ZIMMERMAN AND CRICHTON HONORED BY FIT
Byline: Pete Born
NEW YORK — Less than 24 hours after climbing the stage at Avery Fisher Hall to collect a FiFi, Chanel’s Jean Hoehn Zimmerman was back at the podium — this time to receive a Cartier Scholarship Recognition Award at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Zimmerman, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Chanel, was one of two honorees, along with Dale Crichton, executive vice president of cosmetics and fragrances at Nordstrom.
The annual lunch is a benefit for FIT’s cosmetics and fragrance marketing department, as well as an occasion for rewarding two of the program’s graduates with $2,500 grants.
Zimmerman underscored the importance of the instructional program, while noting “I often worry about the future of our business, because it’s changed so much since I entered it. It began with the inspiration of great people passionate about their products, like Estee Lauder and Charles Revson, who believed that creative product was the soul of the business. And it was spurred on by innovations and risk takers like Coco Chanel, also a believer in high quality and innovation. And more recently by great American designers. But what happens in the next 50 years? Who is instilling the character, knowledge and passion to keep fueling this business?
“It’s programs like those at FIT,” Zimmerman continued, “that will help make a difference and provide fertile programs to teach, train and inspire students bent on our field.”
Crichton was introduced by Leonard Lauder, chairman and chief executive officer of Estee Lauder Cos. He summed her up with a simple statement: “She is a genius.”
He then ticked off her many accomplishments, such as being among the first to promote makeup artist brands and to seize upon the opportunities of open-sell merchandising.
“She is the great cosmetics merchant who is always innovative,” Lauder stated, adding that in addition, “she loves to cook.”
Then, upon reflection, he remarked, “Dale you never invited me home for dinner. But there’s still time.”