The Met Partnerships
In the past two years, The Met, through its retail arm The Met Store, has partnered with fine art supply manufacturer Caran d'Ache, jewelry designer Donna Distefano, cosmetics maker Pat McGrath, master printers, and Native American art jewelry retailers Waddell Gallery and Tanners Indian Arts. All of these partnerships are retail partnerships where the partners sell limited-edition or specially curated products and/or engage in in-store events at The Met Store. In the case of Caran d'Ache, Donna Distefano, and Pat McGrath Labs, the partnership involved in-store arrangements showcasing events and the full range of products, but a few select items were made available online.
THE MET STORE AND CARAN D'ACHE (FINE ART MATERIALS)
- The Met Store entered into a retail partnership with Swiss manufacturer Caran d'Ache to offer an exclusive range of Caran d'Ache fine art materials that feature works from the museum's fine art collection.
- The collaboration involves the set up of a bespoke color bar and a dedicated drawing area at The Met Fifth Avenue store where customers can choose from a selection of over 80 shades to build their "own sets of 12 Caran d’Ache Supracolor water-soluble pencils," experiment with the colors and materials in-store, or participate and engage with local artists in art-making events. The color palettes and packaging were carefully chosen to reflect artworks in the museum's fine art collection, including artworks by Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
- Forming part of the exclusive line are art material sets, Met-branded editions of popular Caran d'Ache ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils, and Met-branded Caran d'Ache paper products. On the day of the launch, The Met Store hosted an in-store art-making event featuring TravelWriteDraw's Megan Morrison, a fashion illustrator based in New York. Though select items are available online, the full product range can only be seen at The Met Fifth Avenue, the main store of the museum.
- The retail partnership between The Met Store and Caran D'Ache started in April 2017. There is no indication online of when the partnership will end.
- The reason behind the collaboration is the ongoing mission of the museum to improve customers' knowledge of art making and color.
DONNA DISTEFANO AND THE MET STORE (JEWELRY)
- The Met Store teamed up with Donna Distefano, a goldsmith and jewelry designer based in New York to form a retail partnership.
- Now and then, Donna Distefano creates high-end handcrafted jewelry inspired by Renaissance paintings, medieval art, medieval literature, and ancient techniques. She does this in her own atelier in New York City.
- The partnership involves collaboration projects, including an in-store event in February 2018 to celebrate romance and Valentine's Day. In this event at The Met Store Mezzanine Gallery, Distefano discussed her Met-exclusive collection and her thoughts on how jewelry symbolizes love and betrothal. Some of her pieces are available online.
- The retail partnership between The Met Store and Donna Distefano started in November 2017. There is no indication online of when the partnership will end. Given that sales of Distefano's jewelry at The Met Store have been exceeding expectations, it is unlikely that the partnership will end soon. There was a statement from Distefano in November 2018, however, that "her work for the Met was determined on a project-by-project basis and that the next collaboration had not been announced."
- The Met Store chose to work with Distefano because Distefano's work ethic aligns very well with the museum's goal of providing full transparency to its jewelry customers. According to Rich Pedott, the person who oversees the museum's merchandising, "Donna’s focus on craftsmanship and responsible sourcing fall in line with our own initiative to offer quality and integrity throughout our jewelry assortment.”
- Distefano worked with The Met Store as well in conjunction with the museum's exhibition "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which opened in May 2018.
PAT MCGRATH labs AND the met (COSMETICS)
- The Met Store entered into a retail partnership with Pat McGrath Labs to launch an exclusive line of color cosmetics. Pat McGrath Labs is the first beauty brand The Met Store has ever partnered with.
- The line was launched in conjunction with the launch of the exhibition "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." The limited-edition cosmetics feature works from The Met's art collection on their packaging.
- The cosmetic products, which were mostly inspired by religious artifacts and history, include the new LUST: Gloss Aliengelic and the best-seller MOTHERSHIP IV: Decadence Eyeshadow Palette. The full range can be seen at The Met Fifth Avenue, while a few select items can be seen online and at The Met Cloisters.
- Pat McGrath Labs and The Met Store started teaming up in May 2018. The first collaboration ended in October 2018, but the two parties collaborated once again in November 2018 for the "Jewelry: The Body Transformed" museum exhibition.
- The partnership came into effect in line with The Met Store's goal of offering gifts inspired by the museum's art collection and the museum's current exhibitions.
THE MET STORE AND MASTER PRINTERS (PRINTS)
- The Met Store and master printers Greg Burnet, Andrew Mockler, Jennifer Melby, Maurice Sanchez, and Judith Solodkin teamed up in 2017 to form a retail partnership.
- The partnership involved an event on the mezzanine level of The Met Store on Fifth Avenue. At the event, the master printers talked about the art of printmaking or printing. The attendees were given the chance to buy from a selection of limited-edition prints, monotypes, and printer's proofs.
- At the event, the attendees were treated to cocktails.
- The event took place on June 30, 2017, but the items for sale were on view at the store until July 21, 2017.
- The purpose of the partnership was to educate people about the art of printing or printmaking.
- The Met Store, once again, featured limited-edition prints from April 20, 2018, to May 4, 2018, with several New York artists attending the opening event on April 20.
THE MET STORE AND WADDELL GALLERY (NATIVE AMERICAN ART JEWELRY)
- The Met Store and Waddell Gallery entered into a retail partnership in 2018.
- The partnership involved Waddell Gallery presenting a trunk show of Native American art jewelry at The Met Store on Fifth Avenue. The trunk show showcased wearable art from Native American artisans such as Charles Loloma, Jesse Monongya, Lee Yazzie, Wes Willie, and Charles and Don Supplee.
- The pieces, which were chosen by the country's leading Native American jewelry gallery, are a mix of contemporary and vintage pieces. They were curated for their beauty, authenticity, and quality.
- The trunk show lasted two days from October 3 to October 4, 2018.
- The Met Store partnered with Waddell Gallery because it wanted to feature products that are in line with the museum's current exhibition at the time, which was "Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection."
THE MET STORE AND TANNERS INDIAN ARTS (NATIVE AMERICAN ART JEWELRY)
- The Met Store and Tanners Indian Arts teamed up to form a retail partnership in 2018.
- The partnership involved a trunk show of top-grade turquoise pieces. The pieces were made by Native American designers or artisans such as Boyd Tsosie, Jesse and Preston Monongye, and Lee and Raymond Yazzie.
- Pieces are all handmade, with some materials and turquoise supplied by Tanners itself. Tanners is a fifth-generation, family-owned company.
- The jewelry was on view at The Met Store on Fifth Avenue from November 23, 2018, to November 25, 2018.
- The partnership was the result of The Met Store's desire to feature products that align well with the museum's current exhibition at the time, which was "Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection."
- Another trunk show took place on April 26-27, 2019.