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Manic Panic is a hair-dye and cosmetics company based in New York City. The company is run by sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo. Manic Panic products are sold at chain stores like Urban Outfitters, Ricky's, Sally Beauty Supply, Hot Topic, Spencer's, Ultimate Beauty; online; and at independent boutiques and salons all over the world. There is a Manic Panic store in Long Island City, NY and also in California.
Sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo opened America's first punk rock boutique, Manic Panic, in 1977. The store was located at 33 St. Mark's Place in New York City, and it sold original clothing designs, brightly-colored hair dyes and makeup, and punk paraphernalia such as obscure band t-shirts. The name "Manic Panic" was coined by their mother. At the time of the store's opening, Tish and Snooky were singers in the original Blondie lineup, and also had their own band, The Sic F*cks (who still perform today). While the business has now moved to Long Island City, NY, the original Manic Panic boutique is regarded as a symbol of first generation punk. When the store opened, the hair dye was imported from England, but in 1995 they introduced the MANIC PANIC®-branded line that was vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA. Manic Panic has been featured in many publications and worn by many celebrities (see below).
In 2004, MTV mentioned Manic Panic in a television documentary, crediting them for beginning what would become a trend of men and women wearing different hair colors in the 1990s into the 2000s. The NYC store's front and signage are featured prominently in a shot in the opening montage of Saturday Night Live's 1980-81 season. Heidi Klum told Allure Magazine (March 2013): “I put Manic Panic in my hair to make the tips pink. That was a big hit in my family. Mama was really cool because of that.” Jars of Manic Panic dye were given away in gift bags at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and tubes of DYE HARD Gel were sold at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's gift shop during their 2013 PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit. Manic Panic has been used in ad campaigns for Opening Ceremony and Kate Spade Saturday. In 2012 the book New York Originals was released, featuring a 4-page spread on Tish and Snooky and the story of Manic Panic, with a TV show of the same name. That same year saw the release of The Best of PUNK Magazine, which included photos of the sisters' early punk rock days.
Manic Panic Today
Today the company is best-known for its brightly-colored semi-permanent hair dyes. Currently 38 colors are offered, with the selection changing every year. It is a retail and wholesale business. In addition to the stores mentioned above, there are two licensed Manic Panic salons in California - one in Los Angeles and one in Fresno. The dyes are still vegan, cruelty-free, and not tested on animals. In 2012, Manic Panic received a NYLON Magazine Beauty Award, and the PETA2 Libby Award was given to the company in 2007. Manic Panic has been featured in dozens of magazines, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, NYLON, Allure, Glamour, InStyle, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, ELLE, and more.
Besides hair dye, Manic Panic also sells a full cosmetics line, 30 and 40 volume bleach kits, colored styling gel, wigs, clip-in hair extensions, nail polish, clothing, and accessories. Some of the neon hair dyes and cosmetics glow under black-light.
Celebrities That Have Worn Manic Panic
Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Dennis Rodman, Katy Perry, Lauren Conrad, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, Marilyn Manson, Jared Leto, Debbie Harry, Juliette Lewis, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Green Day, Norma Kamali, Wynona Judd, Heidi Klum, Todd Oldham, Anna Sui, Flea, Hayley Williams, Marc Jacobs, Chris Benz, Christina Applegate, Gavin Rossdale, Stayc Reign, Steven Tyler, MIA, Raven Symone, Kate Pierson, Kelis, Davey Havok, Sylver Logan Sharpe, Coco Rocha, Charlotte Free, Chloe Norgaard, Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Milla Jovovich in Ultraviolet and more.
- The Martha Stewart of Punk Rock?, BusinessWeek, August 8, 2007.
- Tish & Snooky - Manic Panic - Don't Call Them CEOs, CBGB Press.