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MAC rethinks Juarez

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Beauty bloggers were up in arms last week upon hearing that MAC Cosmetics and fashion house Rodarte have collaborated on a new makeup line dubbed Juarez, after the beleaguered Mexican city. Laura Mulleavy and her sister Kate, the designer duo who founded Rodarte, designed their fall ready-to-wear collection after taking a trip to Juarez to explore their Mexican roots. They claim to have observed workers going to their factory jobs in the middle of the night, known as "sleepwalking," and based their collection on the experience. For the MAC collaboration, a streaky red eyeshadow is dubbed "Bordertown," and "Factory" is a pale nail polish. Bloggers were less ready to romanticize the dreamlike landscape of the Mexican town, where there have been 1,500 killings so far this year. MAC issued a statement: "We understand that product names in the MAC Rodarte collection have offended our fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry." The Estee Lauder Companies' unit will donate $100,000 to a non-profit organization "that has a proven, successful track-record helping women in need and that can directly improve the lives of women in Juarez in a meaningful way," it says. Also, the firm is changing the product names in the collection

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MAC halts shipment of Juarez line

"Out of respect for the people of Mexico," MAC Cosmetics and fashion house Rodarte have opted not to ship their controversial Juarez cosmetics line, according to statement on MAC's Facebook page. The Estee Lauder Companies' brand came under fire last month for the collection, inspiration for which was traced to Rodarte founders' trip to impoverished city where they witnessed workers going to factory jobs in the middle of the night. MAC line featured product names such as "Bordertown" and "Factory" (1"The Rose Sheet" July 26, 2010, In Brief). Having previously committed to changing product names and donating $100,000 to a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of women in Juarez, MAC now says it will scuttle the line and donate all projected profits to groups with that mission. "MAC and Rodarte are deeply and sincerely sorry and we apologize to everyone we offended," according to the cosmetics brand's statement. "We are doing our very best to right this wrong. ... We are grateful for the opportunity to use what we have learned to raise awareness on this important issue.

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