The highly anticipated Marvel film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hit South African cinemas last week, and with that came the “Mac x Wakanda Forever” cosmetics launch.
Well-known make-up brand Mac Cosmetics hosted an event at the Mall of Africa on November 10 to launch a new range of beauty products inspired by the film. In this new range, the cosmetics brand wanted make-up lovers to “unleash the strength of the Black Panther that exists in them” by creating epic moments using the new “Mac x WakandaForever” range.
“Like the vibrant world of Wakanda, #MACxWakandaForever features lavish, saturated hues that look fantastic on everyone — especially those with rich skin tones,” says Fatima Thomas, senior make-up artist at Mac.
The limited-edition collection has an eight-pan eye shadow palette featuring a creamy, “sensorial texture” that aims to deliver “intense colour clarity and vibrant pay-off without heaviness”. Shielded in special-edition “Black Panther”-inspired packaging, the decadent palette includes jewel tones, earthy mattes and shimmering metallics inspired by the colours, characters and textures of Wakanda.
There are also four shades of lipstick, including the Wakandan Sunset (bright cool fuchsia), Dora Milaje (matte blue red), Royal Integrity (matte warm chocolate), and Story Of Home (pinkish neutral).
While I enjoyed the make-up tutorial, I was mesmerised by the black and gold garments displayed on the left-side of the room. They were creations of Pietermaritzburg-born designer Martin John Steenkamp, who partnered with Mac for the MacxWakanda collection.
Speaking to the founder of Martin John Bespoke, he said he was honoured to partner with Mac and present his “African Renaissance” collection.
“The collaboration was a beautiful energy between myself, my collection and Mac. Wakanda is this transformative space that we all know. And I think my collections takes you to the exact same space. So I felt like this collaboration was a match made in heaven.”
Debuted at the Durban Fashion Fair in September this year, “African Renaissance” was a perfect collaboration because it complements the MacxWakanda theme.
“For me, the African Renaissance means pushing the African narrative forward in terms of understanding that within the space of Africa, we have so much to offer. Diversity within the space of craftmanship technique and handwork that we see through beadwork, the manipulation of fabrics, and textiles that have been tweaked. So there are a lot of influences that have a place in this collection but in a modern way.”
The collection consists of striking pieces with broad shoulders, which are equally stylish. However, the dress with a bare bust is Steenkamp’s favourite because it is a dedication to breast-feeding women, who not only brought life to life but are the source of life by naturally providing food for their babies.
“There is this one dress where the bust is revealed. With the idea of Renaissance, many African women breast-feed their kids, and many of us come from breast-feeding. I feel like it’s such a strong level of empowerment and strong feministic ideas. So for me, revealing the breasts and painting them gold is a way of saying there is gold in this empowerment. It’s a look that touches our time and our collection.”
And I must agree that as a first-time mom new to breast-feeding, I was touched by the dress because minutes before entering the venue, I had to sit in the parking lot for 30 minutes to pump breast milk for my baby.
And knowing that my body can produce food for my baby is a superpower I never knew existed in me. If anything, it made me respect women even more.
“The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is out now at cinemas.