Mac Cosmetics’ first NFT links with HIV/Aids Awareness

Keith Haring was a key figure in New York’s artistic subculture of the 1980s, the decade in which Mac was founded. Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, he spent his remaining time raising awareness and destigmatizing the Aids crisis, including establishing the foundation in 1989 to provide funding and imagery to Aids organizations and those affected by HIV/Aids. Haring died at the age of 31 in 1990 from Aids-related complications.

Mac’s NFT collection is an extension of the physical collaboration, with the colors of the physical lipsticks corresponding with the NFTs. “Keith Haring and Mac Cosmetics are really a perfect match. Both the artist and the brand have long stood for equal rights and self-expression for everybody,” said Gil Vazquez, director of the Keith Haring Studio, in a statement.

The pricing structure for the NFT collection has three tiers, ranging from 5,000 NFTs for $25 through to 25 top-tier “icon” NFTs priced at $1,000 each. Additional perks include a digital face chart tutorial of a Keith Haring inspired makeup look for the blue mid-tier and a 30-minute Mac artist consultation and a complementary physical product for top-tier NFT owners. The brand partnered with blockchain technology solutions company Consensys to ensure the NFTs can be purchased by credit or debit card, rather than with a crypto wallet, to reach consumers who may not have purchased NFTs before.

The pricing structure was carefully considered, says Moudachirou-Rébois. “When we were thinking about how to enter the NFT world we wanted to stay true to what really matters to Mac. In this case, accessibility was really important,” she says. “We didn’t want to create something that was elitist and out of touch for people who aren’t familiar with NFTs and don’t know how to purchase one.”

Mac isn’t the first beauty brand to launch an NFT to reinforce its brand values ​​through fundraising. In June 2021, in honor of Pride Month, Givenchy Parfums created an NFT in collaboration with LGBTQ+ gallerist and supporter Amar Singh and artists from the Rewint Collective. In the fashion industry, vogue Singapore and vogue Ukraine partnered on an NFT to raise funds for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Adidas and Prada partnered on an NFT made up of a crowd-sourced image compilation, with a portion of proceeds going towards climate focused charities including Slow Factory and Unesco Sea Beyond.

Authenticity is key for the success of a charitable project, says Moudachirou-Rébois. “For us, the metaverse is a mirror of the real world. The charitable part of the NFT collection is already a big part of the Mac brand [through the Viva Glam collection]. We’re using new technology to promote a cause that has always been close to our hearts.”

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