ROBINSON LEAVES REVLON FOR COSMAIR

Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK — Andrea Robinson has left Revlon Inc. to join Cosmair Inc. as a general manager charged with engineering the reentry of the Helena Rubinstein brand in the U.S.
Robinson, who was senior vice president of new business development at Revlon, is due to join Cosmair on April 15. Cosmair’s French parent, L’Oreal SA, has been marketing Rubinstein overseas ever since it acquired the brand’s worldwide distribution rights in 1988. Rubinstein had already been phased out of the U.S. at that time.
Guy Peyrelongue, president and chief executive officer of Cosmair, said a target date has not been selected for Rubinstein’s comeback in the American market.
“We don’t want to rush it,” he said. “We want to replant the roots.”
Peyrelongue added that he expects Rubinstein to regain the stature it once enjoyed as a major player in the U.S. cosmetics market. Rubinstein was one of the early cornerstones of the American prestige business, along with Elizabeth Arden, Revlon and Estee Lauder.
L’Oreal began buying parts of Rubinstein’s worldwide business in 1983, with the acquisition of the manufacturing plants and distribution rights in Japan and Latin America. The company gradually purchased the rest of the global rights, consolidated the manufacturing and revamped and repackaged the line.
The brand, now a part of L’Oreal’s Parfums et Beaute division, is marketed in 40 countries overseas, with production in France and Spain. Distribution in Europe consists of a total of 5,000 prestige doors.
Rubinstein had two major launches last year. One was Force C, billed as the first skin care line based on vitamin C; the other was Spectacular Mascara. Both were top sellers, according to the company.
Robinson, a former beauty editor of Vogue, joined Revlon in 1988 as general manager and president of the Ultima II brand, before rising to president of marketing in Revlon’s department store division and then her most recent position. No successor has been named at Revlon.
She was responsible for developing two products — the Nakeds color cosmetics and Lipsexxxy lipstick — which were credited with being trendsetting items.
Also at Cosmair, Suzanne Davidowitz has been named vice president of corporate public relations, succeeding Joan Lasker, who will relocate to Santa Fe, N.M., after 16 years with the company.

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