Dynastic Ambitions

Climbing the family tree of some of the most storied names in beauty.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 02/10/2012

Family: The Rochers

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Firm: Groupe Yves Rocher

Patriarch: Yves Rocher


Roots—familial, geographical and vegetable— have a lot to do with the longevity of Groupe Yves Rocher. Bris Rocher is now in command of the company his grandfather established in 1959, which has current beauty sales of over $2 billion. Bris became president at age 31 in 2010 after the death of the company’s 79-year-old namesake. It wasn’t the first time there was change at the top. In 1992, Didier Rocher, the eldest of Yves’ three sons and Bris’ father, took the helm, overseeing a period of belt-tightening and eventual growth fueled by innovations. Tragically, Didier Rocher died in 1994 in a shooting accident, forcing Yves Rocher back to running the ship, while his other sons assumed operational roles. Bris, who became a vice president in 2003, was groomed for several years, and is now charting a course through the ascendance of globalization and economic turbulence. When he became president, Bris promised that while “everything has changed” in the world since Yves Rocher began, “nothing had changed” at the company.

The Rocher family owns some 75 percent of Groupe Yves Rocher and remains extremely protective. Its botanical heritage, which dates back to a plant-based hemorrhoid cream Yves concocted in his attic in the Fifties, continues to guide product development. And the company maintains its ties to La Gacilly, the village in Brittany where Yves was born and was mayor for 46 years, by sourcing ingredients from nearly 110 farm acres it controls in the area.


NEXT: The Courtin-Clarins >>

Family: The Courtin-Clarins


Firm: Groupe Clarins

Patriarch: Jacques Courtin-Clarins

Clarins doesn’t have to pay spokesmodels. It breeds them. Take the four beautiful granddaughters of founder Jacques Courtin- Clarins: Virginie, Claire, Jenna and Prisca. If the brand gives users what these young women possess— picture long, silky hair, flawless skin and bods that can rock any designer dud—the sales pitch isn’t difficult. What the Clarins heiresses also have—a mountain of wealth from a classic beauty brand—is perhaps harder to come by.

That wealth is probably more tied to the Clarins brand than ever. Christian Courtin-Clarins, the father of twenty-somethings Virginie and Claire, delisted Clarins from the stock exchange in 2008 and whittled down the company’s ownership to only six major shareholders: himself, his brother and Clarins Group managing director Olivier, and their offspring.


Christian is president of the Clarins Group supervisory board, and strategizes international growth. Olivier came to beauty from medicine; he was an orthopedic surgeon before diving into product development. Whether the third generation will join their parents is an open question, but the odds are good. Prisca has started nail salons under the name Nail Factory in Paris, and Virginie is launching her own business. Claire and Jenna are interested in design. “I’m not going to force my daughters to do anything,” Olivier has said. “I’d love them to follow me. It all depends on their abilities and what each of them wants to do.”


NEXT: The Fords >>

Family: The Fords


Firm: Benefit Cosmetics

Matriarchs: Jean and Jane Ford

There is no mistaking the Ford sisters. Twins Jean and Jane each stand over six feet tall, and both parlayed their equally outsized intelligence into the booming brand Benefit.

Twenty-something sisters Maggie Ford Danielson and Annie Ford Danielson, Jean’s daughters, are chips off the old block. The duo, who share the title of Benefit global beauty authority, travel globally to relate the brand’s fun, feminine message. They also created palettes called Eye Wanna! The Annie Collection and Eye Gotta! The Maggie Collection. It all seems so glamorous and easy, but Maggie swears their rise wasn’t so. Her first job was handling department store special events, and Annie toiled at a Benefit boutique.

“It wasn’t like they were holding the doors open for us whenever we wanted,” Maggie told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We had to go to the ceo and propose what we would do. He said, ‘Based on your strengths, here’s where I think you’ll be most effective, but you guys are starting at the bottom. You’re going to be grinding it out.’” Maggie and Annie join a business that started out small with a 455-square-foot shop in San Francisco that has grown into a half-billion-dollar global enterprise. (In 1999, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA acquired a majority stake in the brand.) So far, the second-generation sisters have gotten the blessing of the higher-ups. “Maggie and Annie continue the legacy of this family, homegrown brand. It’s all about family,” said Jane in The Huffington Post.

NEXT: The Mascolos >>

Family: The Mascolos


Firm: Toni & Guy and Tigi

Patriarchs: Guy and Toni Mascolo


The Mascolos certainly take the family part of family business seriously. Like many Italian families, theirs is a big one. Brothers Guy and Toni Mascolo, who immigrated from Scafati, in Southern Italy, to England in the Fifties, started salon company Toni & Guy in London in 1963. Twenty years later, Guy moved with another brother, Bruno, to Dallas to expand the salons into shopping malls and to develop the hair care line Tigi, while Toni and yet another brother, Anthony, stayed back in the U.K. to spearhead Toni & Guy’s education and creative side.

In 2001, the brothers separated their businesses, leaving Guy, Bruno and Anthony with global ownership of Tigi and Toni & Guy USA, and Toni in control of Toni & Guy worldwide. Andrea Mascolo, a fifth brother, joined the American arm in the Eighties. In 2009, Unilever acquired Tigi hair care for around $400 million just four months before Guy died of a heart attack. Toni & Guy currently has roughly 70 academies and salons in the U.S., and more than 420 locations internationally.

As the brothers grew the Mascolo lineage, they brought their brood into the biz. Zak Mascolo, son of Guy, is Toni & Guy’s U.S. creative director. Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, daughter of Toni, serves as the global creative director for Toni & Guy and Essensuals, a youth- oriented brand. Christian Mascolo runs Essensuals. Seems like the apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree, no matter how big the family.


NEXT: The Lauders >>

Family: The Lauders


Firm: The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. 

Matriarch: Estée Lauder


What started with the launch of four skin care products in the late 1940s has blossomed into an $8 billion behemoth with more than 20 brands thanks to the vision of this multifaceted family. Though Fabrizio Freda is chief executive officer today, the family is, as ever, intricately involved in the day-to-day running and long-range vision of the company.

It has always been thus. Estée relied upon her son Leonard as Estée Lauder’s president from 1972 to 1995 and as chief executive officer from 1982 to 1999. Leonard, now chairman emeritus, in turn, relied on his son, William, as chief executive officer from 2004 to 2009. Leonard’s wife Evelyn Lauder, who passed away in November, was the senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide, and his brother Ronald Lauder is chairman of Clinique Laboratories LLC.

The fourth Lauder generation continues to carry the torch. Jane Lauder heads up Origins and Ojon, while her sister Aerin serves as style and image director of the Estée Lauder brand as she prepares her own eponymous brand. Despite the strong presence of Lauders still in the company’s Rolodex, William Lauder has underscored that it takes more—much more—than Lauder DNA to climb the ranks here. “We are a meritocracy,” he said in an interview with Egon Zehnder International’s “The Focus.” “Success in this company is not based on the accident of your birth or your name, but on ability to perform.”


NEXT: The Factors >>

Family: The Factors


Firms: Max Factor, Smashbox

Patriarch: Max Factor

The ties between generations in the Factor family are uncannily strong. Polish immigrant Max Factor, born Maksymilian Faktorowicz, moved to Los Angeles in 1908 and founded Max Factor & Co. in 1909 to provide wigs and makeup to the film industry at the dawn of Hollywood. He began to market his movie makeup, preferred by actresses because it didn’t cake or crack, to the public in the Twenties. After his death at 59 in 1938, the firm was led by a slew of Factor family members, including Max Factor Jr. and Davis Factor, whose children followed them into the business, and continued to break new ground with products like the smear-proof lipstick called Tru-Color in 1940 and the first waterproof makeup in 1971. Max Factor merged with Norton Simon in 1973 before the brand eventually sold to Proctor & Gamble for more than $1 billion in 1991.

Max Factor’s great grandsons Dean and Davis Factor entered the beauty business through film and photography by establishing Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles as a photo and film studio, modeling agency and production company in 1990. In 1996 Smashbox Cosmetics was born. The brand is known for its innovation in retail distribution—it is a staple of QVC and Sephora—and for its star products, such as primers. Like the Factors that preceded them, Dean and Davis made millions selling their brand, in their case for a reported $200 million to $300 million to The Estée Lauder Cos. in 2010. Beauty and brains definitely run in this family.