Afghan Women Get Tips at Lauder
NEW YORK — A dozen women who have been working in Afghanistan’s apparel business since the fall of the Taliban nearly four years ago visited the Estee Lauder Cos. June 3 to hear about how the beauty giant’s myriad departments operate.
The delegation was attached to a group of 18 Afghan women who came to the U.S. on May 21 to learn about marketing and business management. The visit, which was led by a volunteer group called the Business Council for Peace — aka B-Peace — concluded Friday.
As the women listened through an interpreter at Lauder, numerous company executives — including nine in corporate management and an additional four at Lauder’s Origins, Aramis and Prescriptives brands — described their day-to-day duties. Among the topics discussed were examples of Lauder’s community outreach programs, employee relations and human resources practices, sales and marketing operations and financial and public relations functions.
“They all have or are creating small businesses, mostly in Kabul,” Gwendy Feldman, of the Afghanistan Action Team at B-Peace, said of the women during a break in the presentation. “[The goal is] they will take what they learned today and apply it to their context and culture, creating successful businesses and employing other Afghans.”
The B-Peace Style Road Trip, as the program was called, stopped at multiple fashion firms. The calendar was determined “based on what the women told us they wanted to learn about,” said Feldman. Lauder was the only beauty company on the group’s agenda. “They especially wanted to meet women who have started businesses, or visit companies that were started by women. Estee Lauder is a prototype for these women. Lauder is a successful company founded by a woman.”
The Afghan women had makeovers to top off the afternoon. Poppy King, vice president of creative marketing for Prescriptives, whose flash of staple, scarlet lipstick drew notice, quipped before the makeup consultations, “I promise, they won’t all have to wear red lipstick.”
Meanwhile, Lauder’s Bobbi Brown Cosmetics brand got a bit of exposure when Brown herself hosted a recent lunch to help support the nonprofit organization Dress for Success. The makeup artist just joined the board of the organization, which helps low-income women make transitions into the workforce by providing them with professional attire. Brown said of the gathering: “It’s a casual lunch and a place for girls to just chat, gossip and probably complain — but it’s for a good cause.”
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Guests, including Ann Curry of the “Today” show; Suze Yalof Schwartz of Glamour magazine, which, like WWD, is a unit of Advance Publications Inc., and ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts, were asked to bring along some well-heeled castaways; others opted to donate clothes at a later date. Said Curry: “I have tons of things I can bring — I was just thinking about some suits I should donate.”
In addition to lunch, attendees were treated to makeup applications and eyebrow shapings from the Bobbi Brown Beauty Team.
Joi Gordon, chief executive officer of Dress for Success, discussed the institution of a makeup program by the organization in 2001, as well as the effect it has had on the women that turn to Dress for Success for help in their careers. “They don’t really expect to get individual attention,” she said of the makeovers the women receive from volunteer makeup artists. “They’re overwhelmed, they see themselves differently for the first time in their lives and they love what they see.”
— Matthew W. Evans with contributions from Bryn Kenny
Sco Launching Essentials
NEW YORK — Custom skin care brand Sco is launching a line of ready-to-wear skin care products next month, a range dubbed Sco Essentials.
The products are premade, not customized to the needs of individuals, and are designed to address common skin problems. “[The new line] offers meticulously balanced formulas of our most requested problem-solvers,” said creator Theresa Ma.
Highlights of the Sco Essentials line include Hydrating Eye Cream, Purifying Cleanser II and Refining Face Scrub. The assortment of 13 stockkeeping units ranges in price from $21 for Lip Balm to $150 for Antioxidant Booster.
The line will be available in 17 new points of sale, including Stanley Korshak, Wynn Las Vegas Apothecary and Los Angeles’ Kitson boutique. The entire custom skin care line was previously found at Sco’s New York boutique and at Barneys New York here and in Beverly Hills.
ModelCo’s Bag Brigade
NEW YORK — In collaboration with Australian fashion and swimwear label Zimmermann, Australian beauty brand ModelCo is launching a line of limited-edition beauty bags this month in selected Sephora stores and on sephora.com. The line will feature a Vanity Bag for $20, a Weekender Bag for $28 and a Cosmetic Travel Bag for $45. Each will feature a Zimmermann palm-print pattern in ModelCo’s signature pink.