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Meet the Makers: A Q&A with Ariana Mouyiaris, Creative Director of MAKE

If you’ve stopped by our Madison Avenue flagship recently (and frankly, with new arrivals hitting the floor daily, it would be a damn shame not to), you probably know that our beauty department is getting its own version of a makeover. We have been renovating from top to toe, creating more room for the brands you love and carving out space for some new additions.

Speaking of which, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the launch of MAKE, a cosmetics line that is only months old, but taking the world by storm.

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Launched by Cypriot-turned-New Yorker Niko Mouyiaris and his design-savvy daughter Ariana, MAKE is calling itself a ‘for-benefit’ company. Ten per cent of each MAKE sale (not profit—sale) will be gifted to the We See Beauty Foundation, which the Mouyiaris family has set up to benefit women-led cooperative businesses. The social mission is impressive, but what about the products, you ask. Equally impressive—if not more.

Mouyiaris has been in the cosmetics business more than 30 years, manufacturing and collaborating with the world’s top makeup artists. Now, alongside Ariana (who he tapped as creative director), he’s pouring his passion, and expertise, into MAKE. There are more than 200 products in the line—from richly pigmented shadows and luminous lip glosses to everyday foundation and a game-changing makeup remover. And of course, each product checks off all the environmental boxes: paraben-free, cruelty-free and never tested on animals.

This is just the beginning of MAKE’s story, so be sure to check back on The Window later this fall to learn more. In the mean time, enjoy a short Q&A with Ariana, including her essentials from this new collection.

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In three words, MAKE is… contemporary, creative, collaborative [color].

How is MAKE different from other beauty brands?
MAKE encourages creative self-expression as women everywhere colour their world. MAKE is not dictated by the runways but inspired by the collaboration of modern colour artists. We work with creatives outside of the traditional beauty space (from photography, film and fashion to interior and product design) to create unexpected concept collections. Our artist collaborators are each relevant in their respective fields and we believe their work and renown will continue to grow, making their collections for MAKE as timeless and as desirable in five years as they are now. We are also proudly made in New York.

Why are you calling MAKE a ‘for-benefit’ company?
MAKE is a social enterprise and the brainchild of We See Beauty, a curated online platform that gives a percentage of all sales to its foundation that supports women-led, worker-owned cooperative businesses. Ten percent of all retail sales from Barneys will go to the foundation, so giving is not an afterthought—it is very much a part of MAKE’s business model and built into its mission, which is to do business better and do good in the process.

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MAKE Creative Director Ariana Mouyiaris; photo by Heiko Prigge

What’s been most fun about embarking on this new project?
Creating a brand that could reflect what is happening in contemporary culture and getting to reimagine what beauty is and can be. People are defining beauty for themselves, exploring their own personal sense of colour and style. Of course, some is trend-driven but a lot ties in with one’s own taste and look.

It’s been great to see how different bloggers use the products on themselves and fit MAKE into their worlds. We hope to inspire people to approach color artfully and in their own way. With over 260 products, there is something for everyone. And to wear colour doesn’t mean you have to wear intense pigment all the time. Finding the perfect nude is a contemporary colour and unique to just about everyone. For us, working with such an interesting range of talented, creative individuals for our concept collections has been really refreshing and our process of translating their inspiration into colour palettes and then looks makes each season fun and unexpected.

What your your ten favorite everyday products from MAKE ?

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