Acclaimed fashion designer Zac Posen has collaborated with MAC cosmetics on a makeup range.
Your clothing brings a certain type of fantasy to women’s lives. What do you think fantasy shows us about reality?
Fantasy is essential to reality. It helps us escape, dream and to actually create reality itself. For me, nature is as abstract as it gets — it is a primary source of inspiration for me. Women as well, their character, fantasies, neuroses and desires are all elements that continuously inspire me.
You live and work in New York City, but how do you keep your inspiration globally relevant?
I try to think about what moments are going to hit people viscerally. There are unifying factors that women and people are drawn to. Beauty is obviously very subjective, but there are references that become ingrained on a larger global scale. There are forms that humans are drawn to, shades and colours we are chemically turned on by. So, I try to make things that are approachable but still surprising. Instead of trying to chase ways of fitting in, being what I call the “chic banal.”
You were surrounded by visual artists, but what about fashion?
My first love of fashion came from film and from theatre — my dad recorded everything on VHS. My first day of school — I was really nervous, a really big nerd, dressed like Charlie Chaplin — and I had done all of my homework and there were some really beautiful, interesting-looking girls in the room. They looked very fashionable and were working in fashion at the time, as models. They were like grown-ups, and I was certainly still a kid. That was the beginning — I said no more musical theatre summer camp. And so I got a job on Seventh Avenue, an internship sketching, and from there I started working in fashion. Then, I went to Parsons and interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art every day after school, working with fashion and costume designers. I’d skip school when John Galliano and the Dior team came in and help research with them. And when Alexander McQueen and his team would come in, I’d be there. I learned the importance of art and fashion, and how they work together. That idea was very foreign.
Why are trends bad for fashion?
Trends aren’t necessarily bad for fashion; they keep it evolving and changing, but trends are to be interpreted personally. I believe that everybody, pretty much, has some form of creativity. They have to find it and have the confidence — that type of expression has to be nurtured internally. Some people don’t like potatoes, and that’s a form of creativity, a form of personal choice. You just have to evolve that into other aspects of your life.
This is your first foray into makeup — what excites you about that?
I’m so excited for people to have a new way to experience my brand and our vision through elements that are more accessible than our top line. Beauty is a sensory experience. It’s not about fit, although you do have colours, it’s the essentials so you can have that wonderful red carpet moment every day — when taking your kids to school, you put on your lipstick. When you’re taking a selfie, you put on your invisible powder. I’ve worked with so many actresses, performers and superstars over the years that I know the things they need. You need everything able to be carried in a clutch, or in your date’s pockets, which is usually what happens with my date’s lipstick.