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Inglot Cosmetics Founder Dies at 57

The Polish beauty entrepreneur built a global retail network in some 50 countries.

PARIS — Wojtek Inglot, the 57-year-old Polish beauty entrepreneur and founder of Inglot Cosmetics, died suddenly of an internal hemorrhage on Saturday in his hometown of Przemysl, a spokeswoman from his company confirmed.

This story first appeared in the February 26, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

He was also president of the Warsaw-based concern, whose global retail network spans almost 400 freestanding stores, most of which are franchised, in some 50 countries.

Inglot, who was born on June 11, 1955, graduated from Jagiellonian University’s chemistry department. He began his first chemical manufacturing operation in 1983 and specialized in makeup as Poland started transitioning into a market economy.

Privately owned Inglot Cosmetics opened its first international outlet in 2006, in Montreal. A few weeks later, someone from Australia reached out to Inglot after seeing the Canadian location, and a contract was quickly signed for that country.

In a WWD story published in 2010, Inglot explained his shops are “supposed to be a heaven or a candy store for makeup customers. Wherever possible, especially with eye shadow, lip products or nail products, we try to arrange [items] in color groups to make the navigation through testers very easy and quick.”

Inglot’s first U.S. location was opened in 2009, in New York’s Times Square. He opened a second door in the city, in Chelsea Market, in February 2011. Later that year Inglot entered Macy’s Impulse Beauty department.

Inglot Cosmetics — a vertical, integrated operation — produces cutting-edge products. Take its O2M “breathable” nail polish, made with a polymer also used in contact-lens manufacturing. The makeup products are marketed and merchandised with a Freedom System, allowing consumers to pick individual pans of color that can be snapped into a magnetized metal case. The lid is designed to slide on and off for easy use by makeup artists, who are at the heart of Inglot’s core target.

His business development was the stuff of dreams.

“I have always believed that once you have a good concept, good products and the right pricing, sooner or later somebody will notice and say, ‘I like it, I want it.’ And this is exactly what happened,” he said.

Inglot is survived by his mother, brother and sister.

His funeral is set for Wednesday at noon in the Salezjans Church of Przemysl.