MAC & Rodarte – deliberate controversy?

…or a total failure to research something properly?

So even though the hype and fervour for MACs limited edition Stereo Rose hasn’t quite died down yet, attention has firmly been put on MAC’s planned September 2010 release.

A collaboration with US design duo Rodarte, this new Mexican inspired make-up collection has sparked controversy within the beauty community.

According to, “Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy had road-tripped from El Paso to Marfa, and were struck by the ethereal landscape and impoverished factory workers floating to work at dawn in a sleepy, dreamlike state.”

OK then. Delve in a litle further and you’ll soon find out that said “sleepy, dreamlike” factory workers are in fact a legacy of the fact that Ciudad Juarez is undoubtably one of the most dangerous places in the world.

According to Amnesty International over 400 women have gone missing from this region in the past ten years, often brutally raped and murdered, or for their bodies yet to be found at all. It is thought that many of these women disappeared on their way to work  in the maquiladoras, or factories of the local area. Apparently the police have done little investigation into these cases, some of which were girls as young as 12.

I may not be MAC’s greatest fan, but even as a nail polish addict, I am afraid that I would baulk at spending money on varnishes thoughtlessly named as “Factory” and “Juarez” , which feature in this new collection.

It isn’t right. It might have been excusable (and indeed, probably applauded) had MAC and Rodarte agreed that a % of all products sold in this range would be donated to those in need in Juarez. Sadly, MAC’s stance to offer up charity donations from this collection has only come after a  barrage of complaints of bad taste and poor research. A rather large gaffe, I think you’ll agree.

If it is a gaffe. I just don’t know – it’s not like MAC need any more publicity as their overhyped collections sell out in days, with hysteria rising at the same rate as the prices on eBay.  Should Rodarte have known better? Who knows. Certainly as far as I am concerned this is a strong exercise in bad taste, with the response being too little too late.  Are they too busy road tripping through the sweatshops of elsewhere in the world as research for their next collection to respond more positively?

More information on the Juarez murders can be found here and you can read other opinions about this matter on the following blogs, all of whom have been moved to write about the issue:



  1. 18th July 2010 / 9:18 PM

    Well written! It gives me chills thinking they might have been trying to deliberately stir up controversy – utter madness! I’m not a fan of MAC just out of personal taste but this disgusts me on all levels. I never even considered that aspect of it – although I’m quite familiar with the horrible atrocities going on in border towns; what kind of sickness is it to play that up?

  2. 18th July 2010 / 10:17 PM

    Great post. Honestly, what everyone has done tonight is outstanding. x

  3. 18th July 2010 / 10:57 PM

    I agree with everything you said. I, for one, don’t see makeup as art, and I don’t get the big deal about MAC stuff. This line is repulsive, but I hope they’re donating a good amount of money of all the profit they will make out of this.

  4. 19th July 2010 / 8:34 AM

    I have long been a fan of MAC, but I don’t think I’d buy anything from such a collection. I’m sure it must be a gaffe, MAC are usually very aware of issues and very charitable, the Viva Glam range for example sees that all profits go to AIDS charity. However, I am very disappointed that they have allowed suh a huge mistake to happen.

  5. 19th July 2010 / 8:53 AM

    Fantastic post hunny. Very well written and very informative. Well done.


  6. 19th July 2010 / 9:37 AM

    The whole things is WRONG! Wrong wrong wrong!!! I’m soooo not buying any of it no matter what MAC says or does after all of this. Fab post!!! x

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