Whilst the Paris Saint-Germain collaboration may seem to have no genuine connection to Prince (apart from the Estate’s signing of the licencing agreement) the Urban Decay project does, at least in some respects seem to have some logical link. As far as we know Prince never played soccer, he did however, wear make-up. And he did sign his own deal with a cosmetics company when he launched the 3121-perfume range (unfortunately this did not end well, but that’s another story)
The main question this collaboration raises (apart from the obvious… why?) is why Urban Decay?
Urban Decay are a well-known, established make-up brand, first launched in 1996. Their eye shadows are cruelty free, and many are vegan (a definite point in their favour), they have a strong following, in a world where every other person seems to have a TikTok or YouTube make-up channel.
Even if we avoid the obvious questions as to whether a collaboration like this strengthens or cheapens Prince’s “Brand” (and yes, typing that made me feel more than a little sick) we do have to ask why, if a cosmetics range was on the top of the Prince Estates ‘Must Do’ list (there are, we are told, tax bills to be paid) then there are brands that Prince himself used, wouldn’t that have made a little more sense? I have no grudge with Urban Decay, in fact I have had a long and happy relationship with their Vice eye liner (guess what, it’s purple!) But for me an eye shadow pallet from MAC containing the shades that Prince himself used would have been a much more interesting concept. It’s not hard, The Estate included Prince’s travelling make-up kit in the My Name Is Prince exhibitions held in London & Amsterdam in 2017/18. His MAC eyeshadows, Maybelline mascara and Benefit concealer were on display, front, and centre.
Is the answer that it was Urban Decay that approached The Estate rather than The Estate that went shopping for a cosmetics partnership? Or is the answer that nobody signing these agreements has the knowledge that Prince preferred a rival cosmetic company?
So, What Is In The Range? The official press release for the range states “The collection and the overall campaign was designed in close collaboration with key members of Prince's artistic camp, including creative director Trevor Guy; his beloved muse and close friend, Damaris Lewis, who began touring with him in 2012; and renowned photographer/director Randee St. Nicholas who captured art for the campaign and was a close collaborator with Prince for three decades.” So, if that is what peanut butters your jelly and you are planning on giving your best Vanity 6, the capsule collection sadly doesn’t contain Blush, but it does include 2 eyeliners as well as a pair of eye shadow pallets, with shades of Pink, Blue & Purple (just like the song lyric) as well as a powder, a highlighter and a cosmetics brush. It will be available to pre order online from May 21st and launched on the 27th. The eye shadow pallets are named Let’s Go Crazy & U Got The Look and contain shades with names like Gett Off & Crystal Ball. Each is encased in a faux leather case adorned with a central Love Symbol, they open to reveal the pallet as well as a useful mirror and a beautiful illustration by UK based artist (and Prince collaborator) Martin Homnet. It must be said, they do look beautiful.