Off the Rack with Danielle: What Happened to Retail’s Launch Parties?


On Halloween weekend, MAC Cosmetics rolled out the tartan carpet at their Tim Walker-inspired “Tartan Tale” holiday launch party.


The set at the entrance of Bloomingdale’s was a wonderland of break dancing, shirtless “plaid lads”, oversized props, and high fashion fairies (the perfect “fairy” tale, right?).


Two things popped into my head while my makeup was being applied: 1.) This event is so fabulous! Why don’t more stores hold parties like this? And 2.) I could really get used to watching men in punk outfits perform while I get my face put on.

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I’m always in the mood for an outrageously themed party. Mix in shopping and you’ve got the perfect combination! MAC Cosmetics has the right idea -– throw a holiday launch party, schedule five hundred appointments, and sell those brush sets!

I feel nostalgic for launch parties that existed before I was even born – such as YSL’s Opium Yacht party in 1978.


The closest I’ve ever come to a designer celebration is when I modeled at Betsey Johnson on Geary Street for multiple events, and met the vivacious designer herself.

I think the other department stores need to pump up the energy and follow Bloomingdales’ lead. For instance, Macy’s might actually excite me if they held a seasonal event or two — and, there’s no better season than the holidays. We are all going overboard with our diets and decorations anyway.

Written by: Danielle Wallis

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