In February, M∙A∙C Cosmetics named Aïda Moudachirou Rebois as Senior Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer at MAC Cosmetics. Aïda brings 18 years of international experience in beauty, retail and consumer goods at companies including Revlon, Johnson & Johnson and L’Oréal. At M∙A∙C., she is responsible for increasing the brand’s presence and appeal to global consumers in growing markets around the world. She also oversees the Consumer Marketing and Product Marketing teams with a dotted line management responsibility for Product Development. Here, CEW Beauty News Spoke to Aïda about New York Fashion Week, diversity and inclusion, digital strategies, sustainability and what we can expect to see from the brand through the end of the year.
Beauty News: How does the brand identify and create makeup looks for NYFW?
Aïda Moudachirou Rebois: When M∙A∙C identifies and creates the makeup looks for NYFW, it’s in true collaboration with the designers. We work to predict key global trends before they happen, and we set and amplify those looks through our senior artists around the world. This season, for example, we collaborated on the winged lashes at Moschino, which is a makeup look you’ll see all over TikTok, and the #WaterGlow skin at Peter Do, which is a trending skin finish we’ve been tracking out of Asia.
BN: Are there any noteworthy makeup trends to be aware of?
AR: We’re so excited about the spring season and the bright, optimistic trends we’re ushering in with the shows — from the cheerful green, blue, and pink eyeshadow looks at Prabal Gurung to the vibrant glitter ears at Collina Strada and glamorous winged lashes at Moschino. Makeup is back — but at M∙A∙C it never left!
BN: How has the brand built upon its diversity and inclusion commitments since last year?
AR: We are closer to achieving our racial parity goals across all levels and now require a diverse slate of candidates for every open role and succession list for senior leadership positions. We also have expanded internal mentorship and training programs to elevate Black talent and have strengthened partnerships with diverse organizations for recruiting. We have also provided resources and funding to organizations advancing racial equity including Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Race Forward and UK Black Pride and continue to speak out on issues impacting the Black community through employee-led initiatives like the M·A·C Melanin Beauty Collective – a taskforce of Black M·A·C Artists to advise and educate the brand about Black beauty.
From a product innovation standpoint, we remain true to our motto of “All Ages, All Races, All Genders” as well. In addition to our legendary Studio Fix Fluid Foundation which has 67 shades, we have released expanded shade ranges for products like Studio Fix Tech Cream-To-Powder Foundation (available in 42 shades) and have realigned our innovation strategy to better address Black consumer need gaps in North America but also in Europe and Brazil. We also continue to release localized commitments to advance racial equity in our international markets. While our journey is far from over, we are encouraged by our progress to-date and we will continue to share updates with our consumers all around the world.
BN: Talk about how the brand has utilized virtual tools to boost customer engagement.
AR: We have significantly enhanced our virtual try-on capabilities, which allow consumers to instantly test products and looks on their faces without physically applying a product. The popularity of the tool has increased exponentially over the past 18 months, and we have expanded it to 800+ shades across our key categories including lip, face, and eye. Last year, we also introduced the tool to 35 new international markets. We’ve significantly elevated our online experience with a creative reset that now includes an artist-curated trends destination and a place for customers to video chat with our artists. To better meet our consumers where they are, we are also investing in our omnichannel experiences that blend the best of online and physical worlds. In addition to offering services like curbside pickup and Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store, we are also partnering with Postmates and Uber to offer same-day delivery in as little as two hours for orders placed on macosmetics.com.
BN: What kind of digital/social media strategies have been most successful in reaching consumers, particularly Gen Z?
AR: We were one of the first brands to launch Shoppable Reels on Instagram as well as Instagram Shopping. For example, we dropped M∙A∙C Underground Pride Liner and the new Lustreglass lipstick shade exclusively on Instagram checkout before making them available on maccosmetics.com. We were also the first beauty brand to leverage Snapchat’s newest shoppable augmented-reality lenses, which allows consumers to browse our products, virtually try-on and purchase products from the Snapchat app.
The M·A·C Crew, which is what we call our diverse ensemble cast of always-on creators on TikTok, provides us with an endless stream of authentic content. Our recent TikTok #MACSCARA hashtag challenge linked to the Magic Extensions mascara has generated 11.8B views and countless videos tied to the corresponding soundtrack that we have amplified on our platforms.
BN: As consumers return to socializing in-person, what kind of boost has the brand seen in sales?
AR: When we look at the makeup recovery at a global level, you can see that China is already way ahead of the rest of the world. This growth has been instrumental to our business and we remain focused on accelerating our growth there in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the US, UK and parts of Europe are gradually opening back up and have started to make strong comebacks. To help ensure M∙A∙C continues leading the makeup recovery, we recently launched M∙A∙C The Moment, a campaign linking our products and artists inspire trends to key experiences such as weddings, pool parties and back-to-school shopping.
BN: How is M∙A∙C responding to consumers demand for sustainable solutions?
AR: M∙A∙C created Back-To-M∙A∙C over 30 years ago as a pioneer takeback program to reduce the environmental impact of our packaging. People simply return their clean, empty products to a participating M·A·C counter to be recycled and what cannot be recycled is converted into energy. It remains popular among consumers looking for sustainable ways to discard their empty containers which are typically difficult to recycle. In the past year alone, M∙A∙C processed over 271,000 pounds of containers through the Back-to-M.A.C program in the United States which is the equivalent of over 2,500,000 lipsticks. To further our pledge to do good for the planet, we continue to improve the sustainability of our packaging and have pledged to make 75 to 100 percent of our packaging recycled, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable by 2025. We also use responsibly sourced paper products wherever possible, and currently more than 95 percent of our forest-based fiber cartons are FSC-certified.
BN: What else can we expect to see through the end of the year?
AR: We have an incredible lineup of innovative new products and collections launches as well as some very exciting collaborations with multiple superstar talents planned for the next 3 and a half months. Our fall “Feast Your Eyes” eyeshadow palette has already sold out. I am especially pumped about this year’s holiday collection, major, captivating and sustainable, as well as our 27th annual VIVA GLAM campaign. Through this trailblazing campaign, 100% of the selling price of our iconic VIVA GLAM Lipstick goes to organizations supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS and creating healthy futures and equal rights for all. To date, M·A·C VIVA GLAM has raised over $500 million in support of people and communities in need. More exciting details to come!