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MAC Trades Made Fashion Week Partnership for One With the CFDA

Here's what to expect.
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As we discussed earlier this week, beauty partnerships are one of the ways in which a designer can save a bit of money on a fashion show -- already an exorbitantly expensive undertaking. And MAC has long been one of the most ubiquitous beauty sponsors at runway shows all over the world.

And today, the cosmetics powerhouse has made its support of American designers a little more official, via a partnership with the CFDA. The three-year agreement, valued at around $1 million, according to WWD, sees MAC as the official beauty sponsor of CFDA programs, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the CFDA Incubator and the CFDA Fashion Awards.

But as MAC engages in one partnership, it's leaving another. The beauty company teamed up with Milk Studios for its MAC & Milk program (now Made Fashion Week) in 2009, which saw it sponsoring the shows of a select group of cool, up-and-coming designers. Going forward, it will no longer be the program's sole beauty sponsor, but will continue sponsoring shows for its designers, as well as other shows throughout the city. According to the trade, it will sponsor 76 shows this New York Fashion Week alone.

So overall, don't expect any major shakeups to come out of this partnership -- aside from, maybe, Made having to find a new sponsor. MAC has worked with the CFDA on several occasions in the past. This just makes it official. "I view this as putting a strong flag on the ground," said John Demsey, a group president of Estée Lauder Cos., who oversees MAC. Though, Steven Kolb did tell the trade that the partnership with the CFDA Incubator could result in the development of new products.

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The deal makes sense for the CFDA, which seems to be on a mission to lately to expand its overall profile and authority. For instance, it recently took control of the New York Fashion Week calendar and launched a technology product. With this injection of cash from MAC, we only see that growth continuing in the coming year.