The official press releases for Rodarte's collection for MAC Cosmetics hit the internet last week to outrage. Their collection, Rodarte claims, was inspired by "a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa." The collection includes shade names such as Factory and Juarez. Yes, Juarez, like the city (Cuidad Juárez) where femicide has been taking place for almost 10 years now, nearly unchecked.
Comments on the makeup blog Temptalia, one of the first to release the pictures of the collection, quickly turned to outrage, and fans flooded the MAC Customer Service department with complaints, which led both them and Rodarte to issue statements about the issue.
"STATEMENT FROM M·A·C COSMETICS ON THE M·A·C RODARTE COLLECTION
We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We are listening carefully to the comments posted and are grateful to those of you who have brought your concerns to the forefront of our attention. M·A·C will give a portion of the proceeds from the M·A·C Rodarte collection to help those in need in Juarez. We are diligently investigating the best way to do this. Please be assured that we will keep you posted on the details regarding our efforts.
STATEMENT FROM RODARTE ON THE M·A·C AND RODARTE COLLECTION
Our makeup collaboration with M·A·C developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa. The ethereal nature of this landscape influenced the creative development and desert palette of the collection. We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us. The M·A·C collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled."
This debacle begs the question: at what point does inspiration become exploitation? I highly doubt MAC would have changed a thing had there not been such a backlash from consumers who were aware of the problems in Cuidad Juárez. And, with all the resources that both the fashion label and the cosmetics company have at their fingertips, why are they claiming that there was no intent to be controversial? With products in the line with names like "Ghosttown" and "Badlands" in connection with "Juarez" and "Factory" (ie, where many of the female murder victims work to support their families) how could they not have known?
Promotional picture for the line courtesy Temptalia.com