MAC Vibe Tribe Collection for Summer 2016

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

Lose control in lips painted reckless shades of red and coral, or a flash of gold. Let your eyes escape reality in teal, cobalt mandarin and charcoal, as free-spirited nails glisten in succulent tangerine and the perfect, buttery nude with M∙A∙C Vibe Tribe. Join the tribe. Feel the vibe.

Online May 12th, in-stores May 19th at all locations

Editor’s Note: MAC’s newest collection–Vibe Tribe–has generated some controversy over the last couple weeks for cultural appropriation and/or cultural insensitivity. Both Refinery29 and The Huffington Post posted earlier this week with an official statement from the brand, which stated that: “The collection, including the visuals, product lineup, and naming, is inspired by art, outdoor music festivals, and the colors of the desert. The collection has absolutely no connection to nor was it inspired by the Native American cultures.”

Outdoor festivals are rife with instances of cultural appropriation in the form and manner many dress and accessorize (one of the more egregious examples is the wearing of headdresses–something some festivals have actually banned to avoid future instances of cultural appropriation). I don’t think it’s a surprise that between the pattern on the packaging, some of the shade names, promotional imagery, and a collection name with “tribe” in it that it is making some consumers at least question the inspiration/connection. I wish MAC would have considered partnering with a Native designer or artist to create a collection that could truly pay homage to that person’s culture, roots, and inspiration of their craft. They have done this in the past where we have seen the collaborator’s inspiration in the forms of shade names and packaging, so it is a disappointment that they didn’t go that route here. I hope the brand will consider doing more research into their themes going forward.

Edited at 10:57AM PST: Please be RESPECTFUL to each other, whether you agree with the person or disagree with them. This is a place for civil, thoughtful discussion, not condescension, insults, or other ways of trivializing how someone feels or doesn’t feel.

The Details

Call of the Canyon Eyeshadow Palette, $36.00 U.S. / $43.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Call of the Canyon Frosty off-white (Veluxe Pearl)
  • Fool’s Gold Dirty olive gold (Frost)
  • Summer Sun Frosty peach orange (Frost)
  • Thunderbolt Dark charcoal with gold pearl (Lustre)

Wild Horses Eyeshadow Palette, $36.00 U.S. / $43.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Brule Soft creamy beige (Satin) (Permanent)
  • Charcoal Brown Muted taupe-brown (Matte) (Permanent)
  • Wild Horses Deep espresso (Satin)
  • Blue Mesa Deep turquoise (Satin)

Lipstick, $18.00 U.S. / $22.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Tanarama Pale beige with golden shimmer (Frost) (Permanent)
  • Arrowhead Bare nude (Matte)
  • Painted Sunset Bright orange-red (Amplified)
  • Pure Vanity Pale peach nude (Lustre) (Repromote)
  • Hot Chocolate Dirty plum (Satin) (Repromote)

Patentpolish Lip Pencil, $21.00 U.S. / $25.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Tumbleweed Soft nude
  • Teen Dream Bright pinkish coral matte (Repromote)
  • Caravamp Reddish-orange
  • Desert Evening Clear with pearl (Online Exclusive)
  • Rio Grande Romance Bright fuchsia

Powder Blush, $23.00 U.S. / $27.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Modern Mandarin Red-orange (Satin) (Permanent)
  • Adobe Brick Burnt-red (Satin)
  • Painted Canyon Mid-tone coral (Satin) (Online Exclusive)

Cream Colour Base, $23.00 U.S. / $27.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Yellow Topaz Light golden champagne

Bronzing Powder, $27.00 U.S. / $32.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Matte Bronze Bare shouldered bronze (Permanent)
  • Refined Golden Finely spun golden with soft pearl (Permanent)
  • Firebrush Reddish bronze with golden sparkle

Studio Sculpt Defining Bronzing Powder, $33.00 U.S. / $38.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Delphic Coppery bronze with gold sparkles (Repromote)
  • Golden Rinse Light brick reddish bronze with fine shimmer (Repromote)

Gleamtones Powder, $33.00 U.S. / $38.50 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Dunes at Dusk Multi-colour

Studio Nail Lacquer, (Limited Edition)

  • Blazing Hot Bright orange (Cream)
  • Skin Light peach beige (Cream) (Permanent)

Brush, (Limited Edition)

  • 125 Split Fibre Dense Face Brush ($36.00 U.S. / $43.50 CAD)
  • 127 Split Fibre Face Brush ($36.00 U.S. / $43.50 CAD)
  • 228/226 Double Ended Brush ($35.00 U.S. / $42.00 CAD)

Makeup Bag, $35.00 U.S. / $42.00 CAD (Limited Edition)

  • Painted Desert Makeup Bag 1
  • Painted Desert Makeup Bag 2

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection

MAC Vibe Tribe Collection
MAC Vibe Tribe Collection


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nelleshoegirl Avatar

Thank you for your editor’s note. I think you’re exactly right. Reaching out to partner with a Native artist would have been super cool. And MAC should consider doing so in the future!

xamyx Avatar

Do we absolutely know for sure MAC *didn’t* collaborate with someone of Native descent…? Perhaps someone on the team is. I think it shows some bias to presume there are no people of Native descent in the industry…

Carrie Avatar

I feel like even if that was the case and if they had, then why wouldn’t they mention that in the official statement or the description of the collection?

xamyx Avatar

Perhaps they just didn’t feel it was necssary? They didn’t want to be accused of pandering? Again, noone knows. Not everyone sees things as offensive, particularly those of us who don’t hold biases ourselves…

ChynnaBlue Avatar

That would be unusual, since they have traditionally named people or groups with whom they have collaborated. That makes it a much more glaring omission. And after of the backlash from their poor choices made in the Juarez collection, they really should have known better. It makes me sad that they seem to have learned absolutely nothing from that experience.

Denise S. Avatar

I don’t think it’s an insult to any culture race or gender if someone copies “you’re style”. I feel imitation is a form of flattery with the expection of mockery. I think it’s a beautiful photo. Native American’s rock why wouldn’t people want to be inspired by them?

Becki Avatar

Cultural appropriation becomes a problem when someone takes something that has significance and uses it for fashion or aesthetic purposes. In this case, it’s a problem because MAC refuses to acknowledge that this collection is inspired by Native American art and culture. Instead, they give credit to music festivals, ignoring and somewhat condoning the blatant appropriation that takes place at those festivals. At least, that is what I have taken away.

Rexcatz Avatar

I agree with you completely. That was my first thought, that maybe there was someone, or even a few someones like that working for MAC, they are in Canada after all.

Tarzi Avatar

I’m sure MAC does employ First Nations people; however it’s still possible for indigenous people to culturally appropriate from other indigenous peoples…there isn’t one homogenous “Native American” culture. An Anishinaabe designer from Ontario would still be culturally appropriating even if they were a named designer as these are Southwestern indigenous designs.

Rachel R. Avatar

I don’t usually jump on the bandwagon, but I have to call BS on: “The collection has absolutely no connection to nor was it inspired by the Native American cultures.”

I still think it’s a pretty collection, but it’s so obviously a riff on Native American designs, and the promo shots looks more Native/American southwestern inspired than music festival inspired. I’m Caucasian though, so I don’t think I can comment beyond that.

Helena Avatar

The packaging in this collection is beautiful but there is no way I can pull off these colours… Too warm for me! Maybe cool-toned girls don’t go to Coachella…
Saving for Chris Chang’s then.

Lorraine Avatar

It’s not even the first time Mac has done something culturally insensitive.
I get the feeling that they were totally aware that anything Native American looking would be a problem so they scaled it back to the point where you get an overall feel of exactly what they are going for but if you try to point out anything specific that’s overtly Native People’s it becomes trickier.
The title, promo image and designs on the brushes are the only specific things I can see but if you try to say anything it could easily be defended as “just geometric designs*”* or “just leather hair accessories.” *
Basically I feel like they mew what they were doing and did it anyway but were very calculated about it.

** Also I may be wrong about the things they chose having meaning , I don’t know about this.

chris Avatar

Love the packaging, can’t wait to try. I do believe that MAC has been at the forefront with collabs and representing all races, ethnicities and genders in advertising and hiring. I would challenge more companies to do the same.

Becky Avatar

Thanks for the Editors’ Note, Christine. I agree-the whole headdress-festival thing has never sat well with me either. Hopefully MAC will sit up and take some notice. I think I’ll wait and see how this one swatches.

Wednesday Avatar

OMG I died laughing when I saw the is straight out of the 80’s.. that whole southwestern style. It’s definitely an updated and more attractive version, I will give it that.

I’m loving the looks of the pale lipsticks and the charcoal with gold pearl!!! (CRAP: it’s a Lustre ? ) Sign me up if the performance is there.

KJH Avatar

Oh, wow, don’t get me started. Thank you for saying what needed to be said. First you read the blurb. It’s rather typical MAC speak, quasi-sexual and fantasy-oriented, with an attempt at live-on-the-edge suggestion. Then the promo photo, also typical MAC, somewhat androgynous, inclusive…and definitely culturally appropriated… Look at the textiles. Then check the product packaging: almost a direct rip off of classic Navajo blanket and rug patterns. Coachella? Not exactly.. I disagree with HP and R 29 on this one. It IS appropriated. One of the problems is that it is not done as an homage, but is nuded/cleavaged/ sexualized/ commercialized. These patterns have great cultural, spiritual and historical meaning to their creators… through the CENTURIES. The MAC output has TRIVIALIZED something intangible, mystical, and traditional to sell us an image. That IS pretty offensive. It lacks respect. But would I pay top dollar if I had it for classic, vintage Navajo textiles? Yah, you betcha. Have I appropriated the frog fetish necklace? Yes. Frog is my totem. I did appropriate him, as I did some nature-conservation-stewardship ideas from Native Americans. Would I kill for a malachite squash blossom set or real sterling concha belt? Well….maybe. Do we hear many complaints about Pendleton textiles or Hudson’s Bay blankets? No. Because they do not trivialize or disrespect their origin. Often the origin is described historically in context. We white Anglos have decimated all indigenous cultures, suppressed their identities, relocated them, made them pariahs in their own land. Inspirations of this sort should be done with reverence and collaboration and respect. Tirade aside, I do like the packaging (and some of the product.) sometimes I think MAC thrives on controversy. Vibe Tribe? Half the purchasers will have a tenth of the significance of that one. MAC has many charitable aims and concerns. Maybe 100% of the sales price should go to a First People’s self determination charity. A tad of redemption for what I see as blatant appropriation.

Aline Avatar

I live in a part of the US where I’m lucky enough to have two tribes right in my city and reservations bordering it. I’m really tired of companies and people in general acting like Native Americans don’t exist and therefore we can rip off artwork and ideas that are sacred to them. One of our tribes closed off one of their ceremonies that used to be open to the public because their dress, music and artwork was constantly stolen and commercialized. I’m curious to know if any Native American activists have spoken up about this?

Nancy T Avatar

KJH; I applaud your statement in its entirety! Thank you. I speak as one whose own father is of Native American/ First Nations race, although Hispanic in culture. I am so very torn inside as to whether I would buy ANYTHING from this highly insulting to my intelligence collection. And that, even though I see shades that would look wonderful with my coloring and skin tone….then I get hit with why I look like I do: mi padre’s DNA.

Erica Bairfoot-Phillips Avatar

As a native Seneca Iroquois woman : Thank You for saying what needs to be said. Privilege is when you are unable to see how something is a problem for others just because it’s not a problem for you.

Angel Avatar

Hudson Bay blankets do trivialize and disrespect First Nations people as they were used as a tool of genocide and degradation. The Hudson Bay company knowingly and enthusiastically supplied blankets that had been infected with smallpox to First Nations people. They also told First Nations people that their blanket were for “civilized people” and tricked them into trading furs in for basically nothing and then selling the furs off in Europe for exorbitant amounts of money. I say all this not to get on your case but to tell you that just because a caucasian person doesn’t make a big deal about it doesn’t mean it isn’t hurtful. All the items mentioned are for sale from local First Nations people. Anyone can visit and talk with an elder about traditions then contribute and most of all be genuine. If Mac had done this there would be no issue but they didn’t because companies that big have no respect and they should be taught a lesson.

Katherine T. Avatar

MAC is really good about collaborating with so many different people, races, etc, surprised they didn’t do same with a Native American artist, was a missed opportunity for sure. This one has a an interesting Southwest, Arizona vibe, definitely summery, looking forward to swatches

Mindy Avatar

I agree that this feels totally Southwest (Arizona – New Mexico). I grew up with this style decorating peoples homes, and no, they were not Native American. I was just so popular that it became part of southwestern décor. Seriously, google Southwest Home Décor and this is exactly what you’ll see.

KJH Avatar

Where do you think SW decor came from? Esp SW Native American motifs were appropriated from the time the settlers first started meeting and exterminating their population with flu, smallpox, and liquor. The human rights of indigenous persons have been trampled in the name of manifest destiny.. It is disgraceful, esp in a country that prides itself on liberty and freedom. There is nothing wrong with using Native American motifs. Virtually everything is inspired by something. Dracula and his ilk did not complain, when they spawned goth and vampire culture. ‘Course, they were dead! The Lumberjacks, Maine Guides, and Upper Penninsula outdoorsmen don’t mind that investment brokers dress like them on the weekends. It’s the crassness and vulgarity, the blatancy that is so egregious. And the denial of appropriation. Hell, remember we stole the turkey from them too. I’m sure your sw decor was tasteful and appropriate to the setting. I personally admire it, but it’d look kinda ridiculous at the Massachusetts seaside. But, somehow, this MAC issue is somehow skewed, and does not exhibit their self-promoted politically correct image.

Mindy Avatar

Of course Southwestern décor stems from the Native American tribes in the area. The mission style also feeds into Southwestern décor. My point is that this style did not stay exclusive to any particular tribe. It became bigger than a tribe. It spread out over two entire states (and more, CO and UT being other large ones as well) and became incredibly popular in the homes of white people. It was the décor of the land. I agree it would look silly in Massachusetts just as a coastal beach setting could look silly in Arizona. I’m Hispanic and my home growing up with more southwestern than Mexican. My home now is contempory/modern.
I agree that Native Americans were treated horribly. I was horrified at the thought of President Andrew Jackson being paid homage to on our currency for his role in extinguishing a large number of Native Americans. I also agree that MAC could have gone about this better and that the collaboration with a Native American designer would have gone very far to ease the apparent tensions this has caused.
However, the argument that southwestern design on the packaging of cosmetics has caused and profited from the undo suffering of Native Americans is a bit ridiculous to me. I’ve shown this collection to many Native American friends and family members at this point and not one of them was offended but the use of the word ‘tribe’, the design and names of the products. Most of them love the colors chosen and the design choices. The turquoise and corals colors together are beautiful.
This design isn’t owned by any one tribe or person so I don’t understand how it’s appropriated. Maybe we should start aiming our pitchforks towards every furniture, clothing, décor and textile maker who dares to use this design on their products.

TravelingBlush Avatar

Totally agree with you. And if you put African models instead, the color combo and patterns could even pass as Africa-inspired. The pattern on the brushes, especially, coild even be Indo-chinese.

Shannon Avatar

Will NOT be buying anything. As a native Canadian person self, I’m frustrated by this. And I agree with the comments saying that this is appropriation. Im tired of us natives getting zero exposure in media. And when we DO get it. It’s sexualized to Crap. And that effects our women. Idk I’m ranting. But I’m mad. thank you for your editors note Christine!! I appreciate it.

X. Avatar

how is a makeup line sexualization? i’m not being condescending, i’m genuinely curious about your line of thinking since i’m also of native descent.

Carrie Avatar

Because it’s not? There’s a reason headdresses are banned at some festivals. There’s a reason that people get upset. If you appreciate something, then you respect it not parade around in it. Some things are not a fashion statement and the sooner that people realize that, the better.

Emma Avatar

Because they are using pieces of a culture that’s not theirs to sell a product.

They aren’t saying “well golly that sure is a neat-o culture, let’s appreciate it”, they are saying “this is a popular trend right now in media and fashion, let’s cash in on it”.

Jess Avatar

But the problem is, this is NOT an accurate representation of any culture. It’s a general mish-mash of cultural stereoptypes with a healthy dose of added sexualization. Of course you’d like to see your own culture represented…who wouldn’t? But I’d imagine you’d like to see Mexican culture represented accurately, and not some outsider’s vague stereotypes of Mexican dress, art, etc.

Also, I think it’s inaccurate to call cultural appropriation a first-world problem. Like gay rights, for example, it just happens to get talked about more in first-world countries, where the cause of human rights (and acknowledgement of past mistreatment of indigenous cultures) tends to be more advanced than in countries struggling to establish basic infrastructure, end widespread poverty, and so on.

markiebamboo Avatar

I think there’s a fine line between “cultural appropriation” and cultural control. We are expected to share our cultures and be accepting of others cultural practices or imagery. However you cannot control your own culture from falling into the hands of others in the process of sharing. How many of us have worn Indian mendhi hand designs in the late 1990s or now? How many have done the same with the bindi? A Chinese cheongsam? Why can we not do with Native American cultures what we do with any other culture and share it and use it in art. I see Latino graffiti and jail art on t shirts everywhere. Hip Hop is essentially a black movement and yet the imagery is prevalent across all cultures and we have artists like Eminem or Iggy Azalea. At what point do we criminalize art that is culturally inspired made by someone outside of that culture. I have a feeling a lot of this noise is coming from those who may not be of Native American descent.

The truth is we cannot control culture from being shared whether it be in poor taste in our eyes or done well which is subjective. We’re wasting a lot of energy on the matter. This topic is a popular trend now.

I personally think the collection looks tacky and reminds me of the 80s southwestern design trend. In fact I wonder what is going on at MAC in general for the last few years. The Archie collection was the last exciting thing to come out of MAC.

Mindy Avatar

I can see the controversy but I absolutely adore the packaging. I haven’t bought anything from a MAC collection in a long time and this is the first one that has grabbed my attention. I will be picking up a few pieces. As far as the packaging, it looks like typical southwestern style to me, not anything specific to a Native American tribe. I’m a southwesterner with Mayan and Aztec ancestors and a good friend of mine is full Navajo. Neither one of us are offended by the packaging, we both think it’s beautiful. It’s not as if the names are offensive. I do like your idea of actually collaborating with a Native American designer, that would have been awesome.

Christina Avatar

I completely agree! I think it looks very Southwestern and desert inspired. I don’t have Native ancestry, but I’m not ignorant either. I have several Native friends, I grew up in a city right next to reservations, and learning about the tribes and culture were a mandatory part of our studies. I think the packaging is nice. It is art, and art pulls inspiration from many sources; I don’t think to be inspired means to have to reproduce an exact replica of something. I can see the controversy, but I think overall the collection and packaging is very beautiful and will be picking up a couple items here and there.

Lacey Avatar

Social issues aside, I do like the coral and turquoise combination, but I don’t see anything here that couldn’t be duped in my own stash. Unless something ends up being much more unique, it’s probably a pass.

As far as the theme and imagery, I really don’t understand why companies continue to do these things without collaborating with designers from that culture. It never ends well. Even though they claim the theme is more general, the packaging design is clearly following a specific style. Now, I’m mixed race and overall moderate when it comes to these things. I think there are definitely instances where people are overly sensitive. If just the term “tribe” was used, for example, I wouldn’t consider this appropriation. Or if it were focused on the festival element without any Native references/patterns. But this is obviously pushing the boundaries on purpose, IMO.

Thanks, Christine, for not being afraid to back down from civil discussion when social issues crop up in the beauty community. (The ill-fated Rodarte collection and the NARS collection with the controversial photographer come to mind.) it’s nice to know that you strive to be well-informed on more than just the makeup!

KJH Avatar

Isn’t it funny what offends one’s sensibilities? Gotta google the Rodarte furor. Forgot. I loved the Nars 014 Xmas collab and kept the box, with the beautiful corpse on the grass. I am an old white broad. If you take away the promo photo and the blurb, the packaging is colorful and tasteful. As many have pointed out, these are now universal design patterns. By the marketing materials, this is tarted up, ho’d down, and drop dead vulgar. If you scroll up and look at the photos of actual product, it is quite gorgeous, tasteful, beautiful, and captures the sw palette quite well. This will definitely polarize people. There is no such thing as bad publicity, and this will generate a lot of press and discussion. Maybe that was their plan. Maybe they are dancing in the marketing dept or boardroom as I type.

Lacey Avatar

I don’t take issue with any single element here, really. The design is popular again (I can’t shake a stick in a clothing store and not find something similar), and I don’t mind it if it’s not a breach of a significant pattern tied to a certain group. For me, it’s the combination of the design, the wording, etc, that make it a bit sketchy. It’s giving me this feeling of “na-na-na-boo-boo.” They’ve skirted the details *just enough*.

But perhaps you’re right and that was the idea, to get people talking. I’m sure the Caitlyn Jenner lipstick made waves somewhere, too, and in recent years, they’ve used (somewhat) controversial spokespeople for Viva Glam. I just don’t know why companies keep flirting with these lines when they know it causes backlash. Sometimes “no publicity is bad publicity” can backfire.

Erin Avatar

I mostly agree with your note. I have native american heritage, though you’d never know it from looking at me. I’ve never felt overly connected to it but in abstract ways. However, my sister-in-law, step niece and my nephew deal with kind of stuff regularly. My sister in law is a member of her tribal council and my step niece works for the state in tribal affairs. It’s a conversation I’m part of and have some vested interest in. I think there may have been better ways to do this, so I’d be interested in learning the full story from MAC directly!

Cynthia Avatar

To be honest I really don’t see this as offensive or culturally insensitive. I understood the controversy over the MAC x Rodarte collection, but with this collection I get where MAC is coming from. Besides one or two of the names (“Tribe” and “Arrowhead”) I think the theme is more southwest/desert-inspired than Native American.

Julie Avatar

Hmmmm. It does look like a very lovely/well edited collection. And the color choices very much remind me of the southwest. As far as the appropriation/insensitivity…I almost think their response is worse than the initial possible issue? Like MAC seems to be more inclusive than most cosmetics companies…but then to say oh, we weren’t inspired by the actual culture, we were inspired by people that appropriate the culture seems somehow more tone deaf? Without that blurb, I would lean towards it being inclusive/celebratory, but with it, it seems more commercialization/appropriation.

Ultimately, I don’t think my opinion so much matters, as I am not Native American. I do, however, want to learn more about the thoughts and opinions of those who are more vested–for me, since I am not a minority, I may not be able to “see” a problem, but I appreciate the opportunity to learn about it, so that I may know more in the future, if that makes sense?

Celia Avatar

So disappointed in MAC’s handling and response regarding this. Terrible for a brand that’s supposed to represent equal access across race/gender/sex/age, etc. Very glad you included the note on the controversy. I respect how you always make sure your readers are informed regarding storied/infamous/offensive releases.

Nancy T Avatar

This is killing me. I love the shades offered in both eye shadow palettes, the Hot Chocolate lipstick, and a gorgeous rusty-pink blush. All super flattering for my skin tone, and rather odd coloring of lighter eyes paired with NC40 skin and almost black hair. It used to look even more offbeat when I used to tan up into NC44-45! BUT; the why of how I look is in the DNA. My biological father, who was born in Texas had a birth name of Hispanic origin, was of Native American/ First Nations race. Bad enough he had to shorten his last name to work in the radio industry of the 1950’s-60’s! Now along comes this collection from a mu company I love, and it is RIFE with racial/cultural appropriation! I feel so many different conflicting emotions over this that words cannot possibly convey. MAC needs to come clean on this and ADMIT that YES they did use our culture as their “inspiration”. Please, MAC, do the RIGHT thing.

LaMaitresse Avatar

It’s tosh like this that annoys me about MAC, it’s poor research, marketing and cheapens the brand. It’s a shame Frank Toscan didn’t have some role to keep the original vision alive while making a few bob for Estée Lauder shareholders.

Rexcatz Avatar

Christine, it was very nice of you to write the comments about this collection in your review, because I’m sure most of us thought what the heck is this supposed to be and why? It’s also nice that people are concerned for the feelings of Indians. Yes, I did say Indians and here’s why: I don’t know how many of you have read any of the late Tony Hillerman’s books, which are really good mysteries set on the Navaho land, but he was very much respected for his work and his sharing of the Navaho culture. So much so that the Navaho Nation gave him an award. Anyway, when all this “Native American” business started up some years back, he asked the Navaho, and a lot of other Nations as well, what they preferred to be called. They all said that they would prefer to be called by the name of their Nation, if you know it, if not, Indian is just fine with them. They consider all of us that were born in the US to be Native Americans and think that calling just them Native is an insult to the rest of us born here. We happen to live near the Catawba Indian Nation and it says exactly that right on their school buses. My next door neighbor is an Indian from Canada, now an American citizen. Don’t dare call her First Nation, or Native anything! She says, “I am an Indian. My father said we are Indians, and that’s what I am.” The people who live down the block and are from India she calls East Indians. Me, I was brought up to treat ALL people equally, and so was my husband. We live on a block that has every single race, and natives of many different countries represented, and we love it! I think it’s how we should all live.

Lacey Avatar

It’s interesting how even the terms we (in the US) use for native peoples have evolved and can be troublesome, depending on who is asked. As it was explained to me, the term “Native American” was pushed to *avoid* offending anyone, as “Indian” was just plain inaccurate. It was considered by some to be a way to correct one of the wrongs done centuries ago–mislabeling them and their land in the first place. The few people I know who still have ties to their native ancestry don’t seem to be particularly for or against either term, so long as they’re not being called somethimug intentionally offensive.

Isobel Avatar

Do the people from India like being called East Indians? No offense to First Nation people who want to be called Indians, but they’re not actually from India.

Dez13 Avatar

I’m going to say first that I AM of Native American descent on my Father’s side (full Italian on my Mother’s side.)

I’m actually a small mix of nations on my father’s side in addition to Native American. I’m proud of each of the nations in my blood. And as an American, I’m PROUD to be a MIX of many nations. That’s the basis of America in my view.

And second, I’m not saying any of the following to offend anyone; these are just my views.

I was not going to get into this conversation after reading the editor’s note (which I think Christine said very well.) However, after reading some of the comments and seeing how upset some people are, I thought I might offer another perspective as someone whom is part Native American also.

Do I know that my Native American ancestors have been treated horribly? Of course. Does it make me mad? Of course. But it also angers me when people go over board about situations that do not need to be pushed further, sometimes for their own gain, and sometimes simply for the sake of controversy (or to make news.)

Like everyone else on this planet, I’ve often seen people get angry over many things cultural/religious of course. Some of it is very justified. Some is not.  

Around Halloween time, I read reviews on a website by someone “absolutely disgusted” that the site sold Gypsy costumes. This person, who wrote that she was not gypsy, chose to post the same derogatory and actually rude review (with a little change in some paragraphs) approximately 10-15 times under different names against a gypsy costume. It was apparently an effort to bring down the rating so people would not buy the “offensive” costume. I found the same type reviews under a Native American costume, obviously by the same woman as the wording was almost identical to the reviews under the gypsy costume. Frankly, I found her posts quite mean. She was being hateful. I asked a friend of mine whom is half Romany how she felt, and she laughed. She said, “what’s wrong with this chick? It’s just a Halloween costume! And it’s pretty; I’d wear it!” 

I feel as if this MAC situation is somewhat similar. I can appreciate when people can empathize with others. I like to think I have enough empathy in me to support others whom are persecuted. But in this context? I find it confusing when people are getting angry and upset over something like this. And it makes me angry that some people are using it as a platform to start controversy where there really is none (I’m NOT speaking of anyone here.)
 I do not for one second think MAC or the makers of costumes are making their merchandise to trivialize people. Are they trying to make money? Of course. Are they doing it to hurt others? I don’t think that to be accurate.

I think MAC probably should have just said that the collection was inspired by the beautiful traditions of the Native American culture, even without a Native American artist collaborator. 
IF they were truly the inspiration. However, I get many shopping offer emails, and MANY have been promoting Festival collections in the last couple of weeks. Some of these collections do have items which look Native American.

Is the wearing of Native American headdresses at these festivals offensive? To a Native American, I’d say, yes, absolutely. Within a Native American tribe, to wear one of these headdresses is considered a significant honor, a badge of respect; they are very important to the Native American nation. The people who wear them at festivals probably do not realize they are displaying dishonor.  

Now, do I think it offensive that items are being sold that may have a certain Native American “vibe” or may have a print that one might see in Native American art? No, I do not find it offensive.

As a person of Native American descent, am I offended by MAC? 
No, not even a little. Will I purchase from this collection? Absolutely (if Christine says the items are good quality.) 

Maybe all this is easy for me to say since I’m only part Native American? 

I’ll just say that though I’m only part Native American, I’m still VERY proud to have such a noble culture as part of my heritage. 

And I would very much like to know how Native Americans who have been raised within the culture feel about this situation. I think their opinions are of the most importance.

And again, I’m not saying any of this to anger or upset or offend anyone.

Arpita Avatar

Not going into any debates here, I think I more or less own most of these colors. I am liking the brushes more in this collection. Could u pls tell, which one is which.. U have mentioned 3 brushes and the pictures show 4. Esp want to know the numbers of the first two wide angled brushes in the picture; are those both the same with different colored bristles; or is there some difference in them.

Marissa Avatar

apart from all the comments, i find that using a non native model does not help them on the issue. the packaging is kinda cute and has nice colors but i feel unconfortable to the fact this is approppiation just to profit.

X. Avatar

to be completely honest, if people AT festivals weren’t so keen on appropriating native cultures, maybe this collection would’ve turned out differently, since it’s based on music festivals. maybe if people’s kids would listen to those of us who have native heritage who are screaming, “this is extremely offensive; stop wearing this and stealing this for your fashion,” this collection would’ve turned out differently.

i guess what i’m trying to say is that being angry at mac is like being angry at a mere symptom when the actual root disease is staring at you in the face everywhere else.

Josie Avatar

I’ve always really loved MACs summer collections. But this? This just frustrates me. What is so difficult saying the line was inspired by Native American culture? Why just say it’s inspired by music festival? Walk into a museum or art exhibit of Native American culture and those patterns are what you see. A majority of festival wardrobe is inspired by Native American culture! They could have easily collaborated with a Native artist and I wish they had that would have been cool. I like a lot of the collection but I don’t want to support this. Tribe is literally in the collection name, how can you say it wasn’t Native American inspired.

Chee Ahmik Avatar

I totally agree mac should have collaborated with a native designer. I really love mac but I will have to pass on this one because this is very inconsiderate. For Mac to announce that this collection “has no connection nor was inspired by native Americans” is a lie. This has Native American all over it. Why would they name it “tribe” or have a girl with a “headresser” ? They could have atleast hired native models and people probably would have looked over it but to hire people with a tan and say “hey this is a tribe vibe collection “is a slap in the face to native Americans

0lgirl Avatar

The same was done with the wash and dry collection. Packaging from that collection are clearly from the Ethiopian flag!
Ask yourself, didn’t wash and dry have a very “island” theme with the blue polish shades and packaging.
Wash and Dry was so thrown together and made ABSOLUTELY zero sense to the point where the visuals of women in the laundromat, the flag packaging, the highlight powder designed for deeper complexions, and the title of the collection was thrown together to not offend anyone. It worked, because those who noticed were not offended.
Unfortunately thats not the case with this collection!
I collect makeup so being that this release has a drama effect to it, I just have to.
I just wish MAC would donate the money to scholarships or for Natives well beings.

Chelle Avatar

Me either. I have stalked their page for it. Their UK page have it listed with Tanamara and hot chocolate showing as sold out.

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