After 20 months at the helm of the Tom Ford Beauty and Prescriptives brands, Andrea Robinson has left the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., the company said Tuesday.

Robinson, who was hired in March 2005 as chief marketing officer for the flagship Estée Lauder brand and was promoted to president of the Tom Ford division in February 2006, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lauder may name separate leaders for the Tom Ford Beauty and Prescriptives brands as soon as Friday, an industry source said.

In a letter to Estée Lauder Cos. employees, Robinson was praised for her "wealth of industry experience" by John Demsey, the group president of the Estée Lauder Cos., who hired her in 2005 and to whom she reported while at the company.

"Since Andrea Robinson joined our company, she played a crucial role in several of our most dynamic brands," Demsey said in the letter. "Andrea initially joined the Estée Lauder Cos. as the chief marketing officer for the Estée Lauder brand, and was then asked to take charge of the venerable Prescriptives brand and to spearhead the development and launch of Tom Ford Beauty. Andrea's unique talents and wealth of industry experience enabled her to manage these challenges with grace and aplomb...Andrea has recently indicated that she desired to pursue other opportunities."

Demsey was not available for further comment.

Before joining Lauder, Robinson had been president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide. She began her career in the magazine industry, where she was senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle, beauty editor and creative director for Seventeen and beauty editor at Vogue. After switching to the product side, she served as president of Revlon's Ultima II division, where she developed the then-breakthrough Nakeds color cosmetics collection with the late Kevyn Aucoin. She was also on the cutting edge of the long-lasting lipstick category, first with Ultima II's Lip Sexxy, which later became Revlon's ColorStay.

Robinson joined Cosmair — now L'Oréal USA — in 1996 as general manager of Helena Rubinstein, and in 1997, she was named general manager of the Ralph Lauren fragrances division, becoming president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide in 2001.

Her departure from L'Oréal caused a stir in the industry. At the time, she characterized her departure as "the seven-year itch," adding that she was leaving "on a great note" with the company and with Jean-Paul Agon, then president of L'Oréal USA and now president of L'Oréal Worldwide.At Lauder, Robinson oversaw the launch of Ford's long-anticipated entry into beauty — including Amber Nude and Azurée, his two collections for the Estée Lauder brand, and Black Orchid and Private Collection, his freestanding fragrance lineups. The Ford deal had been announced in April 2005, a month after Robinson's arrival. — Julie Naughton

Pout Departing Cosmetics Industry

LONDON — Pout is bowing out of cosmetics.

The British indie makeup brand is expected to wind down its cosmetics business by the end of the year, according to a company spokeswoman.

"Pout cosmetics has had a loyal following over the years, however, the realities of today's retail environment make it difficult for small independent cosmetics brands to compete effectively," the spokeswoman said via e-mail, adding the move will allow for a shift of focus to other product categories.

"The Pout brand has been tested in other product categories, where it has received an encouraging response," the spokeswoman said, adding plans are still in the works. "Given the contract negotiations associated with that development, we are not able to provide further details at this time." In the past, Pout's lineup has included innerwear items.

The decision to shutter Pout's beauty business comes despite an equity injection earlier this year from Catterton Partners, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm, which is also a partner in Frédéric Fekkai & Co. LLC and Niadyne Inc. At that time, Pout was distributed in about 450 specialty and department stores worldwide and industry sources estimated its annual volume at $20 million.

The brand, founded in 2001 by Emily Cohen, Chantal Laren and Anna Singh, was created to have a fun, feminine feel. Among its best-selling products is Pout Plump, a lip plumper packaged in an inflated plastic pouch. The founding trio has stepped down from day-to-day roles.

Pout's beauty lineup will be available through the end of the year at its Covent Garden flagship, which also carries brands including Cargo, Lola and Becca, and on the brand's Web site.

— Brid Costello

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