Serena Williams Surprises at MAC Cosmetics’ Billion Dollar Ball

MAC Cosmetics closed out Thursday right where it began — literally.

The makeup giant drew a star- and executive-studded crowd for its Billion Dollar Ball Wednesday night, which took place a mere stone’s throw away from the New York Stock Exchange where executives and celebrity spokespeople started the day by ringing the opening bell.

More from WWD

Kim Petras and Danna Paola, current MAC Viva Glam ambassadors, were among the famed attendees, who quickly shuffled to the basement of the old J.P. Morgan bank building, where bumping bass could be heard from the streets.

“I’m expecting a lot of fabulous people, and a lot of fabulous glam,” said model Alex Consani, the event’s cohost, nodding to the out-there makeup looks, impossibly high heels and headpieces attendees were sporting. “It will be the coolest group of people.”

Other attendees included Normani, past brand collaborator Teyana Taylor and Lil’ Kim.

As for Taylor’s favorite MAC product? “My very own line,” she said. “All the creative freedom, all of the teamwork, to be able to get to be represented — I was literally able to name everything, and I had so many products to test and play with.”

The party celebrated the past and future in equal measure. In addition to commemorating 30 years of MAC’s Viva Glam, it also marked the Estée Lauder Cos.-owned commitment to nearly double money raised to $1 billion, hence the party’s moniker and venue, complete with a vintage bank vault opened for photo opps.

“The idea was to throw something memorable — and linked to money,” said Aïda Moudachirou-Rébois, the brand’s senior vice president and general manager, of the venue. “What happens in the vault stays in the vault.”

The party entailed a few surprises: on one hand, smoke machines, complimentary fans and a performance from Petras; on the other, no air conditioning and no bathrooms. A clear homage to the brand’s underground roots.

“Viva Glam was one of the first brand tie-ins for a real commitment to philanthropy, and when MAC joined the Estée Lauder family, they brought that DNA with them,” said William P. Lauder, Lauder’s executive chairman. “It’s become an important part of the culture of who we are.”

Lauder got in on the fun with a surprise of his own up his sleeve. After ducking out to grab a friend, he sauntered back in with pal Serena Williams in tow.

Launch Gallery: Serena Williams, Kim Petras and Winnie Harlow Attend The M·A·C Viva Glam Billion Dollar Ball

Best of WWD