In a move designed to add an even firmer foundation to its global skin-care market share, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. has tapped Agnes Landau as senior vice president and global general manager of Darphin.
The appointment is effective Jan. 1. Landau takes the role from Jane Lauder, who ran the brand following the exit of Olivier Fontaine in February. Landau will report to Stephane de la Faverie, senior vice president and global general manager for Origins, Ojon and Darphin. She will be based in Paris and will be responsible for Darphin’s brand equity globally, as well as developing and executing the brand’s strategy and global business.
Landau, who joins Darphin from Clinique, is well-equipped to run the brand. Since joining the Estée Lauder Cos. in 2000, she has held a number of senior executive positions, including her current role as senior vice president of global marketing for Clinique. In her current role, she has been responsible for the global marketing strategy, development and execution of the brand’s skin-care, color-cosmetics and fragrance launches. She has been a force behind several of Clinique’s top-selling skin-care launches, including Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector and Smart Custom-Serum.
“Since its founding in 1958, Darphin has been synonymous with luxury skin care,” said de la Faverie. “The brand’s focus on skin-refining techniques, sensory experiences and customized skin analysis and protocols are highly unique and intrinsic to its DNA. Agnes’ success at Clinique, and her proven ability to innovate and lead, make her the ideal person to lead Darphin to new heights of success. Currently, France is our largest market, but the brand is expanding rapidly globally. Agnes has a deep understanding of each of the global markets, which will make this expansion successful and take the brand to a new level.”
Lauder acquired Darphin in 2003 from Andre Benet. At the time, it was widely seen as an entryway for Lauder products to enter the lucrative world of French pharmacies — and as an addition to the company’s premium skin-care business elsewhere. In the U.S., the products are carried in about 195 upscale specialty-store doors, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“In France and in Europe, most skin care is sold in pharmacies, which makes the pharmacy channel very important for us,” de la Faverie told WWD. Darphin is also sold in 60 countries globally in high-end independent pharmacies and specialty stores. The brand’s products, comprising essential oils and few preservatives, are designed to have a three-prong approach to skin care: phytobiology, or extracting complexes from plants to feed and oxygenate the skin; aromatherapy, treating with essential oils, and phytotherapy, treating with the active components of the plants. The products are produced in France.
“Agnes is a supremely talented executive and team builder with a remarkable record of accomplishments,” said Lynne Greene, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “I am confident that her strong leadership skills and highly developed business acumen will lead Darphin into the next chapter of growth.”