It can be daunting to accept that the world is going through a time that no one has experienced quite exactly before, and it's taking its toll on people in completely different ways. These are just some of the truths that Milk Makeup and New York City-based fashion brand Collina Strada wanted to explore together for their latest and collaborative "Live Your Look" campaign, which sees the brand motto taking on an even bigger and more important meaning during the world's newfound reality in quarantine and government recommended social distancing.
For the campaign, the brands joined together to produce a short zine, which Collina Strada founder and designer Hillary Taymour brought to life at home with her roommates and friends, photographed by Chad Moore with Sara Hiromi and Sasha Melnychuko as models. Wearing Collina Strada garments — including the brand's new special embellished masks — and using all Milk Makeup products for glam, the images are joined by reflective words about the current state of today's world, and what that looks like specifically for creativity and identity.
"Because masks have suddenly become part of everyday life, self-expression will inevitably look different than it did before," reads one page. "Creativity often thrives in periods of adversity, fueling new, dynamic ways of thinking," shares another.
"Right now is such new territory for everyone," Taymour tells NYLON. "I can only compare it similarly to when the internet just started. There is a whole new realm of possibilities on how to connect to your customer and show your work. It's an exciting time to reinvent or develop interesting projects because we no longer have to follow a 'norm' or a fashion calendar."
Milk Makeup and Collina Strada have had a close relationship ever since Taymour showed her early collections during Made Fashion Week at Milk Studios in 2014. After seeing Collina Strada hustle to make masks for the New York City community using leftover fabric scraps, Mazdack Rassi, co-founder of Milk Makeup and Milk Studios, says they immediately wanted to recognize her work and help her give back. "It feels like a full circle moment for our brands to collaborate," he says. "Hillary tapped her crew of friends she’s been quarantining with to shoot this story and make art out of the current circumstances."
According to Georgie Greville, co-founder and creative director of Milk Makeup, using the brand's day-one motto "Live Your Look" felt particularly important in this moment, noting that it's not about how you create your look, but what you do in it, that matters. "Since Milk Makeup’s inception, our community has been at the heart of what we do and our deepest inspiration. We aim to give our people platforms for self-expression and creativity. It’s about celebrating the evolving spectrum of individuality, especially in our new reality."
In addition to the zine, Milk Makeup is donating 1,000 Collina Strada masks to The Center, an LGBTQ community and planning center in downtown New York City and a longtime partner of the beauty brand, that is unfortunately closed temporarily due to COVID-19.
Currently, Collina Strada is offering one free mask with every purchase — using yellow plaid or blue floral deadstock material and scraps — as well as fashion masks ($100) available for purchase that come complete with bows fastens and an opening to insert a filter inside. With every fashion mask purchase, Collina Strada donates five masks to healthcare workers in New York City.
"Everyone in the world now needs a mask to wear when you exit your home," says Taymour. "This is the new normal, everyone needs one and demands are huge. I really feel like I need to help in any way I can, and making masks was the easiest way for me to help give back. It is something I know how to do and have the resources to do easily, so I just started making them for healthcare workers in March. I'd like to think we have made a small difference."
Check out some of the pages from the Milk Makeup x Collina Strada "Live Your Look" zine, and check out see the full spread here.