Fashion Flashback: Heidi Morawetz

The fashion industry mourns the death of famed makeup artist Heidi Morawetz. Heidi Morawetz conceived some of Chanel’s best-known beauty products—The Rouge Blanc and Le Blanc de Chanel—directing Chanel’s makeup division with Dominique Moncourtois for over two decades. Morawetz retired from Chanel in January 2008.“Besides being an amazing makeup artist and makeup creator, she was the most beautiful person inside and out … when I did my first steps in makeup creation, she took me under her wings and I couldn’t have wished for a better mentor,” said Peter Philips, Chanel’s makeup director in a interview.

                 Heid Morawetz’s Chanel iconic campaigns

Morawetz was a graduate of the School of Art and Design and the School of Fashion Design in Vienna. After graduation, Morawetz worked for such iconic fashion photographers as Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Patrick Demarchelier as a makeup artist on fashion and beauty campaigns. Before being employed at Chanel, Morawetz worked with Yves Saint Laurent, helping to create YSL’s first makeup line. This led to working with Chanel in 1980 with Chanel’s international beauty director, Dominique Moncourtois. Quickly, Morawetz became the director of Chanel’s makeup creation studio.In an Interview magazine article, Philips detailed that Morawetz, “pioneered the idea that cosmetics could be just as fashionable as clothes.” “In the process, they masterminded some of Chanel’s most memorable products, among them Rouge Noir, released in the [US] as Vamp, which was invented on the fly backstage before the 1994 autumn ready-to-wear collection, a story that has become the stuff of love.”

                   Images courtesy of

In a 1992 New York Times article, Heidi Morawetz in response to the beauty trend at the time of a dark, red stained vampy mouth, smoky eyes, and plucked arched eyebrows concedes, “Fashion is one thing, but personality is quite another. A woman must always adapt makeup and trends to her own personality and use them to be more herself.”Heidi Morawetz passed away on August 9. A private funeral will take place on August 21.

—William S. Gooch

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