Well blow me down with a feather. MAC… count me one seriously impressed consumer who loves you more. Following from the global outrage from the serious blunder of the names of the products from the MAC/Rodarte collaboration, MAC have now announced that they are going to donate the entire global profits of the collection to the “Women and Girls of Juarez Initiative”. From my point of view MAC have completely redeemed themselves by renaming the products, apologising and following up by donating 100% of the profits from the collection. It’s what I (and many other bloggers and consumers) called for and MAC have done everything they can to make amends for their lack of foresight. The entire statement can be viewed on Temptalia.
It’s not often that a company completely and wholeheartedly apologises and takes charge of their mistakes. I’ve also been impressed at how quickly they’ve responded. It’s not as if there were people picketing MAC counters and stores and the whole affair never made it beyond the internet and onto actual newsprint or TV. This more than simply trying to do damage control, MAC are trying to actually do some real good.
I will continue to be a huge MAC supporter, and buy their products with a clear conscience but I must admit that I still can’t get over Rodarte’s role in all this and it hasn’t warmed me to them whatsoever. It was their initial fashion collection that started all this. I’ve decided not to buy anything from the collection itself as I don’t want to support Rodarte at all, but will donate to the Juarez initiative and buy other MAC products.
I was so pleased to read via Temptalia the following official statement from MAC.
“We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We continue to listen carefully to the comments we have received and have the following plans to address concerns:
- We are committed to donating $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.
- We are changing the product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection.”
It’s so heartening to see a company respond so quickly and decisively following a blunder like this. It also relieves me personally that it looks as if MAC and I are on the same page again. Of couse I’m not going to agree with the decisions of every single company whose products I buy but having been “my” brand for so long (over 15 years) it was so important in this case to see that my belief and faith in the principles of MAC have not been wrong.
This still leaves the sticky question of how this could have happened in the first place. As many commentators have already said, was there really no point at which anyone in the decision making process put their foot down and said “Hang on, there’s something not big or clever about this…” ? Or worse did they all agree that “This could be cool, edgy, political, making a statement….”
What’s worse, ignorance (of which I myself was guilty of before all this), incompetence, or insensitivity?
Although the question remains, it doesn’t take much away from the fact that MAC done good with me in the end. After only 48 hours since this exploded online, MAC have changed the product names, committed to making a sizeable donation (although nowhere near the 100% proceeds I would have ideally liked) and apologised.
I find the poll in Temptalia’s post interesting: at the present time, just under 20% of people have said they have turned in MAC’s favour following the decision whilst nearly double that number appear to have been unaffected by the whole fuss, saying they would have purchased from the collection anyway. The statistics don’t sit pleasantly with me in my feelings towards the make-up buying public. But I offer thanks and congratulations to all the beauty bloggers who took up the cause and discussed and publicised this issue whipping up the storm in the teacup of the beauty business. I didn’t agree with all the opinions offered but I am thankful all the opinions were out there and that they didn’t ignore the situation or take the stance that “it’s just make-up” or “let’s leave politics out of it”.
There were more blogs, but I’m just mentioned the ones of those which I read, discussed and commented on. For my part, I think I’ll limit myself to buying one item from the collection and making a cash donation of anything else I would have spent to a Juarez non-profit organisation. I’m not considering ever becoming a Rodarte customer in the future.
“M·A·C Cosmetics honors the beauty in everyone – all races, all sexes, all ages. Upholding the rights of everyone for creative self-expression, M·A·C offers an extraordinary collection of professional quality cosmetics. Eschewing the high-price “face” of traditional fashion marketing, M·A·C lets its products speak for themselves through seasonal runway debuts and its commitment to providing customers with sophisticated retail environments that in design, ambience, and artist-based service, lie outside the mainstream. Beyond a brand, M·A·C is a culture that extols the provocative, and upholds high style, while staying real. It’s efforts on behalf of AIDS, cruelty-free testing, and recycling programs remain an integral aspect of the culture, ethos and identity of M·A·C.”
The above is taken directly from MAC’s website about their philosophy.
If MAC is just another make-up company to you, then you might be wondering what all the fuss is regarding the upcoming MAC and Rodarte collaboration make-up collection. To get the lowdown on the situation I’m going to direct you to BritishBeautyBlogger’s post on the whole affair. It’s thanks to her and her network of beauty bloggers that the news of this controversy has spread throughout the beauty blogging community. I first came across it yesterday whilst on Temptalia catching up with upcoming MAC and make-up news. In short, the upcoming MAC & Rodarte collection is supposedly inspired by the landscape and imagery of the people, events and geography of Ciudad Juarez, a bordertown city in Mexico across from Texas. Tragically the town is infamous for poverty, high murder count and ‘feminicidios’ – female homicides and las muertas de Juarez (the dead women of Juarez).
Controversy and dodgy “inspirations” in fashion imagery in the name of art is nothing new. Rodarte are just another fashion house to me, beautiful clothes, but their collections and inspirations don’t concern me. What has saddened me is that MAC are behind this. To many many many people MAC are not just a make-up company. They are supposed to be for everyone, all races, all sexes, all ages. They are political in their creation and their causes. Their first brand spokesperson was Ru Paul. They signed up K.D. Lang for their 2nd Viva Glam lipstick. They are supposed to be aware of issues and sensitive to the world beyond make-up, and fashion. They are the brand famous for giving 100% of the proceeds of Viva Glam lipsticks to their AIDS causes, and promoting this cause at their own expense.
Time and time again when make-up enthusiasts name MAC as their favorite make-up brand, it’s not just about the make-up. It’s about their philosophy, their politics, their causes and the thinking behind their decisions.
I’m glad that this issue has brought up discussion and awareness. I was not aware of the situation in Juarez before this. MAC please make it right. I don’t care about Rodarte, but I expect something more, something different from the company behind Viva Glam, Back to MAC and Kids Helping Kids.
- Change the product names.
- Give 100% of the collection proceeds to Juarez causes.
- Be aware that, like you set out in your philosophy, to your fans you are more than just another make-up brand.
I love Missha and it ties for 1st place with Etude House as my favorite Korean beauty brand but this is unforgivable.
I WANT THESE so much. The scents sound pretty ghastly (simple, thin, teenybopper scents) but I’m a sucker for anything Sanrio. Whilst Hello Kitty is always lovely, she’s been whoring herself out a lot recently so I’m not so interested in her but I AM going nuts over My Melody and Little Twin Stars. Like many asian kids I got bought some My Melody and Little Twin Star character stuff when I was wee so I have a soft spot for these under represented Sanrio characters. I think the bottles would look lovely with red (for My Melody) and pastel blue (for Little Twin Stars) coloured juice inside.
Here’s Estee Lauder’s entry into the BB cream game. It’s supposed to be launching around now in Duty Free and airport Estee Lauder counters in Asia and America, then Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dubai sometime in August. I wonder if this means that the shade will be slightly more yellow toned or whether they’ll stick to the grey toned and pale shade of most BB creams.
Here’s the new BB cream from MAC! Although they’re calling it a “Beauty Balm” rather than the Blemish Balm that BB cream originally stands for they’re obviously trying to reel in the Asian woman who has abandoned foundation in droves for BB cream. Multiply that all over Asia and you can see why L’oreal (via Maybelline and Lancome) and Estee Lauder have been chasing the bandwagon. Good try, but a bit late guys. It’s like their lame attempts to get some of the mineral make-up market after being left in the dust by Bare Escentuals and other start-up companies. You need to innovate not imitate especially when you’ve got millions and millions of dollars in research budgets at your disposal. You’ve got no excuse. What’s betting their next attempts will be a foundation with the letters “H” and “D” in the title?
This time last year, Etude House released a beauty collection whimsically named “I can’t stop smiling” wth packaging illustrated by the artist Robert Ryan. Check out Lotuspalace’s review of the line here.
Well it looks like the project was training wheels for the artist who’s now providing designs for this new skincare line Snowberry Beauty. The skincare line is natural based (but not certified organic) and its USP seems to be ingredients sourced from New Zealand. There’s no evidence that skincare ingredients coming from New Zealand are any better than skincare ingredients from the rest of the world, but I’d buy them for the cute bottles anyway. (They do look a LOT like the Etude House collection).
Head on over to the Vogue UK beauty blog to see sneak peeks of some new MAC products, currently on trial backstage during London Fashion Week.
The Vogue beauty blog isn’t usually essential reading but their backstage coverage at London Fashion Week has been great with some great behind-the-scenes scoops. Those blushers have awakened the lemmings within.
Talking of London Fashion week, what a great line-up this year. Anna Wintour’s making a guest appearance, something she only does every leap year or so. With big name hitter Burberry Prorsum showing the buzz in London is almost audible from this side of the world, and look at the schedule for today:
|13:15||Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden|
|17:45||House of Holland|
|20:45||Pringle of Scotland|
Every show is either a cutting edge or advertising must have (well, maybe not Twenty8Twelve) so all the junior fashion editors will be lurching around on their ridiculous platform shoes from 9 am. It sounds like a nightmare day…. but I half wish I was there.
Oh dear. Musings of Muse reports today that Estee Lauder Companies is killing off Prescriptives!
This is a big deal for me, as it comes after the news of Stila pulling out of all foreign non-USA countries, and Procter & Gamble killing off Max Factor in the USA. Brands come and go, but when it’s a major established one like Prescriptives, it does stun me. Prescriptives was famous for its personalised custom blend service which is life saver if you have trouble finding off-the-shelf foundations right for your skin tone. I splurged on a few bottles of the custom blend when I was a teenager and couldn’t find a liquid foundation for my yellow-beige Asian skin tone in the UK. You could also get concealers and powders custom blended too.
They also had a great skincare line, with favourites such as the Super Line Preventor (an anti-oxidant rich silky serum) and the Flight cream (for parched travel weary skin). They were also one of the first mainstream brands to sell a foundation brush and their Magic range of products with light reflectors and optical diffusion particles were holy grail items for many women.
cK Calvin Klein cosmetics seem to be biting the dust too. I did a feature for a magazine on cK cosmetics when it launched 18 months ago and remember thinking at the time that it was a big mediocre. The packaging was by Fabien Baron but poorly executed and the products themselves had a poor colour selection.
I guess with the constant arrival of new brands and lines, some the existing brands have to die. But tis a pity. I’m really sad.