White lipstick called “Ghosttown,” a greyish nail polish called “Factory,” and an eyeshadow called “Sleepwalker,” were just some of the products of the MAC/Rodarte Fall 2010 makeup collaboration themed around the Mexican bordertown of Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, where 400 women have been murdered and gone missing (and that’s just the reported cases–actual statistics are probably much higher.)
The faux pas has finally hit the fan though, and while MAC almost immediately backtracked and said they would donate all proceeds to Juarez groups, they just announced that they are not continuing with the line at all.
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. This decision will have no impact on MAC’s commitment to donate all of its projected global profits from this collection to local and international groups that work to improve the lives of the women and girls of Juarez. We are currently conducting due diligence to ensure we donate to organizations with a proven record of directly supporting the women and girls of Juarez. MAC and Rodarte are deeply and sincerely sorry and we apologize to everyone we offended. We have listened very closely to the feedback of concerned global citizens. We are doing our very best to right this wrong. The essence of MAC is to give back and care for the community and Rodarte is committed to using creativity for positive social change. We are grateful for the opportunity to use what we have learned to raise awareness on this important issue.
*slow hand clap*
But seriously, good for them for responding to the outcry, listening to people’s concerns with their product, and continuing to donate profits, which is more than I expected to come from the high fashion industry. However, it didn’t stop New York Magazine’s fashion blog The Cut from going on an all-out snark attack. “All it took was one upset blogger to start a firestorm of backlash that would lead to the cancellation of M.A.C.’s Rodarte makeup line…Hey, lots of things can be really offensive if we want them to be! One word. One nail polish. One blog post. Thousands of online comments. Now this.” referencing the Frisky’s breaking coverage of it. Actually, many websites were rightfully outraged over the line, which thought it could bottle and sell, literally, the daily violence of Juarez, including Colorlines, About Face, the Ms. blog, Threadbared and plenty of non-social-justice blogs like the Awl.
This is unsurprisingly from the same blogger who originally claimed other people don’t think this nail polish is offensive, what’s the big deal? (Linking, of course to other fashion blogs who think “despite the topical news reference, the colors do look femininely delicate and ethereal”). While the atrociousness of the line is one thing (Jessica Wakeman likened it to a Sudan-themed line with a shade called “Darfur”), the fact that other bloggers are disappointed, and think that the makeup line was going above and beyond by “calling attention to these issues in addition to being generally quite pretty” is a bit disheartening. Take real action for the women of Juarez by visiting the FEMAP Foundation, Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (multilingual), Casa Amiga (Spanish), the Frontera Women’s Foundation, and Amnesty International.
But in other good riddance to bad rubbish news, American Apparel’s days are numbered….