PARIS — L'Oréal unveiled the creation of a new corporate foundation Tuesday designed to finance programs that specifically encourage education, promote scientific research and help people in need.
The L'Oréal Corporate Foundation initially will be funded by a minimum of 40 million euros, or $56.3 million at current exchange, over a five-year period, and is intended to back the company's philanthropic activities, primarily in France.
"It's a new step, but not a rupture," said Lindsay Owen-Jones, L'Oréal's chairman, who is also chairman of the French beauty giant's foundation, speaking at a press conference held in company headquarters in the Paris suburb of Clichy.
"It is a continuation," agreed company chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon. He was referring to the fact that L'Oréal has for many years supported philanthropic activities, including the Women in Science awards, run for the past decade in partnership with UNESCO. It honors outstanding women in scientific fields.
L'Oréal intends to grow such initiatives and also foster new projects.
According to Beatrice Dautresme, the new foundation's ceo and L'Oréal's executive vice president of communications and external relations, it is important that the philanthropic programs be in sync with L'Oréal, "that they are very meaningful for the internal [personnel] as well as the external public in the sense that they are in total symbiosis with the strategy of the corporation."
Dautresme added another criterion is that a chosen philanthropic initiative must have the possibility of international reach in the long term.
Such has been the case for a number of L'Oréal's programs, including Hairdressers Against AIDS, whose goal is preventative education. It was started in South Africa, with L'Oréal's SoftSheen-Carson brand, which had initiated preventative education for its employees in 2005. Since then, L'Oréal has expanded the program so its hairstylists are trained to educate clients in 15 countries, particularly where the virus is rife, such as China, India and Brazil.
Another program L'Oréal works on is Look Good, Feel Better, involving aestheticians running makeup and skin care clinics in hospitals for female patients. That experience, together with medical treatment, can help women "break away from their sickness," said Dautresme. The initiative was created in the U.S. by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, but within a few years it expanded to 20 countries with the help of L'Oréal's support, she explained.And that's just a handful of the numerous projects with L'Oréal's patronage.
Dautresme said the foundation will allow L'Oréal to inscribe its charitable efforts in the long term. It is also meant to increase the visibility of the company's efforts and turn L'Oréal into a more socially responsible world citizen — a company goal set forth by Agon, who holds the foundation's purse strings — she explained.
Once an idea is approved by a selection committee (there is one for educative programs, another for scientific efforts and a third for "solidarity" initiatives), it is passed on to the foundation's board. This comprises nine members, three of which do not work for L'Oréal.
L'Oréal's foundation's 40 million euro backing makes it among France's largest corporate philanthropic foundations, said Owen-Jones. (The average size of those run by the 40 largest French companies is 1.8 million euros, or $2.5 million, in comparison, said Dautresme.)
For L'Oréal, the benefits of having a foundation are myriad, its executives say.
"People think when you sign a program with the name of a product, there's some commercial idea behind it," said Dautresme. "But when you're in a foundation, it's terribly nonprofit-oriented. It's just a vision of doing good."
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge