Celebrating 65 with Alcone

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Born in the back of a pharmacy on 20th Street NYC in the 1950’s, Alcone and the owners, the Mallardi family, are now celebrating its 65th year in business. Way back when Alcone supplied showgirls and Broadway stars with custom-made false eyelashes and from there have grown into a theatrical make-up empire with a family business feel.

This weekend Alcone are celebrating their 65th anniversary with a special event at Capital on Bowery, where there will be special guest performers such as Lypsinka, Kembra Pfahler, Lady Bunny. Alongside these special guests, there will be vignettes showcasing what Alcone’s 65-year career has encompassed with everything from celebrity make up to burlesque and drag. A highlight of the party will be the special Alcone false eyelash application selfie-station where make-up artists will be applying lashes to guests!

Ahead of the party, we spoke with Maria Stewart, the youngest of 5 in this generation of the Mallardi family, to uncover a few of the secrets of success for Alcone.

 1. How does it feel to be celebrating 65 years?

The best way to describe it is that it is something to be very proud of. Our family acquired the company in the 80’s and since then we have been proud to continue the brand, and throughout the years grow the business and watch the industry evolve. To still be a key player in the industry, where a lot of large makeup companies have arisen alongside us, to hold that place so strongly makes me very proud.

 2. What do you think is responsible for the business’ longevity?

When you deal with professional makeup, which we always have, it’s all about getting the personal touch to customers. Simple things like when a customer calls, someone will answer the phone, there is no automated directory system, they’re greeted by a human being ready to help. We are not a hierarchical business, we are involved in every customer’s project because we care about what everyone is doing. The artist community is also very important to us and one we have always serviced with our tailored products. The two things that we have always done, and has resulted in the success of the business is the speed of our service and our customer support. We would take a loss for our customers. We really understand how important the product is, when people buy from us they need it, for their job, their life, their career and we take that seriously.

 3. How do you find the best makeup brands?

Many of our brands come through recommendations from our customers, they are people who know the industry inside-out so we listen to what they tell us, and also respond to requests they make for us to stock new brands. Alongside this, we are always scoping the market and are on the lookout for new brands and products. In fact, one of our most popular products is a UK brand with an anti-shine mattifying product which has been around for decades but is still the best.

  4. What makes these brands the best?

This is all about the quality of the product, it’s not about packaging or fancy things like that, it’s how well the product works. And this has always been the case, everyday consumers are seeking quality rather than something that looks good in a vanity case. Even if a product looks good in the packaging, if it doesn’t look good on the skin then there’s no value.

When working with brands, we do also look at the business as a whole. Natural, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable products are becoming more trendy and we really respect this. Whilst we are looking primarily for quality, with the rise in the trend a lot of companies will start incorporating these values, and we really believe this is important. We believe in environmental issues too, particularly with packaging and shipping, and this is becoming easier for us as manufacturers start paying more attention to this detail.  One of our most recent lines, LimeLight, is all natural skincare – chemical-free, paraben-free, and toxic-free which is something we’re excited about. It’s become a huge buzz in the industry and for consumers too.

 5. The last peak in the company timeline was the launch of Limelight, the all-natural luxury skincare. What can we expect to come in the next phase of the journey for Alcone?

We have just introduced a men’s skincare range which we love and the next step is actually taking the Limelight range international! We want to make it available to everybody outside the USA. We know that many of our customers sell our products and make a living from their home and that this gives them some financial security that they would otherwise be without so we’re excited to share this opportunity internationally. International has been the goal, and we’re elated!

Stay tuned on the Fashion 360 Magazine social media channels (@fashion360mag) to see what our Style Editor, Ikponmwosa Edorisiagbon, gets up to!