Comment Tax Strategies For Business - 02/12/14

tsfbPaying taxes is an inevitable part of everyone’s lives, but what really matters is how people can take advantage of this situation. When it comes to businesses, the point is increasing profits besides all the taxes, and even reducing the tax amounts. Prevention is always a better solution, so staying away from IRS tax relief as long as possible is what every business owner must achieve.

When thinking about starting a business, it is important to know that tax amounts also depend on the business type, and it will be also clear if there would be income taxes, employment taxes or other types. Tracking every business move can be more than beneficial, and one must keep the records, so the tax filling will be easier than ever when the time comes. Even accounting methods can differ, so it is better to stick to one, or to find someone who has a knowledge and experience in this area. Many people tend to mix business with pleasure, so they forget to track all business lunches and dinners, but in the end, that amount can be up to 50% deductable. Even if the time for IRS tax relief comes, it is better to deal with it professionally, and avoid falling into bankruptcy.

Tax Filing For The First Time

Getting involved with taxes for the first time can be frustrating, and people who are not familiar with this process may think they will never do that correctly. However, all one needs to do is sit down and learn some basics on tax returns, IRS tax relief or tax frauds in order to avoid any problems in the future.

The most secure way to file for tax is using one of reliable online or offline software packages. They are designed so that a person cannot miss adding an important fact, and it is usually updated to match the law changes. Even some mobile applications may be helpful, but only in case of smaller reports. When someone is starting a new job that usually includes starting with taxes process, then the W4 form must be filled out correctly. It is very important being organized and preparing taxes on regular basis in order to avoid confusions at the end of the year. Many people tend to miss some credits or deductions, but that can cost them even thousands of dollars, so every step must be well-made. When it comes to filing for taxes, for returns or IRS tax relief the timing is very important, and tax agencies can make sure everything goes as planned.

Proper Way To Negotiate With The IRS

Many taxpayers find themselves in conflict situations with the IRS, mostly when they cannot pay the taxes, or they have problems filing for the IRS tax relief. However, this is not the best way to behave, especially because the IRS is always open to negotiations, no matter what people believe. In order to avoid many penalties, here are some steps everyone should follow.

Starting the negotiation process with the IRS usually means a person knows everything about his case and has all documentation gathered. After that, it is recommended to meet the agent in person, because it is the best way to get all the answers and get the sympathy. It is very important to control emotions, especially if the agent says something that the taxpayer does not want to hear. In case of any inappropriate behavior, the agent has all rights to stop the negotiation and go harder way. Moreover, the agent usually presents many plans that can be suitable for the taxpayer, and he must figure out which one he can stick to. The entire negotiation is beneficial for both sides because the IRS also wants to make sure it will get the money in the end, so it comes up with many IRS tax relief programs.

Comment Italians Just Make Clothes Feel Right - 10/20/13

Instead of trying to ultimately influence American consumers by sending its message to the industry, the Italian Trade Commission is preparing to make a direct statement to U.S. shoppers, focusing on the inner workings of its own trade.

ijmcfThe Italian government, through its Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade and the ITC, announced last week the start of a $15 million, three-year marketing and advertising campaign that will encompass a broader spectrum of products identified with traditional Italian quality and design than had been emphasized in its Moda Made in Italy campaign launched in 1995.

While its previous efforts had concentrated on in-store events, point-of-sale promotions with independent retailers and co-op advertising in consumer publications — focused on Italy’s most well-known designers — the new marketing efforts are somewhat more conceptual and also incorporate smaller enterprises.

During a discussion of its plans at ITC’s New York offices last week, the initiative was endorsed by a panel chosen to demonstrate the campaign’s inclusion of designers, industrialists and manufacturers: Mario Boselli, president of Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion — the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana — and president of high-end fabric house Mario Boselli Holding; Giuseppe (Beppe) Modenese, the chamber’s spokesman; and Gaetano Marzotto, vice chairman of Italian manufacturer Marzotto.

For the past five years, the ITC has promoted the reputation of Italian designers as producing some of the finest goods in the world, a campaign that has been particularly successful in apparel, where the “Made in Italy” label is widely perceived to be an indicator of luxury and often a justification for higher retail price tags.

The crux of the new campaign is to infuse into the minds of consumers that not only are Italian goods top-quality, but also that the country’s long tradition of craftsmanship means that each step of production — from the spinning of yarns to the knitting and weaving of textiles and the sewing of garments — is without peer in the world at any price point. The campaign will encompass the production of bridge-priced apparel, as well as home furnishings, food and wine, and interior design.

ITC officials are just beginning to formulate their plans, under the orchestration of Giovanni Scialpi, a professor of communications at the University of Urbino.

To kick off the program, which ranges from in-store promotions to art exhibits, the organization created an appropriately conceptual launch party in Manhattan Wednesday night, where guests were walked through the process, step by step, in a manner that incorporated “Italian touch, Italian tradition, Italian taste,” the three main components of the effort.

To start, guests entered the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street to see a display of “advanced tactile tables,” an interactive multimedia installation of four tables designed by Studio Azzurro, which has had an established presence in recent years at art festivals at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice and Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.

On two tables, guests knocked and rapped, provoking or altering video images, such as flowers growing out of a vase or a fan starting to turn. The other tables responded to touch, showing a kaleidoscope of abstract images.

Guests then entered the ballroom for the debut American performance of Giorgio Battistelli’s “Experimentum Mundi,” an orchestral performance where traditional instruments were replaced by the tools of a pasta maker, village carpenters, bricklayers and stonecutters.

As the performance began, the pasta maker cracked eggs over a pile of flour, crushing the shells in his hands. Then a blacksmith hammered away and other tradesmen sawed, shaved and shoveled. Meanwhile, a narrator explained that a baker’s most perfect cake or the pasta maker’s well-formed gnocchi is dependent upon the quality of the molds and tools made for them by the blacksmith: thus, illustrating the concept that a task carried out with skill and pride has the inherent capacity to be beautiful.

To drive home that point, tons of perfect cookies, cakes and pasta, along with cannoli, mortadella, prosciutto, risotto and crates of Italian wine — prepared by Carlo Petrini — were served after the performance.

“This is quite important,” said Carla Fendi, one of the designers present at the event. “This Italy project is not only about fashion, but also many other things that are quite important to Italy, and it’s very important to give it the launch it deserves.”

The Italian government is celebrating the “creativity and excellence of the Italian lifestyle,” said Enrico Letta, Italy’s newly appointed minister for foreign trade and handicrafts, with responsibility for tourism. “When we speak about fashion, designers and style, under the surface of every piece you will find a blend of unique technology and know-how. This campaign will be a new kind of support, not a defile, not an affair, but instead a conceptual presentation of Italian lifestyle and fashion.”

The campaign follows on recent market analysis ranking Italy fourth as a supplier to the U.S. of fashion, furniture, tiles and marble, totaling over $9 billion in 1999. Jewelry, high-end footwear and formal men’s wear have been the top exports, and Italy is the largest supplier of these to the U.S., totaling another $13 billion last year, according to the ITC.

“Italian fashion is very well known for its top designers,” said Marzotto. “There is tremendous potential to show there is excellence in all Italian design, and there is potential also for the bridge segment.”

One goal is to establish in-store departments dedicated to Italian fashion, where 20 to 30 lesser known Italian vendors could showcase their designs. The ITC is also dedicating funding toward education of small and medium enterprises on how to sell to the U.S. market, and is encouraging their creation of a consortium effort to sell here as a group.

While these are long-term goals, the ITC will continue to explain its concept through two additional presentations this summer, both at New York’s Ace Gallery at 275 Hudson Street.

Comment Qiora Beautifies - 09/15/13

Qiora will open its second U.S. door today in this seaside community, and for the Shiseido-owned skin care line it may as well be a homecoming. The Japanese beauty giant introduced the three-year-old brand in this country last December with a showcase spa called the Qiora Center for Total Beautification on Madison Avenue in New York.

qbBut it’s in California, ground zero for New Ageisms and the concept of lifestyle, and a place that long ago embraced meditation and aromatherapy (integral parts of the “Qiora beauty method”) that it will likely find its biggest fans.

At least, that’s what’s on the mind of Robin Coe-Hutshing, owner of Fred Segal Essentials, the trailblazing beauty boutique for holistic and independent brands, that will house Qiora’s first West Coast Qiora center.

“We feel it’s a very good match for the customer: a sophisticated, well-traveled, health-conscious [individual] who is interested in all types of yoga, health-wellness pursuits and natural medicines,” Coe-Hutshing said.

The relationship between Coe-Hutshing and Shiseido began last year when Fred Segal Essentials signed on as a retail partner after Shiseido opened its demonstration studio across the street on Broadway.

“Fred Segal Essentials is the boutique a woman, an influential woman, looks to for new, innovative product,” said Kumiko Terao, director of marketing for Qiora, in town last week to initiate the launch. “It’s important to have that kind of exposure in our strategy.”

That strategy includes the retail-only expansion of the line into Bergdorf Goodman this week and later this month at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, Beverly Hills and Dallas. Another 10 U.S. retail doors are slated for the near future, said Terao.

There are no immediate plans for European distribution, she added.

In Japan, Qiora sells in some 2,000 specialty cosmetics doors, and reportedly generated some $34.3 million last year.

The 1,600-square-foot New York door, according to industry sources, is yet to reach initial forecasts of $1.2 million in revenue in its first year.

As for the Santa Monica door, Coe-Hutshing conceded she hasn’t “even done projections. This is one of those things we just did. Obviously we wouldn’t have invested the time and energy if we didn’t think it would be successful.”

Qiora is also made-to-order for the Essentials customer: 30-something and -plus, educated, affluent. A 1-oz. night cream retails for $180; the 4.2-oz. makeup cleanser, $38. And while women may account for most of the sales at Essentials and for Qiora, men are noticeably present purchasing for themselves.

Qiora’s complete 66-stockkeeping-unit line will also be offered at Essentials, marking the first retail rollout for the product outside of the New York door. They include six makeup sku’s designed to complement — not mask — the face, noted Terao.

The look of the line is equally futuristic and organic. Small soft chrome compacts suggest pebbles, while the cool blue bottle and toggle tops curve slightly.

At Essentials, the three pristine white spa rooms, punctuated by the corn blue Qiora bottles, add 600-square-feet to the retailer’s existing 3,300-square-foot space inside the Fred Segal complex, a five-minute walk to the Pacific Ocean.

The lounge, outfitted with marshmallow-like seats, is filled with the New Age-classical sounds of Japanese-based composer Wong Wing Tsan, who created the soundtrack especially for Qiora. The custom-made aural experience continues inside the rooms, with streaming music via headset, the pulsating beats coinciding with a contraption laid on parts of the body to achieve total relaxation and escape.

Staff aestheticians have been trained by Qiora in “omni-sensory” harmonic massage, which uses sound, touch and smell. Soothing foot baths, eye wrapping masks and breathing therapy are all part of the “transcendental” treatments.

Like its East Coast counterpart, the Santa Monica Center offers three levels, distinguished by the amount of body covered, time (from 45 to 120 minutes) and price ($50 to $130).

Just don’t call it a day spa. “We didn’t want to come out with just another day spa environment,” said Coe-Hutshing. “Within a 20-mile radius, there are hundreds of places to get a regular massage and facial. We wanted to offer something more unusual and keep within our customer requests to experience new things, do something entirely different.”

Shiseido created the name, Qiora, based on the Japanese character for luminous and the phonetic spelling of aura. The company defines it as “the light from within human beings.”

That light, according to the company, can be nurtured by Qiora’s healing methods of touch, deep breathing of the aromatherapeutic ingredients and meditation. It promotes the idea of ritual usage and attempts to teach users to have a “connected experience” using breathing techniques while applying with a massage.

Demos, some complimentary, will be available at Essentials, as in the New York door, to introduce the products and method to consumers. “We expect to do a lot of services as an educational outreach, and a promotional tool,” said Coe-Hutshing.

Comment Feraud Slicked Up The Runways For A Time - 09/13/13

The new owners of Louis Feraud dangled just the right carrots and recently landed a sought-after design assistant and an experienced managing director to relaunch the 49-year-old house.

lfdYvan Mispelaere, who was Miuccia Prada’s assistant for the past two years and assisted Valentino with couture for five years before that, started last month. He will show his debut collection for the house during the July haute couture here.

“The opportunity to do couture was very persuasive,” Mispelaere said, explaining his decision to join Feraud.

The move to continue the money-losing couture is an obvious recruitment sweetener, but a surprising business decision for Secon, the Dutch apparel group that completed its acquisition of the house from the family of the founding designer in September 1999. Feraud, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, died in December at the age of 79. Although LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault has resuscitated the couture as the ultimate marketing tool at Christian Dior and Givenchy, the new owners of many other French houses, including Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Guy Laroche, all dropped out to focus exclusively on ready-to-wear and accessories.

“In terms of building a new image, the haute couture is the best opportunity to do it in a glamorous way,” said Mispelaere. Although he immediately started work on couture for the July presentation, he will not present his first ready-to-wear line until 2001, beginning with the precollection in January and a runway presentation in March.

The other key appointment is chief executive Rafael Labrador, 56, who was most recently chief executive of Eastpak Corp. and was chief executive of Liz Claiborne International from 1995 to 1997. Between 1990 and 1995, he was founder and chief executive of a retail chain called Coronel Tapiocca, specializing in outdoor gear and apparel, and in the late Eighties was chief executive and a partner in Verlaine & Cie., an importer and distributor for the U.S. of European luxury products, including Nina Ricci, Yves Saint Laurent and IWC watches.

Labrador said that in addition to the challenge of refurbishing a French fashion brand, he was struck by the long-term thinking at Secon.

“When I was recruited, they were talking about seven and 10-year objectives. Coming from American companies, it was extremely refreshing to see that long-term approach,” he said in an interview here.

Mispelaere said Secon was owned by about 10 private investors. He reports to one of the principals, Peter Brock.

In 1997, Secon, which had acquired some Feraud apparel businesses, bought the insolvent Fink Group, which held the license for the Feraud signature collection and a bridge line called Contraire Louis Feraud. Secon also took a 50 percent stake in the parent company, Feraud & Cie, from the Fink family. Last September, Secon gained control of the couture business.

The Feraud brand has worldwide wholesale volume of $125 million, said Labrador, and licensing represents less than half.

“That’s despite the fact that Louis Feraud himself withdrew completely from the business five years ago. I think it speaks to a certain underlying strength in the brand,” he said. “It will be interesting to see what the brand is capable of with all the engines turned on.”

Labrador said the group aimed to multiply volume by six or eight times in five to seven years. Last year, Secon invested about $10 million in the brand and plans to maintain spending of between $5 million and $10 million for the next three years.

Feraud is sold in 100 doors in the U.S., including Neiman Marcus, Jacobson’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. There are 15 freestanding stores, including four directly owned units, here and in Munich, New York and London. The company has budgeted $3 million to refurbish the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore store, and in the U.S., Labrador said he was interested in moving to Madison Avenue from the current location on 56th Street near Fifth Avenue. Also, he plans to open a store in Beverly Hills.

Today, the brand’s positioning is occasion dressing and power dressing with suits as its strongest category.

“The collection is a big success, and there’s a major intensification in the brand for fall 2000,” said Joseph M. Boitano, senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. “It is beautiful and well made. We hope they’ll keep a good thing going and build from there.”

Labrador said the first order of business was to decide what to keep of Louis Feraud’s colorful, graphic style. The designer whipped up Brigitte Bardot’s gown for her wedding to Roger Vadim in 1952 and dressed Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman.

Mispelaere added, “The essence is the atmosphere of joie de vivre and freshness.”

But not Feraud’s penchant for Provencal prints and colors, they said.

“It’s important to start from a French, and more specifically Parisian, identity,” said Mispelaere. “I feel very French. It’s about femininity and frivolity.”

Labrador said the company planned to continue producing in its German factories, but was also returning some production to France and Italy. “There is a superb level of quality, but not enough French lightness.”

Labrador said accessories would be a priority. Eventually, the fragrance license, which is now dormant, will be relaunched. “Our owners think that in seven to 10 years, Feraud could be a major worldwide brand.”

Comment Newton Defies The Gravity Of Age - 08/27/13

According to the Chinese calendar it’s the Year of the Snake, but in fashion photography circles it’s fast becoming the Year of the Newton.

The ongoing celebration of the legendary shock photographer Helmut Newton began last year, kicked off by Newton’s 80th birthday, with an exhibition of his work at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Curated by Newton’s wife, June, the exhibition featured canonical Newton shots of bondage, sado-masochism, and aggressive sexuality and drew capacity crowds.

ndtgoaNow Newton is being regaled stateside, and on several fronts. For its September-October 2001 issue, avant-garde Index magazine bestowed Newton a rare honor: they not only placed him on the cover, but included a separate supplement consisting entirely of an interview and photos of nude Newtonian uber-women standing on balconies. The Newton love-in will culminate in a retrospective of 40 years of the photographer’s work to open Sept. 28 at New York’s International Center of Photography.

I caught up by phone with Newton in Monte Carlo, where the photographer took time out to traverse his controversial career and expound on the ever-present menace of knock-off photographers. “Hopefully, all these various retrospectives and exhibitions will show that there’s an evolution in my work,” said Newton. “It would be sad if, at the age of 80, I was the same as at age 50. Still, you can’t get out of your own skin.”

Even if one’s knowledge of Newton stems only from a single image — that shot of a woman squatting on a bed on all fours with a saddle on her back, for instance, or his devastating portrait of Leni Riefenstahl — both connoisseurs and amateurs agree that Newton possesses an unmistakable, signature style, frequently derived from a Forties film noir aesthetic.

Buoyed by a series of published photo books, Newton has also been consistent in his success: his career has seen more peaks than valleys, more sun than shadow — even if the light is always filtered through the prism of sexual delirium, eroticism and depravity. Still, Newton readily acknowledged his share of career droughts. “I was working in the late Fifties for British Vogue,” Newton recalled, “and the pictures I did during that time were really bad, I must say; `56, `57 — that was the lowest I ever sank. Then I realized it was because of London; I just couldn’t function there. So I went to Paris, arriving with no money in my pocket — but in a beautiful white Porsche with red leather seats. That’s when everything started to change.”

Newton’s tenure at French Vogue, which began in the early Sixties and lasted until the Eighties, was arguably the most fruitful period of his career.

“The years at Vogue were my apex,” he admitted, while relishing the Seventies in particular as a decade that, in its decadent zest for excess, seemed to conspire with Newton’s artistic agenda. “A lot of what I did in the Seventies was actually very risky,” he said. “Not in relationship to French Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who was always supportive, but in relation to the rest of French society. Once I did a series of nudes in the Paris Metro, and that was just asking for trouble. The French authorities didn’t even allow regular fashion shoots in the Metro, and there I was shooting nude women.”

Indeed, the term “porno chic” — currently used to describe (and decry) the work of many contemporary European fashion photographers — was originally coined in response to Newton’s notorious sexual imagery of the Seventies.

Meanwhile, there lingers a ghost who is seemingly haunting Newton during this year of retrospective enchantment with his work: Guy Bourdin, the equally controversial photographer who shared the limelight with Newton at French Vogue during the same period and also pushed the boundaries of licentiousness in fashion photography. This year, Bourdin — who died 10 years ago — is snagging some attention himself, with a retrospective that opened Thursday night at New York’s Pace/MacGill gallery here, as well as a book of photos coming out next month.

Bourdin, though dead, is still apparently competing with Newton. “We weren’t ever rivals,” Newton insisted. “I loved Guy’s work. He was absolutely brilliant, and it’s high time that the book came out to expose the public to his work.”

In the last two decades, Newton has had no shortage of plum assignments, photographing celebrities ranging from Anthony Hopkins to Macy Gray. Still, he misses the freedom he had during his heyday at French Vogue. “I do a lot of portrait photography, and at one stage I did a shoot of young stars for Vanity Fair,” he said. “But there were all these handlers and PR people all over the place, looking over my shoulder, telling me `you can’t do this’ and `you can’t do that’. Finally I just told them that I wouldn’t do any more of these shoots because I won’t work with PR people on my set.”

Surveying the current wave of risque young photographers, Newton feels that he’s already lived through what they’re trying to do. “The new breed of photographers are trying to outdo the Seventies, with mixed success,” he said. He has less sympathy, evidently, for older photographers sampling his work. In the Index magazine interview, Newton mentioned that he had a bone to pick with the recent Versace campaign featuring the two languorous women lying on a bed, and he elaborated his criticism. “I won’t mention names, but the person responsible for that campaign pisses me off,” Newton said, referring to Steven Meisel. “I mean, when a young guy copies me, I understand, but he’s no spring chicken. The shot is almost a verbatim copy of the cover of my 1975 book `White Women.”‘

Meisel couldn’t be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, ensconced in Monte Carlo, Newton has been taking on various private commissions. “One is a portrait session with a wild Russian woman — I think her name is Olga,” he said. “I don’t know much else about her, but she’s good looking.” He’s also looking forward to the forthcoming exhibition of his work at the ICP in New York. “I wonder what the Americans will think of the show,” he said, adding with a snicker. “Maybe it will cause some commotion.”

Comment Return Of The MAC - 07/14/13

For many beauty companies, involvement in Fashion Week is becoming increasingly more important. But for MAC, one of the first to recognize the tie-in between the two worlds, the partnership often goes an extra step.

rotmNot only has the brand been working with fashion designers for the past eight years to formulate makeup colors for use at their runway shows, MAC has created one of the most formidable forces backstage at the shows: the MAC Pro Team. And with 70 shows in four cities planned this season, a new makeup artist exchange program and two new lip colors designed especially for this season’s fashion runways, MAC is ready to kick off New York Fashion Week, which begins today.

“Our involvement with the shows goes back so far that it’s part of our DNA,” said John Demsey, president of MAC. “It’s been a true partnership that has evolved in a number of organic ways. And the truth is that we owe a lot to the runway world and the models. If it hadn’t been for Linda Evangelista and her devotion to her Spice Lip Pencil — which created an amazing buzz for us early on — who knows where we’d be today?”

Gordon Espinet, MAC’s executive director of makeup artistry, noted that the brand’s first partnership was with Katharine Hamnett eight years ago in London. “She couldn’t find a color she liked for her models, so we asked her what she needed and whipped it up. That sheer, purply-pink lipstick, now called Pervette, is still in the line.”

Espinet, who shuttles between New York, London, Paris and Milan each season to do shows, noted that additional collaborations with Lanvin and Collette Dinnigan soon followed. “The lip color we did with Collette, called Just Roses at the show, was renamed Prrr Lipglass and is now our number-one-selling sheer Lipglass.” And it hasn’t just been about lips. Last season, the brand collaborated with designer Lawrence Steele to come up with Smut, a chocolate-brown eye shadow. The brand also did Premeditated, a red cheek color for Chaiken, the season before.

This season’s lip colors, Heatherette — a rocking hot pink in honor of the downtown brand’s very first runway show — and Angel Blush, a peachy-pink for London designer Matthew Williamson — aren’t just slated for a brief run. Like an estimated 95 percent of the colors that the brand has created for designers, the two this season will join the lineup at MAC retail stores next year.

“Look at the names of our products — it’s all runway inspiration,” Demsey said, noting that the company’s famed Russian Red was inspired by iconic model Veruschka, and Twig, another top seller, was inspired by Sixties supermodel Twiggy. “If it rings true to what the brand is about — like it does for us and several other brands, like Bobbi Brown and Stila — people will respond to the products.”

Like MAC, sister brand Stila is tapped into the designer-lipstick vibe; several years ago, founder Jeanine Lobell created Pixie for Pixie Yates’s South of Seventh show — the color is still in her collection — and this season, the brand will do DVF, a deep red that Lobell will use as she does the makeup at the Diane Von Furstenberg show this season.

The Heatherette lipstick also will be commemorated with a video shot by photographer David LaChappelle, which shows lipstick being applied in, um, unusual ways. The video will be shown at the Heatherette show, and an in-store version will be produced for MAC retail stores. “Richie Rich and Travor Rains are friends of mine, and I wanted to capture their crazy and fun energy and imagery,” said LaChappelle. “In the video, Amanda — the same model from the invitation — starts to put the MAC Heatherette Lipstick on her lips, and she gets carried away and begins to cover her entire body. Amanda has an incredible body, and I filmed her in a Jessica Rabbit fashion. At the end, she is covered from head to toe with Heatherette lipstick.”

Neither Espinet nor Demsey is particularly surprised by the influx of other brands into the collections. As Demsey puts it: “We set the table for a lot of other people to have a meal. We’re happy about that. The fact is we set the table. And people really need to ask themselves what they want to get out of it. For us, being involved in the shows is a way to test-drive products, get ideas for new ones and provide inspiration to thousands of makeup artists from Frankfurt to Fresno.”

“For me,” added Demsey, “the greatest compliment is going backstage at places where we’re not doing the makeup and seeing our products.”

In addition to the color partnerships, MAC also is introducing a number of other initiatives to keep things interesting this fall. It will introduce an exchange program for its makeup artists this season, which involves MAC Pro Team artists from around the world, said Espinet. The MAC Pro Team’s roster includes makeup artists from 36 countries around the globe. “Artists from the U.K., Italy and New Zealand will be coming to New York; Milan will be getting artists from the U.S., Greece, France and the U.K.; and Paris will be getting artists from Canada, Singapore, the Benelux countries, Germany and Italy. This program will set the tone for sharing talents, techniques and cultural sensibilities.”

In addition, MAC has partnered with LeSportsac to devise a model survival kit — which will include perennial favorites like MAC Wipes, Studio Moisture Fix foundation, MAC Pro Lash Mascara, Lipglass and the ubiquitous Spice lip pencil — all packaged in a snappy red patent LeSportsac bag. The brand also is coming to beauty editors’ aid this season with MAC Face Pads, specially designed notepads with face outlines intended to make recording beauty looks easier.