This story first appeared in the May 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson have beauty in their blood. Daughters of Benefit’s co-founder Jean Ford and nieces of co-founder Jane Ford, the girls grew up immersed in the business, watching as some of the brand’s first products—now bestsellers—were born in their own kitchen. Now leading Benefit’s next generation charge into the future, the duo is helping inject a younger sensibility into the brand, using inspirations from their native San Francisco. “There’s a focus on a fresh face and a healthy, outdoor lifestyle here,” says Maggie. “There’s a freedom to be who you are.” In July, Benefit will introduce two palettes created by the sisters, one of which showcases Maggie’s affinity for the eclectic, the other, Annie’s classic taste. “We’re drawn to things that have a story behind them,” says Annie, who prefers consignment shops to department stores. Here, they hit their hometown to track trends and talk nature, neighborhoods and one-of-a-kind finds.
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“Walking along the Embarcadero or newly developed South of Market, the architecture stands out with its clean lines and gray and silver color palette. The aesthetic is very architectural and new,” say the sisters, who source the city’s buildings for makeup colors and inspiration.
San Franciscans love farmers markets and thrift store finds—anything with a unique history. For the sisters, that translates into a look that’s nostalgic, but not vintage: “Beautywise, we love a nod to the past, like a Thirties matte brown eye shadow, but worn with a natural brow to make it modern.”
San Francisco takes its weekends very seriously. “We love to partake in outdoor activities and it’s easy to get away from the bustling downtown,” say the Ford Danielsons. “Exploring costal hikes, beaches and neighborhood parks inspires us to use colors from the cool California vegetation and landscapes, especially in the spring.”