Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rodarte and MAC: An unforgettable partnership

Today, I'm going to get a bit journalistic because I feel pretty strongly about the following.

An interesting, thought-provoking story is currently erupting in the fashion/beauty world; one that conjures up the perpetual question, "Is fashion really art?" If one were to answer "yes" like I would, this means that clothing designers and makeup developers are allowed to express whatever they want to through any chosen medium. However, it also means they must be prepared to offend and defend their "works of art" just like every other artist who has ever showcased anything the least bit controversial.Why apologize for bringing much-needed attention and beauty to a place of desperation?

How many of us fashionably-conscious girls and guys are aware of what's going in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a suburb bordering El Paso, Texas? I'm going to be honest, I was not..until this morning. And the only reason I am now is because of Rodarte's MAC Cosmetics collection.

Slated to debut in September with innovative frost-bitten colors and controversial names like, "Factory" and "Juarez," the makeup collection's inspiration was born from a road trip Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the thirty-something powerhouse sisters behind the acclaimed Rodarte empire, took through Texas and beyond. According to sources, the designers' observations of laboring, zombie-like female Maquiladora workers gave way to the collaborative beauty line's sleep walking theme and ghostly quality. 

Offensive? To some maybe, as this overpopulated, impoverished suburb is home to women who are brutally raped and murdered en route to work each week. An unresponsive Mexican police force is to blame for vulnerable females left for dead and a hopeless future. Juarez is consistently referred to as, "The Serial Killer's Playground" and El Paso Times stated that "nearly 340" victims have been accounted for since 1993. Today, the death toll is worse than ever and continues to rise.

What the many unoriginal fashion bloggers fail to note when trashing MAC is that the sisters graduated from Cal Berkeley and launched their fierce collection for the first time just five short years ago. They also leave out that MAC is owned by the prominent Estee Lauder and boasts a strong vitae of social initiatives. Therefore, I doubt both parties had no idea as to what they were getting themselves into when concocting and naming colors--it was about art and bringing attention to a troubled place.

Awareness is priceless, so all of the harsh critics need to grow some intelligence, think for themselves and accept MAC's promise to give a portion of the proceeds to those in need in Ciudad Juarez. Even my friend and trusted source, who has family in Mexico, thinks it's a strategic ploy to atypically recognize a place in society through artistic expression.

Let me know your thoughts on this! I'd love to hear your point of view. Here's a photo and a few products from the fall Rodarte for MAC collection below. 

(Rodarte for MAC Cosmetics)


  1. Keep it up Valerie! I look forward to reading your blog daily.

  2. Wow! I can tell you are super passionate about this! I love your blog! You're a great writer! Your voice really comes through the writing!

    Best wishes from one blogger to another,



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