MAC Cosmetics has faced intense criticism after bloggers caught wind of the new fall makeup line the brand is co-launching with "it" girl designers Rodarte.
The line, ostensibly inspired by a road trip Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy took along the U.S./Mexico border, include blushes, lipsticks and nail polishes with names like "Factory," "Juarez," "Ghost town," "Del Norte" and "Quinceañera."
The fact that Ciudad Juarez has been named the most dangerous city in the world seems to have been lost on the designers, who told reporters that their Fall/Winter ready-to-wear collection (unveiled in February 2010) was influenced by the lines of women workers they'd see on their way to factory jobs in the middle of the night. Compounding the offense is the marketing campaign surrounding the makeup line, which features ghostly pale women who look as if they have been raised from the dead. Even the blush compact is streaked with ribbons of red that look like blood. Juarez is known mainly as the center of an epidemic of violence against women, which local government official and police have turned a blind eye to. Local residents and NGO's estimate the number of women who have gone missing or been murdered since 1993 to be somewhere around 5000.
Both MAC and Rodarte claim ignorance and have issued apologetic statements. "We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us," insisted the Mulleavys. "The MAC collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled." MAC has promised to donate the part of the proceeds of the collection to those in need in Ciudad Juarez.