You've Never Seen MAC Lipsticks Like These

Designer Giambattista Valli knows how to dress a woman. That's why so many leading ladies of Hollywood look to him for life's most important events. (Remember the floral-strewn mini Amal Clooney wore the weekend of her nuptials? Or Rihanna's cotton-candy gown at the Grammys?) So it should come as no surprise that when he rolled out a collaboration with makeup giant MAC, he would knock it right out of the park. And did he ever.

The collection of five lipsticks, hitting stores July 9, is a siren call to both lipstick addicts and those who tend to play it safe with pinky-nudes. The matte hues range from cool pink to deep, dark cherry, and are the perfect foundation for any lip wardrobe. But then Valli took it one step further by releasing a clear, high-shine gloss that turns the five lipsticks into 10. And he matched the outer packaging to the bullets inside, so busy women could easily find it in their bags.

I had the privilege of sitting down with Valli in his New York City showroom to discuss the collection. Surrounded by his couture dresses, he shared his thoughts on designing for women, the future of his brand, and what beauty means to him.
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How did you decide on these five colors?
"The colors are a bit like the ABCs of Giambattista Valli — the reds, the pinks, the fuchsias, and the corals. They're colors that always belong to the house and the imagination of the house. The flowers [in the campaign imagery] are another part of the DNA of the house, and I thought the combination of the two would be really smashing for a lipstick. I think that lipstick is something that can really change a person, so I needed something that would dress you and change your wardrobe. If you put a lipstick on, it can change your look completely."

MAC x Giambattista Valli Lipstick in Tats, $17.50, available July 9 at MAC.
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How is designing a makeup collection different from designing a fashion collection?
"You don't have to do fittings! (laughs) It was great, because it's not so far off in the sense that color and inspiration are very important. You need to see the color palette. After that, you see textures. I had this idea of having two opposites. Like, two moments of the same day. You would have something extremely matte and graphic during the day, and then to have a little more fun at night, you'd just add a touch of gloss and change the texture. It's like styling your lipstick."

x Giambattista Valli Lipstick in Bianca B, $17.50, available July 9 at MAC.
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Did you have the same woman in mind when you were creating this lipstick as you did when you were creating your spring collection?
"In general, when I create my work, I always have an idea of a global woman. [The designs] can belong to every corner of the world. I'm attracted to very independent personalities, women who are extremely balanced in their femininity. Women who aren't so body-conscious.

"But beauty — I don't think it's a physical thing. It's more like a mental position. It's not age or where you come from. You have to understand that MAC is even more [global] than Giambattista Valli. It really covers all the world, and I think it's important to consider everybody."

x Giambattista Valli Lipstick in Margherita, $17.50, available July 9 at MAC.
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You don't often do collaborations — what was it about MAC that drew you in?
"You know, MAC is the longest and most important collaborator with Giambattista Valli. We started 10 years ago, in 2005, for the first fashion show. They supported the beauty look of Giambattista Valli from the very beginning. It was beautiful to do something together — something that can give every girl the opportunity to approach the magical world of Parisian haute couture."

x Giambattista Valli Lipstick in Charlotte, $17.50, available July 9 at MAC.
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What is your favorite runway beauty look you've done so far?
"It was the last one! It’s always the last one! It’s really funny, because there are three modes: Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, Giambattista Valli Paris, and then Giam [Giambattista Valli ready-to-wear]. These three collections give three different situations of beauty. What I like about all these colors [of the collection], and the effect of the gloss, is that it gives a woman the possibility to be, like, five women during the day. (gestures to my red lipstick) I’m sure you wear this color now, but you might want to change it for another situation, or maybe tonight you’ll have just a gloss. It follows your mood, and I think it’s very nice."

x Giambattista Valli Lipstick in Eugenie, $17.50, available July 9 at MAC.
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What advice would you give to young designers who are just starting out?
"Be faithful to their identities and take risks. When you’re young and you’re starting out, you have to take a lot of risks. Experiment! Right now, I don’t think it’s important to work and be successful — it’s important to work and express your fantasy, and your imagination and point of view, and to bring something new and personal. Then, if you do it well, the success is going to come, but it’s not the first thing you have to think about."

x Giambattista Valli Crystal Glaze Gloss, $23, available July 9 at MAC.
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Is there someone you’d absolutely love to dress?
"All the women I want to dress are part of the family, so I cannot wish for more than this. But, you know, I want to dress all the women that want to experiment and experience Giambattista Valli. And every single girl who wears this lipstick is going to make me happy."

Where do you see your brand in the next 10 years?
"I would love to see the brand as a real institutional luxury house, located all over the world. But mostly Paris."
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