MAC Cosmetics stands for Makeup Artist Cosmetics. The company was founded in Toronto, Canada in 1984 by Frank Toskan. MAC is aimed towards professionals in the beauty and fashion industry.
The first U.S. MAC store opened in 1991 in New York.
Nordstrom was the first department store in the United States to sell MAC products exclusively. The makeup line proved popular and Nordstrom was significant in helping the brand to establish itself and achieve financial success in the U.S.
After the four-year contract was up with Nordstrom, MAC began to expand to other department stores and is now sold in stores worldwide such as Belk, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Hudson’s Bay. MAC also sells its products in stand-alone stores and through its website.
Estee Lauder Companies bought a controlling interest in MAC in 1996, completing the acquisition of the company in 1998.