That is the premise of Cosmetic Executive Women’s Beauty Insider Series, where beauty executives are chosen to speak about their career and company.
“[It’s] education,” said Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW, referring to the principle of the program. “[It’s about] knowledge and networking.”
What first made its debut in 2004 under the name Women in Beauty Series is now CEW’s Beauty Insider Series. The panel or conversation, which is moderated by Jenny B. Fine, editor of WWD Beauty Inc, one of the event’s sponsors, invites members to hear from their contemporaries on topics ranging from risk taking to the importance of digital and social media.
One of the first conversations was in April 2004 and included Jill Granoff of Victoria’s Secret Beauty, Stephanie Klein Peponis of Revlon and Phebe Farrow Port of Estée Lauder. These women set the stage for future speakers to promote their careers, which have featured influential figures in beauty including Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics NA and Christian Dior Inc.; Leslie Blodgett, founder and executive chairman of Bare Escentuals, and Thia Breen and Jane Lauder, among many others.
“We have a cross section of members who attend,” said Jacobson. “On the highest level, they’re your contemporary, so it’s interesting to hear what they’re thinking. On a lower level and midlevel, it’s aspirational too.”
In July 2012, CEW opened up the dialogue to men and held its first CEW Men and Women in Beauty Series featuring Olivier Gillotin, vice president, perfumer at Givaudan; Ron Rolleston, executive vice president of creative and new business development for Elizabeth Arden, and Kathy Widmer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Elizabeth Arden. The three shared their insight on how to create a successful fragrance.
When CEW opened its membership to men in 2010, the organization did a survey to see what they wanted to get out of the organization, and ultimately, they wanted the same things as women.
“[The men] wanted to have access to leaders in the industry,” said Jacobson. “They wanted to learn from leaders and they wanted to have contacts and networking. And no matter what we do, [Beauty Insider Series] has those elements.”
According to Jacobson, when it comes to the Beauty Insider Series, the mission hasn’t wavered.
“It’s about the job and it’s about the career,” said Jacobson. “It’s a different way of learning. We say that if the [attendees] find one nugget of inspiration that they can use when they go back to their company, then we’ve succeeded.”
Below is a sampling of topics and speakers from Beauty Insider Series over the years:
• March 2014: Karen Buglisi Weiler, global brand president of MAC Cosmetics, on MAC’s path to success.
• June 2013: David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie, and Carolyn Holba, senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie, on risk taking.
• November 2012: Charrise Ford, senior vice president of global marketing at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.; Silvia Galfo, senior vice president of marketing at Lancôme, and Tomoko Yamagishi-Dressler, senior vice president of marketing at Shiseido Cosmetics America, on strategies for creating innovative skin care.
• October 2011: Lynne Greene, global brand president at Clinique, Origins and Ojon; Agnes Landau, senior vice president of global marketing at Clinique, and Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development worldwide at Clinique, on the formulas driving Clinique’s sales.
• March 2010: Mindy Grossman, ceo of HSN Inc., on redefining HSN.
• February 2009: Pamela Baxter, president and ceo of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics NA and Christian Dior Inc., at the first West Coast Women in Beauty Series on creating opportunity in a challenging market.
• October 2008: Gina Drosos, president of global personal care at Procter & Gamble, on failing.
• January 2007: Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, president of the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., on the new beauty mandate.
• September 2006: Heidi Manheimer, ceo at Shiseido Cosmetics America, on breaking the glass ceiling.
• April 2005: Daria Myers, president of Origins, and Jeanette Wagner, then vice chairman emerita of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., on innovation inside the box.
• September 2004: Jean Zimmerman, executive vice president of Chanel, and Jill Scalamandre, group vice president of global marketing at Avon Products Inc., on global brand marketing.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast