One Reason Why Rihanna’s New Deal with MAC Isn’t Exactly a ‘No Brainer’

One Reason Why Rihanna’s New Deal with MAC Isn’t Exactly a ‘No Brainer’

Rihanna MAC

Today, MAC announced that they’ve entered into a “creative partnership” with Rihanna to create a line of color cosmetic collections which will be called: RiRi [Hearts] MAC

Here’s what we know so far: 

  • There will be four separate collections that will be released throughout the year.
  • The first product that will be released is RiRi Woo, a play on MAC’s popular Ruby Woo lipstick. They’ll launch RiRi Woo at a specialty pop-up shop at select stops on her Diamonds World tour.
  • Rihanna’s name will appear on the packaging, and her signature will be embossed on the RiRi Woo lipstick case and on the bullets of the summer lipsticks, as well as several of the fall and holiday pieces.
  • The line is estimated to do $15 million at retail globally.
  • A “creative partnership” with a celebrity  is new territory for the make-up company.
  • The company is willing to turn a blind eye toward Rihanna’s tabloid-worthy behavior and lifestyle.

Rihanna describes the partnership as a “no brainer,” and in many ways it is. She’s drop dead gorgeous, she’s a global superstar with no signs of slowing down, millions of people pay attention to her every move and don’t mind spending money to adopt the same beauty, fashion and lifestyle trends that she promotes and she’s a fan of MAC products.

The interesting part about the deal, is how quickly MAC, which is owned by beauty behemoth Estee Lauder, was so quick to overlook the singer’s tabloid-worthy behavior, lifestyle choices (ie. weed smoking in public) and her rekindled relationship with troubled ex Chris Brown.

When WWD asked whether or not the star’s behavior and relationship with Brown would be a downside for the brand, John Dempsey, the group president of Estee Lauder said:

“She’s a grown woman, and whatever makes her happy makes us happy.
Life’s complicated. Far be it for us to judge,” – John Dempsey

Just last year, Rihanna lost an endorsement deal with Nivea because the CEO didn’t think her raunchy image matched the company’s values.

A star’s image is one of the first things that brands consider when they’re thinking about doing a collaboration or partnership. So I think it’s really unprecedented for a well-respected brand like MAC to not only work with Rihanna but to be so upfront and candid about their approval of some of the main things that she’s usually criticized for.

Which brings me to this question:

Should lifestyle brands worry about their star endorsers being good role models or should they just focus on selling the product?

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Photo Credit: John Aquino via WWD

  • Nicole C

    I love your take on this partnership. I am a huge fan of RiRi and excited for the collection. As much as MAC has a great underlying message with its brand, this partnership is just what it needs to revive the new makeup consumers from drugstore brands and make them MAC addicts. My age group (25-30) at times perceives MAC as stale but with this collaboration I am even considering renewing my pro card!

  • HairGetsKinky

    First, I’m going to admit that I’ve been a Rihanna fan since Pon De Replay lol

    Everyone seems to overlook all of Rihanna’s wild behavior. In fact, people praise it. She’s the poster child for “do what makes you happy” and no one wants to be anti-happiness and condemn her. Rihanna’s not hurting anyone else or putting others in danger–only herself (not that this is alright). So people may lift an eyebrow from time-to-time, but few will be vocal about her wild ways. As long as she has this pass, brands are still going to rock with her.

    • MissSuccess

      I would say that “some” brands will rock with her…but as we’ve seen others (ie. Nivea) won’t want to be associated with her wild behavior.