MAC and Rodarte Under Fire For New Makeup Collection
MAC cosmetics and Rodarte are under fire today from bloggers who are shocked at the insensitive names of the cosmetics in the new collection. The collection echoes the fashion collection, which was inspired by the Mulleavy sisters' trip through Mexico and South Texas. They visited Juarez, Mexico, which is notorious for its criminal activity and its sweatshops which employ young women and teenagers. Many of these women have been raped and murdered and the police refuse to take action.
Jennifer Lopez made a movie called Borderland about the subject, in which she played a reporter investigating the murders, so it's hardly a secret. The nail polishes have names like Juarez and Factory: it's incredibly insensitive.
The criticism has become so widespread that MAC and Rodarte had to issue statements. MAC says in its statement that it will give a portion of the proceeds to help those in need Juarez.
Rodarte says the collection was influenced by a trip from El Paso to Marfa and the "ethereal nature" of the landscape they saw on the trip. Rodarte also says, "We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us. The MAC collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled."
It's a PR disaster, that's for sure. It's a good thing that MAC is going to donate part of the proceeds to help those women. Amnesty International is probably the best way to help. MAC should make sure to publicize the charitable aspect of the collection: they certainly are good at that kind of thing. Viva Glam is a great example of this.
You can see a description of the products with photos at Temptalia.
Update: MAC has announced that it will make a $100,000 donation to help the women of Juarez. They will also changed the product names of the items in the collection. MAC says, "We are committed to donating $100,000 to a non-profit organization that has a proven, successful track-record helping women in need and that can directly improve the lives of women in Juarez in a meaningful way."
Update 2: Due to the worldwide outcry, MAC and Rodarte have decided to cancel the proposed makeup collection based on Juarez, Mexico. In a statement MAC writes, "Out of respect for the people of Mexico, the women and girls of Juarez and their families, as well as our MAC Mexican staff and colleagues, MAC has made the decision not to ship the MAC Rodarte limited edition makeup collection."
Posted on July 16, 2010