Owner Erik Johnsen in the racks at The Costumer
Owner Erik Johnsen in the racks at The Costumer

Dressed for Success

Lisa Mulcahy

The Costumer Is Thriving At 100 Years Young

The Costumer, a full-service costume sales and rental company with locations in both Schenectady and Albany, NY, as well as a thriving online business, is celebrating their 100th year in business. Quite an achievement, but an accomplishment that’s no surprise to their loyal repeat clients. 

Originally founded by Anna White, The Costumer is today owned and stewarded by Erik Johnsen and his family. They maintain the business’s commitment to its theatrical customers, especially the academic theater market, with a personalized approach. The staff are experts at listening to the needs of both scholastic clientele and commercial/community theater directors and designers, so that every production’s needs can be met with precision. Johnsen believes the combination of the people he serves as customers and the people he works with as colleagues are the real reasons for The Costumer’s legendary longevity.

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Ben Nye Makeup Hits Milestone 50 Years

Michael Eddy

Started in 1967, The Ben Nye Makeup company was founded by the renowned makeup artist Ben Nye, Sr. who had worked in Hollywood for over 30 years on over 500 feature films. Nye was well-known for his iconic style of realism and significant achievements in makeup for film; including creating makeup for Asian, Latino, and African American actors. After starting out as an apprentice in the mid-1930s, he worked on Gone With the Wind in 1938 and mixed colors for actress Butterfly McQueen. Around 1957, 20-years after that film, there was still only basic, generic foundations available, so he started to make his own makeup for people of color, filling a niche that he felt was not being served for these actors.

Today Ben Nye is still family-owned, now being run by his youngest son Dana Nye, who started working with his father in 1970. Ben Nye Makeup is today known the world over for exceptional quality and is a resource for professional makeup artists of stage and screen. Working closely with their clients, Ben Nye has responded to artists’ needs and changing styles of the time by developing an ever-expanding line of makeup products that address them all, including the need for high definition makeup about a decade ago. 

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