My first job was with Procter & Gamble in 1983 as an assistant brand manager for Crest in Venezuela. At the time, I thought this was a complete 180 from the job I should be doing. I had graduated from Boston College with a degree in Business Administration and had my heart set on a position in finance. I was a serious numbers person—everything had to have a net present value!
I admit I didn’t know enough to appreciate the size and scope of P&G’s portfolio, but I did know that the company was doing international recruiting, and I wanted to return home to Venezuela. So I headed to Caracas for an interview with Mr. Campos, the P&G human resources manager for Venezuela. After 15 minutes of chatting, I told him I wanted a job in finance. “Absolutely not!” he responded. “You are a marketing person.” It wasn’t the answer I was expecting. I didn’t know anything about marketing outside of one course I had taken in school, and I didn’t think I had the creativity required for such a position. But I needed a job. I knew P&G was a well-regarded company, so I took the marketing position, thinking I would later work my way into the finance department.
I was hesitant about my ability to succeed, but that recruiter’s instincts were spot-on, and my analytic skills were actually perfect for the job. My serendipitous start ignited a passion in me for marketing and I learned some valuable lessons: Sometimes people see strengths in you that you don’t see in yourself. Have the courage to trust them. Don’t automatically reject unexpected pathways; instead, give them serious consideration. It’s up to you to take risks and make the best of what you have in front of you. In my new position at Avon, I get to focus on products that help women look and feel their best. And I market perhaps the ultimate enhancer: women’s empowerment. I’m still so passionate about marketing, and ever since my first job interview I have never rejected an alternate path without seriously considering it.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)