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PARIS — Jean-Marc Alfandari, a warm-hearted, long-standing beauty professional, died last Tuesday here following a battle with cancer. He was 62.
This story first appeared in the May 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In his distinguished career spanning decades, Alfandari held numerous high-profile positions, including, most recently, head of the Beauty & Business consultancy that he created in 1994 and owned until mid-February, when he sold it to the Cohesium Group, now majority shareholders, plus two colleagues, Jerome Goldberg and Anne-Valerie Legrand.
Prior to that, starting in 1983, Alfandari worked at L&’Oréal; he first was Lancôme&’s international marketing director and then international marketing development vice president in charge of worldwide strategy for the French beauty giant&’s luxury division. He was J.B. Williams&’ marketing director, beginning in 1980, and he held the same post at RoC Cosmetics, starting in 1973.
Alfandari had a Ph.D. in economics.
He always had an insightful, intelligent — and sometimes quirky — slant on the workings of the complicated beauty industry. During a conference at one trade show some years ago, for instance, Alfandari made the astute link between religion and distribution, particularly regarding the direct-selling channel. He used Avon Products (which began as a door-to-door Bible sales operation) and Mary Kay (whose founder advocated the slogan, “God first, family and career”) as examples.
Alfandari dug deep into the industry to analyze such key subjects as its shifting paradigms, how the Internet affects the business and beauty&’s new consumer.
Most important, though, Alfandari had a great human touch. Despite his perpetual, energetic bustle, he always took time to smile.