Fashion Line Apologizes for Juarez-Inspired Cosmetics Line

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Rodarte/MAC cosmetics

The fashion line Rodarte and the cosmetics behemoth MAC managed to insert a Manolo Blahnik clad- foot in mouth when they announced their new line of Juarez-inspired makeup.

The new collection of cosmetics will feature blush, lip gloss, eye shadows and nail polish in shades of “factory,” “Juarez,” “Ghost town,” and “del Norte.”

The online news magazine Colorlines did a recent web post about the incredibly asinine idea.

“It seems the designers took a recent trip to the border, checking out towns from El Paso to Marfa, Texas. They came back with a fascination with Juarez in particular, and with life in the post-NAFTA maquilas  that were set up to help the city become a free-trade zone. When designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy unveiled their ready-to-wear F/W 2010 in February, they said that they had been inspired by the lines of women workers who’d make their way to factory jobs in the middle of the night. Romantic, huh?”

No doubt their creepy cosmetics line will probably be manufactured in one of those maquilas that they “romanticized.” It only goes to show you how incredibly insular and small-minded the fashion world can be. This is the same industry that sells $1,000 high fashion sweaters that are sewn for $2 in sweatshops overseas.

I wasn’t the only person appalled, both the MAC cosmetics line and Rodarte issued apologies this week according to Colorlines:

 

M·A·C Cosmetics Statement:

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.

Rodarte Company Statement:

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.

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. Melissa is a 2014-15 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.