This badge was issued to consultants employed to sell Prue Acton's first range of cosmetics at department stores and selected chemists in capital cities around Australia. Her cosmetics were available for sale from the 29th October, 1969, until the mid 1970s, when the rising costs of running her own plant in Melbourne made the operation unprofitable.

Physical Description

Cast metal badge, imprinted with the words `Prue Acton Cosmetics' and the company's logo on a textured background. On the back is impressed the maker's name `K. G Luke, Melbourne', and a large metal pin and clasp. On the top of the badge is a small metal loop securing a large metal link (for an unknown purpose.)


Prue Acton was born in Benalla, Victoria, in 1943. She completed a Diploma of Art (majoring in Textiles) in 1962 and, the following year, started up her own company in Flinders Lane with a loan from her parents. She was the first Australia designer to break into the American market, after a successful visit to New York in 1967. Prue received a number of awards during her career, including 5 Australian Wool Board Awards, 3 David Jones Awards for Fashion Excellence and four Fashion Industry of Australia Lyrebird Awards, as well as receiving an OBE in 1982. After closing her business in the late 1980s, she now works as a fulltime painter.

Following in the footsteps of England's Mary Quant, Prue decided to supplement her clothing line with a range of cosmetics. Launched in October, 1969, Prue Acton was soon in financial difficulties due to the costs involved in establishing and running its own plant in Mulgrave. In 1970, the company was taken over by the German chemical firm Hoechst Ltd, who were desperate to break into the female cosmetics market, with Prue Acton being retained as a consultant. The company was never really profitable, unable to compete with the large amounts of money being spent on promotions by American firms such as Revlon and Max Factor, and was wound up in early 1976. A range of cosmetics, under the Prue Acton banner, were later released by Wella in the 1980s.
These items add to the Museum's Prue Acton collection, supplementing other items from her cosmetics range. The talc is the only example of the cardboard outer packaging that cosmetics originally came in. The consultant's badge is the only example of an item related to the retailing practices of Prue Acton cosmetics.

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