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Birth of a Cult:
From Wow to Now!
All Ages, All Races, All Sexes… A professional makeup brand setting trends backstage at fashion weeks around the world. Today, M·A·C means so many things to its millions of fans in every corner of the planet, but a global beauty phenomenon has to begin somewhere.
Make-Up Art Cosmetics started life in Toronto, Canada. Makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan and salon owner Frank Angelo became frustrated by the lack of makeup that photographed well, so they decided to create their own. At first, they made the cosmetics in their kitchen and sold them straight from the salon to fellow makeup artists, as well as models and photographers. Soon, stylists and fashion editors got in on the action. As the magazine credits racked up and word-of-mouth popularity grew, the duo launched M·A·C in March 1984 from a counter in a Toronto department store.
The company took the industry by storm, offering a wide range of products that blended street savvy with glamorous style and panache. Behind the counter, the M·A·C approach was notably different. Rather than driving sales through traditional promotional techniques, M·A·C relied on the integrity of its carefully formulated product line. Adding to the image was a touch of outrageousness. A company that honours individuality and self-expression above all else, it brought a brilliant sense of drag and theatre into the sleek M·A·C stores and department store counters.