After a trio of acquisitions in recent years, Revlon Inc. is emerging as a new company with a new leader at the top.
Ronald Perelman, the beauty firm’s chairman and owner who is also chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., has once again made a swift change in management, replacing Alan Ennis with his predecessor, David Kennedy, who will serve as the vice chairman and interim ceo. Revlon expects to name a successor “in the near term.”
Kennedy told WWD, “It’s an exciting time for the company. We are about to close the acquisition of The Colomer Group, which means we will have access to [both the mass and professional] channels. We will have a company with a broader scope. Colomer will immediately strengthen our international business in Europe and our professional business around the world.”
He said the integration of Colomer requires a certain skill set from an incoming ceo.
Kennedy told WWD that the company is looking for a candidate “who is able to manage this significant change with the Colomer acquisition — perhaps someone who has done it before” as well as someone who can identify and understand geographical opportunities. “We will be looking for an experienced, seasoned executive with a broad range of skills. Someone who is an effective leader and proven by the results that they delivered in the past,” he continued.
“We have multiple opportunities. All the brands are healthy and we have access to the professional channel,” said Kennedy. “This company has never been in a better position.”
Kennedy began his first stint as ceo at Revlon — a position he held from 2006 to 2009 — during a tumultuous time for the company in which sales and retail space were declining. He took the reins from Jack Stahl, who after a four-year run, was ousted along with much of his management team after what Perelman saw as a series of strategic missteps.
During his tenure, Kennedy succeeded in restoring order to Revlon by completing a three-year turnaround plan before assuming the role of the company’s vice chairman and senior executive vice president of MacAndrews & Forbes, clearing the way for Ennis to become ceo.
Ennis previously held the role of executive vice president and chief financial officer, and prior to that, was president of Revlon International. He joined Revlon in 2005 as senior vice president of internal audit.
Ennis may have been a “numbers guy,” but he took a keen interest in the product and marketing side of the business.
Early on in his four-year tenure, Ennis recruited former Coca-Cola executive Julia Goldin to the role of executive vice president, chief marketing officer to dial up and sharpen Revlon’s advertising strategy. With Goldin charged with returning Revlon to its storied heritage, Ennis focused on his often-repeated mantra of “growing profitability,” which he said was achievable through a two-pronged approach of organic sales gains and acquisitions.
Ennis, who was known for his energy and quick Irish wit, revived Revlon’s appetite for acquisitions. During the last two years, Revlon got aggressive on the buying front, acquiring two nail-care brands, Sinful Cosmetics and Pure Ice, and then making a bold move deeper into the professional salon market with Colomer.
Perelman seemed to like the team. He told WWD in May 2012, “It was only until I put David Kennedy in as ceo that he brought real order and discipline and focus and allowed us to proceed with what we’re good at in manufacturing and developing product. And then we brought in a very good marketing person, Julia Goldin, who’s fabulous, and Alan Ennis is doing a very, very good job.”
“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