• Fri, Jul 16 2010

Rodarte Designers Have a Weird Fascination with Juarez, Mexico

Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy are working on a makeup line for MAC. However, the line has not even debuted and has already met with controversy. Two of the nail polishes are named “Juarez” and “Factory,” and, as The Frisky’s Jessica Wakeman points out, “Juarez is an impoverished Mexican factory town notorious for the number of women between the ages of 12 and 22 who have been raped and murdered with little or no response from police. Most of the young women are employees at the border town’s factories, called maquiladoras, and disappeared on the way to or from work.”

But this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who read the profile of the Mulleavy sisters in the April issue of Vogue. In the issue, the sisters talked about how some of their inspiration came from time that they spent in Juarez. They talked about how their diaphanous, loosely draped clothes were inspired by the way the young women they saw “ghostwalking” on the way to work in the early hours of the morning. While I’m sure it was lovely and romantic for the Mulleavys to watch other people walk to work at 4 AM while so tired they could barely hold their eyes open, Wakeman is correct when she points out that it’s those very women whose lives are constantly at risk in a dangerous town. Unlike the Mulleavys, those sleepwalking women didn’t get to go back to their hotels and relax for the rest of the day. And I guarantee you they won’t be buying Factory nail polish for with the meager income they make from working in a factory.

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  • karen

    I think they knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to use femicide to sell cosmetics. By aestheticizing the murder of Mexican women they are creating a fantasy that taps into the anti-Mexican hysteria gripping this country. Also appalling is that nobody at MAC or Estee Lauder thought any of this was reprehensible. It was just poor Mexican women so they didn’t think anybody would care.

    What if somebody had exploited 911? or WWII? What about some lipstick called Ground Zero?

    I will never buy anything from MAC/Rodarte or Estee Lauder ever again. The people who run those companies are sick.