Pete Born first interviewed LeonardLauder back in the early Eighties, whenPete was the beauty news reporter forWWD and Leonard was the presidentof Estée Lauder Inc. Back then, thecompany had five brands and operatedoffices in about 25 countries. Today, thanks in largepart to the sweeping vision Leonard Lauder created andimplemented, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. is a globalbehemoth comprised of 28 brands with offices in 43countries. “When I first interviewed him, LeonardLauder was a young man in charge,” Born remembers.“Today, he is the father figure and seer of the industry.”
Over the years, Born has interviewed Laudernumerous times, and he’s noticed a marked differencein the executive’s demeanor. “Since then, Leonard hasgotten mellower and far more philosophical,” Bornlaughs. But no less intense. “Leonard’s rule is every timehe sits down with someone, he has to learn something,but the other side of that coin is you end up learningmuch more from him,” says Born. It is in recognition ofall that Leonard Lauder has taught and brought to thebeauty industry that WWD Beauty Biz chose to honorhim with our first Visionary Award. Today Lauderserves as chairman emeritus of the company, and thoughhe retired from active duty, so to speak, he is still verymuch involved in helping strategize its future. “I’m theCTO, the chief teaching officer,” he says. Lauder wascharacteristically open during his in-depth conversationwith Born, as you’ll read in “The Visionary.”
There is no doubt that Lauder would approve ofthe innovative thinking that we celebrate elsewhere inthe issue with the 2010 WWD Beauty Biz awards. Our editor’s choice business-to-business awards recognizethe products, strategies and companies that power theindustry forward, be it bioelectricity-based skin care ora bare-chested, smooth-talking hunk who electrifieda 72-year-old brand. Congratulations to all of the winners.
“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