By  on April 21, 2006

NEW YORK — Daisy Fuentes — who is gearing up to launch her first scent, Dianoche, this summer — is clearly passionate on the subject of beauty.

"When I was younger, I was always the one to get my girlfriends ready. I would do full-on hair and makeup," she remembered with a laugh during an interview Wednesday afternoon. "They'd leave the house looking like supermodels, and I always looked like Cinderella because I'd have five minutes to get myself ready!"

The multihyphenate Fuentes — model, actress, clothing designer — sees fragrance as a natural, well, blooming for her business pursuits: Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, Fuentes said she was enrolled in cosmetology school when she got her first TV job. Her TV gigs have included stints as a VJ for MTV and on-camera positions with WXTV, Univision's New York affiliate and WNJU, Telemundo's New York affiliate. She also has hosted her own talk show.

Lately, however, Fuentes has turned her attention to her multiple successful licenses with Kohl's Department Stores. "I had beauty in mind before I even started with sportswear," said Fuentes, who designs swimwear, accessories, shoes, handbags and jewelry for Kohl's. "This is something I always had in my mind, and I've had a very clear vision for it. And when everything started going very well with Kohl's and I knew I had a home there, I thought, 'Wow, maybe this is my chance.'"

Fuentes turned to BeautyBank, the Estee Lauder Cos.-owned division that produces the chain's beauty offerings, to make that vision a reality. Daisy Fuentes Beauty is the division's fourth freestanding brand — the others, launched in 2004, are American Beauty, a color cosmetics line; Good Skin, a dermatologist-oriented skin care line, and Flirt!, a sassy color cosmetics collection.

"Daisy has created one of the top-selling brands at Kohl's," said Jane Hudis, president of BeautyBank. "She's covered a magnitude of categories, all of which are doing extremely well. She is crossover — she crosses over many genders and ethnicities, different types of women, and appeals across the board. That's why everything she's touched has been so successful. She is not only a fashion expert but she's a beauty expert. This collection is all about her thinking, her vision, her concept. There's an extraordinary synergy here. It is our intention to build Daisy Fuentes Beauty into a very large and successful brand."

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