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CEW Beauty Series

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: November 20, 2006
Jill Scalamandre, Avon, and Valerie Latona, editor in chief, Shape, welcomed guest speaker, Rochelle Udell to the October 19 session of the Women in Beauty series, held at New York’s Harmonie Club. Udell, who was formerly editor in chief of Self and art director of Vogue, has worked in the manufacturing side of cosmetics and, most recently, held the position of executive vice president and chief creative officer at Revlon. While seemingly two distinct areas of cosmetics, Udell noted that manufacturing wasn’t very different from publishing. Having started her career as a schoolteacher in Brooklyn, Udell said, “Whether you’re publishing or teaching, you have to be able to get your message across.”

“I think it’s important for people not to pigeonhole you, so you have to be confident about your ability to translate your skills,” she said. Recognizing and understanding an audience was integral to Udell’s presentation. “Recognition is a very powerful force. Whether you’re selling flat shoes or pore fillers to baby boomers, you’ve got to know your audience.” Udell drew a correlation between developing new brands and being an editor. “You need to know if something resonates enough so it’s relevant for today. The role of the editor is to make that brand relevant for today and bring it forward,” she

“Creative people are outsiders, and should be because their job is to bring you somewhere else,” she said. “For a project to be successful, the creative end must understand the business, that is you must marry the analytics with the intuitive to make the outcome powerful.”