More than an Icon – MAC x Aaliyah – BookF27

More than an Icon – MAC x Aaliyah

The power of social media nowadays is undeniable, not only does word travel faster, but people are able to build communities, share experiences, but most importantly comment on what they feel is lacking or doing well in any given industry. After MAC released in 2016 a collection in honor of Selena, fans of Aaliyah from all over the world were not afraid to speak up. Not only did they demand a collection in the name of the late R&B singer from the makeup brand, but they made sure to go to all the stops to make it happen. A petition on change.org was signed by 26 thousand people, and in their true fashion, they asked for Aaliyah’s family to also be involved; otherwise, the collaboration would have not been supported by the fans. In this is precisely what happened, Rashad, Aaliyah’s oldest brother, and their mother got on board,  went to their storage units, and got everything that could possibly help including the singer’s very own make-up bag that they later showed to the cosmetic brand.

Earlier on this year, MAC released a short video on Instagram, announcing the long-awaited collab, featuring just a purple burgundy backdrop with Aaliyah’s hand signature, her trademark logo and that it would be available in the summer of 2018. And as the year went by slowly but surely, MAC dropped few hints on their social media channels, with pictures of products that would be featured in the collection. Most importantly, they consistently pointed out,  how much this collection would not have been possible if it wasn’t for her devoted fans and that the collection was inspired by her “groundbreaking work in music and in films.” They also mentioned that  Aaliyah’s ultra-famous hit “Try Again” was the starting point of the collection since that look is so iconic. That being said, now you can finally do that perfect nude lip from the video.

Fast forward to today, and we finally got to see the PR Press box, shaped like a pyramid, in the same purple burgundy color. In it, celebrities like Keke Palmer and Kim Kardashian showed on Instagram the dozen of makeup items that fans would get their hands on; an eye palette of 9 different eyeshadows, a bronzer, 4 lipsticks, 2 lip liners, and 4 lipgloss. The same kit was transformed into a squared “Limited Edition Collector’s Box” that also included a bandana which Aaliyah always wore in her early days and a poster of the singer. Each item has a special meaning to the actress and singer, some were named after her hit songs such as “One in a Million”, “Age ain’t Nothing”, “Romeo” and “That Somebody” but they also referenced her place of birth “Brooklyn Born” and Detroit the city where she grew up with the lipgloss “Li Li’s Motor City”. It ’s been almost two decades since Aaliyah passed away in the tragic plane crash, but this collection feels just as authentic as she was, as her brother mentioned, her style was so forward-thinking and ahead of her time, that it’s very much relevant today.

Through a video that was shot in collaboration with i-D, which you can see on their website, MAC made sure to involve her fans from all walks of life, such as dancers and makeup artists that Aaliyah worked with, people that were close to her such as Timbaland and Missy, in honor of the singer. They all described her as the girl next door, effortless, iconic and as someone that inspired others to be fearless. The collection is also a tribute to her style evolution from her 90’s glam-goth yet street fashion, to her glamorous curls and tomboy vibes that she always displayed.

As Missy Elliot said, her influence today is everywhere and will transcend from generation to generation. Her looks are still very much modern, and what she did for style and culture is her real legacy. From A to Z she was loved, and now fans can reinterpret her signature looks. The collection has been available online and in selective stores since June 21st, but as to no one surprise, the collector’s box is already sold out, as well as three of the lipgloss, the lip liners and the “Hot like” fire lipstick.

By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre