Leonard A. Lauder knows the value of seeing eye to eye.
In accepting the Corporate Leadership Award last week from the Aspen Institute — an organization devoted to education and finding common ground among world-class intellects, often from diverse fields — Lauder described his first meeting at the institute in 1978. “It changed my life,” said the chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos., Inc., “and opened the door to wisdom. I learned there was new life out there.”
And, for good measure, he had some friendly advice to pass on to Washington. During a panel discussion moderated by ABC anchor Christiane Amanpour as part of the awards ceremony at The Plaza hotel Thursday evening, Lauder said, “If I were president of the U.S., I would call the leaders of both political parties together and say, ‘OK, enough. I want the first piece of legislation that reaches my desk to be bipartisan.’ ”
Lauder’s longtime friend Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corp., received the Institute’s Henry Crown Leadership Award. Both old friends had very warm words for each other, and harmony and compromise was the theme of the dinner conversation. Lauder added that if politicians would somehow learn to compromise, it would make the country better.
However, there also were warnings. In response to a question during the panel discussion, Lauder, who teaches legacy classes at his company, quoted New York Times columnist Frank Rich as predicting that no matter who won the midterm congressional elections, “there still will be anger.” Lauder added, “I believe we are entering an uncivil period.” He then pointed out that the landmark No Child Left Behind law provided funding for teaching math and science but failed to finance the instruction of history and civics. This needs to be corrected, he urged, because a sense of good citizenship must be instilled. “If we lose our understanding of the Constitution,” Lauder concluded, “we will lose our souls.”
On Tuesday, another Lauder executive, Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder, received the business leadership award at the annual scholarship awards luncheon of Help USA, an organization founded by New York Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo to provide housing and aid to victims of domestic abuse, veterans and people afflicted with AIDS. The recipient of the organization’s humanitarian award was nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige.
“We say we’re in the lipstick business,” Hertzmark Hudis told the packed luncheon crowd in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons restaurant. “We are really in the business of self-esteem.”
Citing the experience and philosophy of the company’s founder and namesake, Hertzmark Hudis added, “It’s all about helping women and men get on with their lives.”
Blige, who reiterated her story of abuse that led to a near-death experience, spoke of how she summoned the strength to pull back and survive. “I said enough,” she recalled. “I am just so thankful and so honored.” Saluting the scholarship winners, Blige continued, “You are worthy of something great. We are worthy of what we can give ourselves — a second chance.”
The event, which raised $450,000, was orchestrated by a group led by Maria Cuomo Cole, chairman of the organization.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye