Teatime with Cargo

I'm still on the fence as to whether these items from Cargo are museum-worthy, but I thought they were at least worth writing about.   You may remember that Cargo's packaging and branding underwent a massive facelift last fall, partnering with illustrator Bernadette Pascua (more about that later.)  This spring Cargo has moved on to team up with another talented artist, Meegan Barnes, for a tea party-inspired tin and palette.  The Suited to a Tea collection showcases cheerful renderings of delectable teatime treats as well as Cargo's products. Cupcakes, macarons and lip gloss are neatly placed in a grid against a pale pink background.

Cargo Tea Kit

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While the pattern is cute, where Barnes really shines with this collection is her depiction of Chloe, Cargo's new "illustrated muse" who "represents the core Cargo customer".  Unfortunately Chloe only appears at Cargo's website rather than on the actual makeup packaging, which is why I hesitate to purchase one of these items.  It's a shame, since in her figurative illustrations Barnes displays a masterful use of color that simultaneously manages to be both exuberant and delicate, and that's not as visible in the small objects on the Cargo packaging.

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Meegan-Barnes-Cargo-spring 2014
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The Los Angeles-based Barnes got her professional start in New York in the late '90s.  Since then she has collaborated with a number of fashion labels and magazines, including Banana Republic, Nylon, and Urban Outfitters.  While her drawings for Cargo are still in keeping with her illustrative style, other collaborations as well as her personal work point to an edgier, tougher side that's not apparent in the very sweet Chloe illustrations.  Take, for example, her series "#ModelsFalling". 



Or the women depicted in her drawings for a book cover (Matahari) and t-shirts for Zoo York.  Pretty badass, right?  They're a sharp contrast to the more innocent, girlish Chloe.

Matahari book cover

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I think one of the marks of a good artist is knowing exactly the feel or vibe of a collection when teaming up with a client and adjusting their style accordingly.  In this case, Barnes turns down the gritty and cranks up the pretty.

While I admire Barnes' work for Cargo, I'm still wondering what happened to the first illustrator Cargo hired for their re-branding effort, Bernadette Pascua.  I contacted the company and was told that she worked on the fall 2013 and winter 2014 campaigns and that Meegan Barnes had taken over for spring 2014. 

Cargo fall and winter
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What Cargo neglected to tell me was whether it was a matter of Pascua dropping out of the project so a permanent replacement (Barnes) was found, or whether it was just that from the start they had decided that artists would change every few seasons.  I guess time will tell.

What do you think of Meegan Barnes' work and the Suited to a Tea collection?

Around the world with Cargo, revisited

Way, way, WAY back in early 2010 I posted about these eye shadow palettes from Cargo, each named for a different city.


Toronto baja vienna london
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And almost as long ago, designer discount site Hautelook had a great sale, so I picked up three of them - London, Los Angeles and Toronto:





Los Angeles:



Toronto - sadly, it did not survive transit fully intact:



It's been three years and I still don't know who did the illustrations!  I'd love to know if they were done in-house or if Cargo collaborated with an artist, but that remains a mystery.  Still, these will look great in a travel-themed exhibition, especially alongside Stila's travel palettes.

Around the world with Cargo eye shadow palettes

These eye shadow palettes have been on the Museum's wishlist for quite a long time, and I'm sort of kicking myself for not buying them when they were half price as Sephora was getting rid of its Cargo stock a few weeks ago.  Oh well.  Even though Sephora dropped Cargo the line is still available at Ulta and

Each one has a different illustration reminiscent of both the city the palette is named for and the colors inside.  I'd love to know who did the designs but couldn't find any information.  In any case, here they are.

Barcelona, Bermuda, Shanghai:


Toronto, Baja, Vienna and London:

Toronto baja vienna london
 The one that really stands out to me, however, is Tahiti:

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For some reason this reminds me so much of this portrait by Matisse of his wife, completed in 1905:

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Cargo's isn't as painterly - the brushstrokes aren't visible - but the use of bold color and the somewhat abstract way the faces are presented seem similar to my eye.  Or maybe I just love Matisse and am always looking for comparisons to his work.  ;)  

Groovy, baby! Cargo's expanded PlantLove line

Cargo plantloveI was browsing Sephora online (one of the Curator's favorite activities, of course) and discovered that Cargo has created an entire line of PlantLove products.  The extensive lineup includes blush, highlighter, mineral foundation, lip gloss and eye shadow, all of which are paraben- and phalate-free and are housed in biodegradable (not to mention adorable) packaging.   According to Sephora, the plastic cases are "100% compostable" and is made from plant-based plastic that is  "green house gas neutral and doesn't contribute to global warming." 

I've posted about the cute and environmentally sound PlantLove lipstick packaging before, and I'm so glad Cargo expanded the line - not just because it's eco-friendly and contains natural ingredients , but because these new items feature slightly different packaging than the original lipsticks.  ;)  I definitely need to get my hands on some of these!

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Friday Fun: Cargo Plant Love lipsticks

P172734_hero The Curator still has not gotten around to purchasing one of these yet, but really should.  The 60s-inspired packaging of Cargo's PlantLove lipsticks caught my attention when they were first released over a year ago.  This sort of hippie-esque packaging isn't something you see all that much in cosmetics.  Then I discovered that the groovy design correlates to a much bigger idea - biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging.  The lipstick tube is made out of corn, while the outer box contains wildflower seeds that can actually be planted.  And that's not all:  two dollars from every lipstick sold goes to St. Jude's Research Hospital.  PlantLove lipsticks are proof that companies can create artistic, interesting packaging while being environmentally conscious.  

For more on these, check out  Here you can also plant a virtual flower - for every one planted at the site, Cargo makes a donation to Conservation International.  

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