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Live From New York: Dellas Awarded Honor

Nancy Jeffries

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James Dellas, president of Drom Fragrances, was honored with the inaugural COFRAM Award, at Drom Fine Fragrance Studio in New York City, on April 3, 2008. On hand with accolades for Dellas–who with his wife, Katherine, established the James and Katherine Dellas Scholarship Fund for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing program–were Joyce Brown, president of FIT, John Simone, chairperson of cosmetics and fragrance marketing, and Ferdinand Storp, CEO of Drom Fragrances.

Brown noted that Dellas contributed invaluable time as a mentor and teacher in helping students prepare for their careers, while Storp said Dellas was, “the most dedicated person in this industry.”

Dellas, in accepting the crystal award, designed by artist Wendy Yothers, said, “There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers, and this is an example of ‘the community.’ ” He encouraged volunteerism and mentorship, adding, “Good deeds are like boomerangs—they return. We all need to be stewards of this program and share with the students our passion.” Thanking his family and friends for their support, Dellas reiterated the value of the cosmetics and fragrance marketing program, urging its eventual development into a dedicated four-year degree program.

The COFRAM Award was created to honor outstanding individuals in the beauty industry whose dedication and stewardship have fostered excellence in higher education. Established in 1988, the department is the nation’s only bachelor of science degree program whose mission is to prepare students for entrance into management positions at leading beauty companies in the U.S. and abroad. The program awards an upper division Bachelor of Science degree to those students who have entered the program with two years of undergraduate work and who complete their second two-year span with a concentration in cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Proceeds from the COFRAM Award gala event go directly to The James and Katherine Dellas Scholarship Fund to assist cosmetics and fragrance marketing students in financial need.

Pangea Nurtures Nature

On April 2, 2008, at New York City’s Loft Eleven, Pangea Organics and Lexus Hybrid Living presented an evening of social and environmental awareness, noting their perspectives on the ways in which sustainable initiatives are transforming the world. Pangea Organics, makers of Ecocentric Bodycare products and Lexus Hybrid Living, proponents of Ecodesign and Lifestyle, presented a collaborative view of some of the authentic and beneficial ways in which business and social initiatives can unite for the greater good.

Founder and president of Pangea Organics, Joshua Onysko, of Boulder, Colorado, said his original business plan was created out of a consciousness based on truth. “Before you can have compassion for the world, you have to have it for yourself,” said Onysko, who decided to “make soap and sell soap,” in an organic and sustainable manner. Onysko added: “After seven years, Pangea is the fastest growing organic skin care line, run on wind power and sustained by employees earning a fair wage and who cultivate their own 3,000-sq-ft organic garden.”

In addition to facials and hand massages with Pangea products, organic hors d’oeuvres, and an organic atmosphere provided by DJ Ivy, author Chris Laszlo, partner, Sustainable Value Partners, presented an overview of the nature of collaborative business platforms around the world and the growth of the global activist community, citing the existence of more than 100,000 NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), encouraging social and business objectives based on a sustainable premise. “Today, it’s about win-win strategies for companies and society,” said Laszlo. His book, Sustainable Value, How the World’s Leading Companies are Doing Well by Doing Good, offered a look at the new paradigm for reinventing the role of business in society with sustainable value, including examples from some of the largest corporations in the world.

Onysko concluded, “In today’s competitive context, with activist and government regulators in abundance, there are more opportunities to be green and encourage sustainability. Cosmetic companies formerly using phthalates and parabens are finding alternatives, and consumers are responding to more positive sustainable business practices. Collectively, in today’s world, we have the ability to make a big difference.”

The event, in addition to Pangea and Lexus, was sponsored by Natural Solutions, Afterglow Mineral Cosmetics, Dagoba Organic Chocolate, Nandina Future Fibers, Ideal Bite, Plenty and Good, Sambazon, Numi, Bag the Habit, Lumia Organic, Frey Vineyards, Rain Vodka, and VeeV Acai Spirit.

Thia Breen in Beauty Series

Cosmetic Executive Women welcomed Thia Breen, president, Estée Lauder Worldwide, as a featured speaker for the Women in Beauty Series, held at New York’s Harmonie Club on March 26, 2008. The event, sponsored by WWD Beauty Biz, Givaudan, 24/7 and Shape magazine, featured leading women in the cosmetic industry who have had a significant impact on beauty. Jill Scalamandre introduced Breen as “a star with a multidimensional perspective.”

Having gone from stocking penny candies to becoming the Bonne Bell buyer in her father’s drugstore in Minnesota, Breen learned the retail business, as well as the importance of managing her career, along the way. After earning a degree in marketing and journalism, she landed a job at Clinique, citing Jack Wiswall as her mentor, and became Lauder’s first female national sales manager.

In addition to the importance of managing your career, Breen noted the value of having a “good head on your shoulders, creating balance and doing your job.” Following a retail period at Macy’s, during which she was exposed to the breadth of products in the cosmetics industry, Breen returned to Lauder after receiving, “a compelling offer from John Demsey.” She continued to note the importance of service within the Lauder corporation, and the evolving nature of the Lauder brand. “Our home is steeped in the U.S. market, and we now see a major move from domestic into a much more global brand. We are doing what we need to do to be much more regionally relevant around the world.” She cited both China and Russia, where Lauder is making inroads, noting that there are 11 time zones in Russia, “and we are in only two, so there is more for us to do.”

While she stressed the importance of an educated beauty advisor at the counter, she also said the company is attracting different generations through the use of new media and continues to be proactive in attracting customers and market sharing by being regionally and demographically relevant. In response to a question from the audience regarding entering the beauty business, Breen replied, “Make sure you get involved in the industry and find out if you love it.”

Selling Scents III

On March 12, 2008, The Fragrance Foundation presented “Selling Scents III” at The Paley Center for Media in New York City. Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation, introduced the discussion, which addressed some of the fragrance industry’s hot topics, including convergence marketing, high-tech outreach and Hollywood product placement. Moderator Jerry Wind, a Lauder professor, Wharton School of Business, and author of Convergence Marketing, presented an overview of the challenges facing today’s marketers and introduced the panelists.

Steve Roberts, CEO, Shop Text; Laura Elkins, vice president, international marketing, MAC Cosmetics; and Jennifer Frommer, associate publisher, CondéNet, provided examples of the multi-platform opportunities that await marketers today. Wind discussed key areas addressed in his book, beginning with the convergence of customization and personalization; convergence of choice (i.e. having the tools to make the right decisions); communications; competitive value; and converging channels. “There is decreased effectiveness of traditional media,” said Wind, adding, “We can’t do what we’ve been doing before; innovative marketing is essential.”

Roberts noted that gravitation to the mobile phone as a connector to multiple initiatives is creating new commerce opportunities, and he cited a recent initiative between Shop Text and P&G as a successful interactive campaign conducted through text messaging. Elkins discussed the MAC Cosmetics Fafi initiative, which generated online buzz about a new MAC Cosmetics line, exemplified by the company’s own “Fafinettes,” whose online presence invited consumer interactivity. Their MAC brand site,, allowed visitors to the site to click on products for a seamless shopping experience. They also created a friends page at the site and did outreach to the blogger community. “Fafi herself has her own page on MySpace, where she promoted herself to fans,” said Elkins. There have been more than 100,000 views related to MAC Fafi on YouTube, as well as strong brand advocacy among MAC consumers.

Frommer described the changing landscape, saying that what they are doing on (, for example, has shown there have been specific behavioral shifts and increased interest in shopping online. “You’re constantly working through digital media all the time,” said Frommer, noting that they need to be sure they can meet the demands of their customers everywhere in the digital landscape.

Parfums Annick Goutal at Bloomingdale’s

On April 5, 2008, Sniffapalooza founder, Karen Dubin, and Karen Adams, executive operations manager, invited fragrance aficionados to a breakfast at Le Train Bleu Restaurant in Bloomingdale’s, to meet Camille Goutal, creative director of Parfums Annick Goutal, and Isabelle Doyen, Annick Goutal’s esteemed in-house perfumer.

Goutal and Doyen conversed with attendees about their creative vision for Parfums Annick Goutal and celebrated the 10th anniversary of Petite Cherie, the fragrance Doyen created for Camille, daughter of Annick Goutal, at her request, on the occasion of her daughter’s 18th birthday. Petite Cherie blends notes of peach, musk rose, pear, vanilla and fresh-cut grass. Attendees at the breakfast were able to sample fragrances from the full Goutal range, as well as gift sets, and limited-edition fragrances available at Bloomingdale’s.

Doyen related the story of how she met Annick Goutal in 1985, after she graduated from perfumery school in Versailles. When she was invited to create formulas with her, she was overjoyed. “I was so happy and proud to work with her because it was not working, it was dreaming. It was an adventure. Whether we were creating flowery fragrances, feminine or mysterious and captivating scents, it was a joy.” Doyen, who wanted to write poetry when she was 17, found expression in her perfume creations.

Camille Goutal and Doyen were in New York to celebrate the Petite Cherie anniversary, as well as to preview their new trio of fragrances, Les Orientalistes, which will officially launch in September 2008.

Trend Overview with FGI

On April 9, 2008, The Fashion Group Foundation presented its Fall/Winter 2008/09 Collection Overview, at New York’s Time-Life Building. Margaret Hayes, president of FGI, opened the presentation, saying, “What you will see here today is a point of difference, edited by the best in the business, defining what’s wearable and what’s sellable.” Hayes acknowledged the talents of Mary Lou Luther, creative director, international fashion syndicate, and her esteemed panelists: Michael Fink, vice president, women’s fashion apparel, Saks Fifth Avenue; Linda Fargo, senior vice president, Bergdorf Goodman; Ana Maria Pimentel, senior accessories director, Harper’s Bazaar; and Jane Larkworthy, beauty director, W, as well as guest moderator, Hal Rubinstein, fashion director, InStyle.

Luther asked: “What color do you wear to a recession?” “Black dresses as you slip into the red,” came the response, which set the tone for the wide range of designer fabrics, evening wear, painterly prints, hand embroidery, heat-sensitive prints, feathers and tie-dyed chiffon that followed. In color, aside from black, “purple reigned,” said Luther, followed by autumnal shades. On the beauty front, hair and makeup had an accommodating spirit, either minimal or adorned with color. Blue eye shadow was a major presence on the runway, as shown in Pat McGrath’s blue raccoon eyes. Her caramelized eyes with a single golden tear, also impacted the runway. Smokey, kohl-lined eyes were popular as well, as created by Charlotte Tilbury for Etro.

Larkworthy, in response to a question regarding the abundant fashion options, said, “There’s never too much. With fragrances, there are too many out. I smell 10 a week, with maybe one or two I like, but with fashion, there’s never too much.” She singled out her favorite beauty looks, noting the long hair on the runways, the messy up do’s, scarlet lips, and grey and gold for eyes.

Sponsors of the event included InStyle, Cotton Incorporated, MAC Cosmetics, Fashion Center BID and Lord & Taylor.

Sniffapalooza’s Spring Fling

Sniffapalooza hosted its Spring Fling Weekend on April 12–13, 2008, in New York City, devoted to fragrant delights and the unabashed joy of scent. Saturday’s presentations took place uptown, beginning with a breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman, where presenters, including Joe Garces, CEO, Fashion Fragrances, and junior perfumer Irina Burlakova, Givaudan, presented Robert Piguet’s 60th anniversary fragrance. In addition, Kilian Hennessy, president and creator, By Kilian Perfumes; Mona di Orio, perfumer and creator, Mona di Orio Parfums; and others joined the event, which was organized by Sniffaplaooza founder Karen Dubin, and Karen Adams, executive operations manager.

Presentations by Chandler Burr, fragrance critic for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Scent, and Lee Cuthbert, creator of Intelli-Scents fragrance, kept the action going for the enthusiasts who had traveled from around the U.S., as well as Europe, to attend the event. Attendees were delighted with the variety and depth of the fragrance sampling, which continued at Takashimaya, where such fragrance innovators as Neil Morris and David Garten, of Neil Morris Fragrances, and others, including Ineke (with Evening Edged in Gold), Santa Maria Novella and The Pink Room presented their fragrances. Henri Bendel and Bluemercury Spa completed the fragrance and beauty locations of the day, while Sunday’s foray moved downtown, with stops at Bond No. 9, Le Labo, Lafco, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Aedes de Venustas. A wide range of special guests combined pedagogy and perfume, to the delight of the more than 150 attendees, who represented the savvy, new fragrance customer bringing enthusiasm and energy to the market. Learn more about Sniffapalooza at

FIT Capstone Event Addresses Sustainability

Emerging beauty industry executives at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) closed the 2008 academic year with an eco-responsible capstone presentation and a graduation ceremony on May 8. Presented by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., the event showcased the talents of the graduates as they addressed current issues surrounding sustainability and environmentally responsible corporate practices. This ceremony represented the culmination of FIT’s experiential master of professional studies (MPS) degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management, which is designed to provide young professionals with a breadth of knowledge and leadership training for senior positions in the beauty industry.

“Thinking about ways to protect the environment daily will continue to shape consumer demand across all categories of the beauty industry,” said Peter Luther, president, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Beauty Care Group, North America. “In fact, studies we have uncovered show that 75% of the general population believes that when purchasing personal care products, they feel the environmental impact is important. We applaud these young professionals for their academic accomplishments and encourage them to bring forth fresh, innovative ideas that will further support sustainability in the marketplace.”

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