Entrepreneur Lynn Tilton knows more than a little about adapting and innovating.
Tilton, chief executive officer of Patriarch Partners LLC, has owned more than 240 companies over the last 14 years. She currently owns 75 businesses including beauty brands Stila Cosmetics and Jane Cosmetics. “I could spend all my time as an innovator and a creator and a technologist and I’d be a happy soul,” she said.
“I have owned so many companies and I come from so many different industries,” Tilton continued. “And it all begins with product. Product drives every one of my companies throughout my platform. And every business works from the customer backward. There are only two things that the customer covets. They are design and disruption. Design being the desire to be enveloped in elegance and beauty, to smile in your heart. And disruption is the excitement that comes from innovation, science and technology. And so whether I’m in aviation, automotive, apparel or beauty, my customers’ desires are the same. They’re looking for streamlined elegance and new and unique technologies.” See Complete Coverage of the WWD Beauty CEO Summit Here >>
Beauty isn’t an exception to that rule, she added. “Like everything else, it’s all about how you can create that white space and innovate and disrupt,” she said. “And so at my beauty house as well as across all my companies, design and disruption, design and disruption, design disruption. It is our mantra and it is our morning prayer. One has to have the courage to out-innovate oneself. It’s always frightening to disrupt long-embedded stronghold beliefs, industries. But we no longer live in a world of survival of the fittest. It’s really survival of the adaptist. And if you hold on tight, you will die. And so we have no choice but to let go. To dream the dream, to close our eyes and build the vision that we see.”
Among those is a new look for one of her beauty brands. “In this world of technology, start-ups and electric companies can easily displace long-embedded brands,” said Tilton. “That gives us opportunity, but it also keeps us on our toes. So at Stila, even though I’m up over 30 percent in the first quarter, I’ve decided to sweep my shelves and created all new packaging. My desire was really to envelope my customer in elegance and to shower her in jewels. And so even my gondolas are being completely recreated. People say to me, ‘You’re taking back all that inventory?’ Yeah. Because if I don’t out-innovate myself, someone will come and take my place.”
Tilton also is committed to giving back through her beauty brands. With her Jane brand, every time a consumer buys a Jane product, Tilton donates one to a battered-women’s shelter. She’s also toured shelters nationwide with Jane and Stila makeup artists and celebrity hairstylist Ken Pavés. “It’s really my hope that I can teach young girls that compassion is contagious and that kindness is cool,” said Tilton. “But ladies, it’s up to us to make it a reality.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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