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Ed Shirley, the vice chair of global beauty and grooming at Procter & Gamble who often sounds more like a coach, knows how to move the funding football. He and Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising at the retail chain that bears his family’s name, were the honorees at the recent Dream Ball in New York, which raises money for the Look Good, Feel Better program at a time when the economy is still mired in the recessionary trough. A bit of a shove came from the star presenter of the evening, the “manly man” with the booming baritone from P&G’s Old Spice commercials, Isaiah Mustafa.
Just before the first dinner course, the organizers launched an ad hoc auction to raise the evening’s take beyond the $1.7 million raised last year. Shirley rose to his feet to announce that Mustafa had volunteered to be auctioned off as a dinner companion. A bidding war erupted, egged on by ex-P&Ger Francine Gingras, who kept flashing more fingers in the air, $1,000 for each one. Finally, six bidding women were called up onto the stage and a settlement was reached: two dinners for two groups. Final price: $16,000. In addition, the honorees worked behind the scenes, pushing the total past $1.9 million. The night before, Shirley was the featured speaker at CEW’s Newsmaker Forum, where he revealed his spot-on Mustafa imitation and some candid business strategies. The following week, Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global marketing and brand-building officer, and Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure, were honored at the 10th anniversary celebration of FIT’s master’s degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Noting that she had been given three minutes to discourse on “the future of beauty,” Wells smilingly declared, “It’s going to be very big,” before returning to her seat.
Meanwhile, in Paris, Taylor Momsen literally stopped traffic during a fete for John Galliano’s new scent, Parlez-Moi d’Amour, for which she’s the face. Hundreds crammed onto the sidewalk to see her and her band, The Pretty Reckless, pull up spectacularly across from the historic Lapérouse restaurant in a massive, open-sided truck that seconded as a stage. Galliano said he envisioned a love story as the underlying theme for the scent. “Taylor really embodies the spirit and soul of this new eau de toilette. As with all true loves, age is not an issue.”