|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1984)|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Parent||Estée Lauder Companies|
MAC Cosmetics (MAC standing for Make-up Art Cosmetics) was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in 1984 with the assistance of chemist Vic Casale. The first U.S MAC store opened in 1991, in New York. The company's products were initially aimed at professional make-up artists, but are now sold to consumers worldwide. Nordstrom was the first department store in the United States to sell MAC products.
Estée Lauder Companies acquired a controlling interest in MAC in 1996, then completed their acquisition of the company in 1998. Original founder Frank Angelo died in 1997 due to complications during surgery.
The company's products were originally intended for makeup professionals, but are now sold directly to consumers worldwide. Frank Toskan states 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. The company Estée Lauder took control of 51% of shares of MAC Cosmetics in 1994; the two founders retained creative control, while Estée Lauder managed the business end. The brand opened their first store in France in 1992 in the Latin Quarter. One of the company founders, Frank Angelo, died of cardiac arrest during surgery in 1997 at the age of 49. At that time M · A · C 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; he left the company he founded at the end of the same year, 1998.
Today, MAC Cosmetics is 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 AIDS Fund
The M·A·C 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. It has raised over $400 million through the sale of M·A·C's Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipgloss, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS.
Controversy arose in September 2010 over the anticipated release of the MAC Rodarte collection, a collaborative effort with the fashion label Rodarte, based on the border town of Ciudad Juarez. The city had been plagued by violence against women including hundreds of female homicides. MAC first changed the names of Juarez-related products and eventually pulled the line before distribution, and instead set up a charity which raised over $3 million in 2 years.
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- President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (November 14, 2014). Press release: "PEPFAR and MAC AIDS Fund Partnership Will Strengthen HIV/AIDS Services for Youth". Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- New York magazine Amy Odell, M.A.C. Cancels Rodarte Line August 17, 2010
- FORRESTER, SHARON (2010-07-20). "MAC's Rodarte Make-up Collection Sparks Controversy". Vogue (UK). Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- "Cosmetics Boycott Launched". La Prensa San Diego. Retrieved 2015-07-17.