Alan Sebastian Greco, a longtime beauty executive and founder of Paul Sebastian Inc., died July 14 at the age of 62.
This story first appeared in the July 23, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The cause of death was a heart attack, said Martha Brady, a partner in the brand development firm Beauty Management Group LLC.
Before founding Beauty Management Group with Martha Brady and Robert Brady, Greco founded the fragrance company Paul Sebastian with Leonard Paul Cuozzo in 1979. At the time, Greco was national sales manager for Textron, the aviation conglomerate. Together, Greco and Cuozzo sold a spicy floral juice, Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne, to apparel retailers in their home state of New Jersey. Within two years, the company had several hundred accounts. In 1982 another men’s scent, VSOP, was introduced, and in 1985 By Design, the house’s first women’s fragrance, was launched.
In 1999, Paul Sebastian Inc. was sold to FFI Fragrances, now Elizabeth Arden Inc. Subsequently, Greco was president of Victory International and worked with Carlos Santana on a scent project.
“Alan was a true pioneer and a great entrepreneur in our industry,” said Martha Brady, who added that Greco was an early pioneer of the industry staple known as gift-with-purchase, as an alternative to advertising for Paul Sebastian. “He was a warm, kind, smart, loving husband, father and friend — he will be so missed by everyone whose lives were touched by him.”
Robert Brady added, “He was a terrific human being and passionate about everything, especially his family. We worked together for seven years with our firm, Beauty Management Group, and we never once had an argument. If we didn’t agree totally on a project, we simply didn’t do it. Our strengths were complementary as well. He will be sorely missed by us all.”
Longtime retailer Debbie Murtha, who will join Belk on July 30 as vice president of cosmetics, worked with Greco during her tenure at the May Co. “Alan and Lennie [Cuozzo] took the men’s business by storm,” she said. “They took what was a corporate-driven business and distilled it so retailers could be involved in the process, which was not the norm at the time. Alan was extraordinarily creative, very intuitive and in tune with consumers. He was an amazing guy.”
Greco’s survivors include his wife, Denise; sister, Debbie Greco; son and daughter-in-law Jeffrey and Alicia Greco, and daughter Nicole Greco.