French-Tunisian calligrapher, graffiti artist and sculptor eL Seed has teamed up with MAC Cosmetics on a limited edition line including a full face kit, golden highlighter, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks and a makeup bag and 4 piece brush set in line with his artistry of course. Packaging includes imprints of his graceful calligraphy reading “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter”, a quote from Roman statesman Marcus Tulles Cicero.
The collection will initially launch exclusively in the Middle East on the 20th of March 2019, and will then be available to the rest of the world from the 8th of April. Prices will start at $19.50 USD.
An art-centric celebration where eL Seed has apparently been given complete creative freedom from MAC during the design process. MAC’s Senior Artist Mariam Khairallah spoke to Emirates Woman about how the collection was a fusion of “makeup artistry meets street artistry”. This is the first time the makeup brand collaborates with a regional artist where the collection will be made available globally and not just in the MENA region. Mariam worked alongside the artist to translate his colour palettes into vivid pigmented powders.
He states “I think MAC in general as a makeup brand is about perception – how makeup can empower people and as an artist I try to do the same thing.”
With graffiti and installation projects in Cairo, Toronto, Dubai, South Korea, Tunisia, Philadelphia and Lyon, eL Seed uses beautiful Arabic calligraphy in his distinctive style to “spread messages of peace, unity and to underline the commonalities of human existence”. His artwork consistently aims to unify communities and redress stereotypes. “I draw my inspiration directly from the streets and from the communities in each location I’m painting. The calligraphy I paint are words infused with profound meaning. Their universal messages cross cultures to inspire and reinvigorate neighbourhoods”.
With this theme in mind, eL Seed developed a gorgeous colour palette consisting of fuchsias, oranges vibrant blues and earth tones. The 10 piece range will showcase formulas named after important women who have impacted the artists’ work and life, such as the Extra Dimension Skinfinish “Dima’s Glow”, inspired by his Palestinian wife, an eyeshadow dubbed “Gabriela”, in honour of Brazilian poet Gabriela Torres Barbosa who inspired his vivacious pink calligraphy in a Brazilian favela. He has also named one of the four 4 lipsticks after his daughter, Maya.
In an interview with Harpers Bazaar Arabia, when asked how he feels about current trends, eL Seed shares “As an artist, I don’t try to follow trends – I try to follow my heart. It’s more of a personal thing. We really took the time to make [this collaboration with MAC] – it was more than three and a half or four years. I think it’s deeper than just a marketing trend.”
eL Seed has also worked with Louis Vuitton to customise the French luxury Maison’s iconic monogram trunk, after debuting his first design on their emblematic silk scarves in their Autumn/Winter 2013 show Foulard d’Artistes, where he had illustrated verses from Taha Muhammad Ali’s poem “Venice Carnival”.