I'm not sure where to start with the whole Rodarte and MAC controversy/Scandal. It started , for me, yesterday when I crawled out from under the rock where I live to discover that MAC Cosmetics had teamed up with Fashion House Rodatre for a cosmetic collection due to be released on September 15, 2010. The MAC cosmetics brand is no stranger to teaming up with Fashion Designers for a makeup collection, Heatherette and Ungaro for examples, so it wasn't the fact that they were teaming up with Rodarte for a collection that was the problem... It was she sheer lack of common sense. Let me start from the beginning.
The Fashion House of Rodarte released their 2010 Winter collection back in early July I believe. And when you find out the inspiration for the collection you will scratch you head and wonder why more people didn't take notice earlier. According to Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy) the inspiration for the 2010 Winter line was drawn from a recent road trip the sisters took in Texas Last year from El Paso to Marfa. The described the "ethereal nature of the landscape" and the flowing movement of women walking to work in the dead of night as "sleepwalking" for their inspiration.
OK. If you know anything about the border towns along this "road trip" passage you know they run right through Juarez, Mexico. One of the most dangerous places to be a woman in THE WORLD. For more than a decade, the city of Juarez, near the US-Mexico border, has been a killing field for young women, the site of nearly 400 unsolved murders and many more abductions. Despite the horrific nature of these crimes, authorities at all levels exhibit indifference, and there is strong evidence that some officials may be involved in the crimes. Protection from punishment and corruption have permitted the criminals to continue committing these horrendous acts, knowing there will be no consequences. The police do almost nothing to stop the violence and Vincente Fox' one time solution was to offer whistles to the women that had to walk the dark roads at night so as to indicate they were being attacked.
What a sham!
The National Organization for Women have called for a stop to the Femicide that is taking place in Juarez Femicide definition: Femicide is the mass murder of women simply because they are women. It is the term that has been coined in response to the murders of nearly 400 young women on the U.S.-Mexico border in the city of Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas. 
According to the Organization of American States's Inter-American Commission on Human Rights :
"The victims of these crimes have preponderantly been young women, between 12 and 22 years of age. Many were students, and most were maquiladora workers. A number were relative newcomers to Ciudad Juarez who had migrated from other areas of Mexico. The victims were generally reported missing by their families, with their bodies found days or months later abandoned in vacant lots, outlying areas or in the desert. In most of these cases there were signs of sexual violence, torment, torture or in some cases disfigurement."The majority of people that work in what is commonly called maquiladoras (Factories) are women. Women are chosen because they won't necessarily fight for higher wages, they won't try to unionize and because they are usually silent about mistreatment from their employers. Thanks to the 1994 NAFTA, many companies set up these maquiladoras in Mexico border towns to benefit from the free trade agreement. Unfortunately these maquiladoras are really just sweatshops that produce items for export, with 90 percent of the products destined for the United States. The maquiladoras employ mainly young women at poverty-level wages. In combination with lax environmental regulations and low tariffs under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the maquiladoras are amassing tremendous wealth. Yet despite the crime wave, they offer almost no protection for their workers. More information on factories that operate on the border can be found here. 
So what does this have to do with MAC Cosmetics?
Well in September 2010 MAC will release its Collection/Collaboration with Rodarte and they will have names such as Factory, Quinceanera, Sleepwalker, Badland Ghost Town and Juarez.  The names in an of itself are not offensive. What is offensive is that Rodarte used the word "ethereal" to describe places like Juarez. There is NOTHING ethereal about raped and dismembered bodies of women lining ditches in a factory town. I don't blame MAC entirely for this debacle. Rodarte should take a hard look at themselves and ask if they truly understood what they were looking at on their "Road Trip" Woman walking in the middle of the night in the desert of Juarez may look "flowy" but for god sakes ladies, lets consider the in your face fact that there are women leaving their families and children to work 17 hour shifts in factories making hardly any money at all...while they risk life and limb on the way to and from work. It's like looking at a Nazi Concentration Camp and noticing how expertly the Nazis herded people from the trains and into the ovens. Such Order! Or like looking at the slums of Brazil and remarking on how lovely the white sheets look that hang on the lines between the buildings and not notice that people are living on top of one another and dying in the streets. This brings me to the main point.
Rodarte, and in some capacity MAC Cosmetics, can't see the forest for the trees. In other words: they paid too much attention to details and did not understand the general situation regarding their environment.
Sure women wearing mostly pale shades of clothing, almost rags as they walk at night in the desert may make a spectacular image, but you HAVE to stop and ask yourself...WHY are these women walking around at night, WHY are they wearing rags? WTF Rodarte? Are you all that selfish and self-centered you didn't stop for one second in your trip to question WHY you were seeing what you saw? Shame on you.
There is nothing romantic about the border towns, the maquiladoras or Juarez. Nothing I could see there would inspire me to create a line of clothing or cosmetics for white, pale, and impossibly thin women. Not to mention that no woman of color could possibly benefit from the pale and greyed out shades from the Rodarte for MAC cosmetic collection. That's neither here nor there.
I think what also bothers me, other than the glaring lack of common sense on part of Rodarte, is the cool toned pink Beauty Powder in the MAC collection called "Quinceanera"
A Quinceñera , or Quince años (English: "fifteen years"), is a coming of age ceremony held in some Latin American cultures on a girl's fifteenth birthday, comparable to a Sweet Sixteen celebration. Planning begins up to a year in advance, and requires the resources of several members of the family and friends. The family priest will perform a Quinceañera ceremony in church. The girl's baptismal godparents will oversee the spiritual celebration, and her many friends and relatives will attend to see the recognition she will receive as she makes the transition from girl to young lady in everyone's eyes. Quinceañera are comparable in scope and grandeur to weddings, and the party atmosphere that follows the somewhat more subdued religious atmosphere. There is a significant dress, just as with a wedding, and can be just as expensive and unique as a wedding gown. Flowers and decorations are selected to match the color scheme of the festivities, a reception is held at which guests will be served a meal and there will be dancing for all in attendance.
Here is a list  of just some of the girls that were murdered in Juarez and never got to celebrate their Quinceañera:
- Isabel López Unzueta, 14, died from gun shot wounds on May 22 in Ciudad Juárez. She was shot several times by gang members when she was outside of her house talking to a neighbor and two cousins.
- Alejandra Yanel Díaz Sánchez 13 killed while her mother was working at a Factory Maquiladora
- Cecilia Loya, 12, murdered in the Sierra Tarahumara's Guachochi municipality. The body showed signs of being beaten and burned.
- Barbara Jazari Batalla Alvarado, a three-year-old girl, was found four days after she disappeared, in Parrel, Chihuahua. She was found on a patio. A few days later, police found her arms and legs on a street in Ciudad de Hildalgo del Parrel.
- Clarivel Ochoa Sánchez, 13, died on August 20 from injuries sustained on July 23, when she was shot by a man outside of her home in Ciudad Juárez.
- Cintia Liliana Moreno Álvarez, 14, was found in Guachochi, Chihuahua next to the car she had disappeared in ten days earlier. Her body showed signs of trauma to the head and other parts of her body. Police were unsure if she died in a car accident or was murdered.
- Cecilia Lagarda Amapa, 8, was raped and died of her injuries 7 days later
- Airis Estrella Enríquez, 7, was found in a cement-filled drum on a highway on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez. She had been missing since May 2. Airis had been brutally raped and killed.
- Anhai Orozco Lerman, 10, was raped and strangled to death in her home in Ciudad Juárez
Now lest you think that MAC and Rodarte are ignoring this issue. they have both released statements 
STATEMENT FROM M·A·C COSMETICS ON THE M·A·C RODARTE COLLECTION
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.
STATEMENT FROM RODARTE ON THE M·A·C AND RODARTE COLLECTION
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.
Many other bloggers have written more passionately and more comprehensively about this issue and you can see a full listing of all the articles here:
So I GUESS my point is, I'm not mad about the names of the MAC products. I'm Mad about how insensitive Rodarte was in creating a collection like this without any nod or mention of the injustices and murders happening in these small towns from which they were "inspired"! I'm mad that MAC with its months of preparation and research didn't see the connection to the unspeakable crimes along the border towns and the hypocrisy of "ethereal" images from the Rodarte client. I'm mad at people that tell me to "Just not buy the products. It's not about looking the other way if you don't agree with something, it's about speaking up and fighting for what is right and just. In my book. Silence = Agreement. It's about making consumers and companies make better decisions.
MAC has said that they intend to give a "portion of the proceeds" to "help those in need in Juarez" and while they aren't specific on the amount or who will benefit from said donation I thought, along with Styrch from the Pretty In Dayton blog that making a donation in lieu of what one would have spent on this collection might be a great solution. I don't want to rely on MAC to make a donation for me, and I personally don't wish to purchase anything from this collection now that it is so tainted. That is why I am looking into making a donation of $50 to one of the charities below: 
Amnesty Intentional - They accept donations, but don't appear to send them to a particular cause, hence my reluctance to donate.I want to know where my money is going.
Mujeres de Juarez - Seem to have a petition up but I don't see a place to donate.
Casa Amiga - seems to take donations, but the site is in Spanish. I'm still working on looking into this one.
Amigos de Mujeres - I don't think this group takes donations, but works with other organizations and channels donations to them. I have written them asking for more information.
I am going to continue to add to these charities. If you know of any I should add for this cause, please let me know and I will add it to the list.
If you are interested in signing a petition to urge MAC Cosmetics to donate more...or if you are interested in donating your own money to a charity to help the woman of Juarez, please see the following post from Healing Beauty HERE!
 National Organization for Women "Femicides of Juarez Fact Sheet" http://www.now.org/issues/global/juarez/femicide.html
Council on Hemispheric Affairs "
Femicides of Juárez: Violence Against Women in Mexico" by COHA Research Associate Nidya Sarria http://www.coha.org/femicides-of-juarez-violence-against-women-in-mexico/
 Information on Factories in bordertowns can be found here http://s3.amazonaws.com/corpwatch.org/downloads/maqfacts.pdf
 Information on MAC Cosmetics Release and Official Statements from Rodarte and MAC from Temptalia http://www.temptalia.com/mac-rodarte-collection-for-fall-2010
 Quinceanrea information taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era
 List from Washington Office Of Latin America "Murders of Women in Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico January 2004 through May 2007" http://www.wola.org/index.php?Itemid=2&id=474&option=com_content&task=viewp
 Pretty In Dayton Blog Post "MAC & Rodarte - I feel like doing something about it. How about you?" http://prettyindayton.blogspot.com/2010/07/mac-rodarte-i-feel-like-doing-something.html