Click, click, hooray! M·A·C turns worldwide M·A·C addicts' World Wide

Wait into super-reality with the much-requested launch of maccosmetics.com.

August: M·A·C Pro-Preferred Skincare launches, making pro-style backstage

fixes available for all. Models, actors and people with a 24/7 life discover the

fast energizing merits of Strobe Cream and the lavish luxe-de-luxe of Cold

Cream, while even the unbabies amongst us take to the conveniently portable and

stylishly packaged Wipes.

September: To personify the Fall 2000 colour collection, M·A·C creates "Lady

Danger" - giving fall's new order of karate-kicking femme-power a sophisticated

and powerful boost.

Flash happy stars were ecstatic to find the M·A·C Artists on call for their

touch up and makeover needs during the party-frenzy of the annual International

Toronto Film Festival. A zoom-lens zoo, M·A·C Artists ensured that the stars'

eyes were twinkling as the paparazzi closed in for their close-ups.

Spring/Summer 2001... The M·A·C·Pro Team does a record number of shows (over

70!) including such plums as Alexander McQueen, Ungaro, Alberta Ferretti,

Cacharel and Diesel Style Lab.

October: M·A·C was on everyone's lips when supersoul singer and M·A·C Viva Glam

III spokesperson, Mary J. Blige headlined the United Nations Development

Programme's Race Against Poverty event on October 23 at the UN's General

Assembly Hall, New York., M·A·C President John Demsey, co-host of the event,

confirmed the M·A·C AIDS Fund support of UNDP AIDS-relief projects in Africa by

announcing a second donation (see April) of $250,000 to go towards supporting

people in Africa living with HIV/AIDS.

Asp and you shall receive... When M·A·C artists requested "snakeskin" textures

for use in this year's python looks, they received it - in the form of M·A·C

Snake Eyes. M·A·C refines cutting edge colour technology by surrealistically

replicating snakeskin-link textures in nail polishes and shadows.

November: Rudi Rocks! The festive season gets a shiver of colour relief as

M·A·C launches Merry M·A·C Mas - a chill out colour collection depicted by

poster girl, RuPaul. Body art and baudy fashions met and melded as Fashion

Cares Vancouver - M·A·C Viva Glam Floating World turn a fusion event into a

night of high performance. Participating local luminaries included Catherine

Regehr, Seizal Virani, Tiko and John Fluevog. Proceeds from the event, which

included a silent auction, went to local AIDS charities: the Dr. Peter AIDS

Foundation, A Loving Spoonful and the St. James Community Service Society.

December: M·A·C celebrates the power and passion behind World AIDS Day while

sales of the fundraising lipstick, Viva Glam III move closer to attaining

$1,000,000 in sales.

2001: The M·A·C AIDS Fund has raised over $22 million(U.S.)

Jun 22, 2004
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I only recall stuff from 1995, but never really followed them. I still remember the VG campaign w/RuPaul & thought it was amazing!
May 6, 2004
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Originally Posted by Mariposa 1988: M·A·C launches its soon to be famous mattelipsticks!

They shouldn't have bothered coz their MATTE lipsticks are disgusting! LMAO! Great article though Marisol
Aug 31, 2005
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That was an interesting read. I had no idea Mac was founded in Toronto-- very cool!

Aug 31, 2005
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Originally Posted by PopModePrincess Thanks for posting! I love that MAC raises money to fight AIDS.
I know- I think thats great! Ironically, I heard that the co-owner died of the disease. I could be wrong though?
Feb 12, 2005
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Originally Posted by PopModePrincess Thanks for posting! I love that MAC raises money to fight AIDS.
Yup.. that was one of the reasons why I bought the Viva Glam palette. I am not much into palettes but it goes towards the AIDS foundation/
Jul 21, 2005
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Great read! I knew the story of the beginnings of MAC, but it is still a wonderful story to read about...

Sep 30, 2005
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I totally agree with Laura, the MATTE lipsticks are disgusting!

Great read though Marisol, thanks!


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