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How Instagram Willed a MAC x Aaliyah Collaboration to Fruition

The brand worked closely with Aaliyah's family to create a collection inspired directly by the late singer's makeup bag.

Image courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Three years ago, fans of the late music artist Aaliyah began calling for a collaboration with MAC. An onslaught of social media posts sent the idea trending online — there were even product mock-ups — and when more than 25,000 people signed a petition asking for a limited-edition MAC collection, the makeup brand couldn’t ignore the buzz.

On Wednesday, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who, nearly 17 years after her death by plane crash, continues to impact modern-day music, fashion and beauty. The collection consists of four lipsticks ($18.50), two lip pencils ($18), four lip glosses ($17.50), an eye palette ($32) and a bronzing powder ($28), all of which are inspired by Aaliyah’s music videos and most popular looks.

“Virtually every single one of our Instagram posts for the past two years leading up to the announcement that we were going to do this collaboration last summer had at least one comment about bringing the Aaliyah collection to life,” said Catherine Bomboy Dougherty, senior vice president of global communications at MAC. “We get a lot of consumer requests through our global Instagram and Facebook to bring back products or ideas for collaborations. Of all those consumer requests for collaborations, half of them were related to an Aaliyah collection.”

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