FIT Celebrates 25 Years in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing Education

The Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing baccalaureate program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will celebrate its 25th anniversary on February 11, 2014, at the New York Yacht Club from 6:30–8:30 pm.

The event will honor four graduates of the program:

  • Tennille Kopiasz, senior vice president, U.S. marketing, Coty Prestige;
  • Orrea Light, vice president, product development, global cosmetic marketing, L’Oréal Paris;
  • Bettina O’Neill, vice president, divisional merchandising manager, cosmetics and fragrance, Barneys New York; and
  • Shaunda Swackhamer, vice president, global product innovation, The Estée Lauder Companies.

The sponsors of the reception and awards ceremony are Barneys New York, Coty Prestige, The Estée Lauder Companies, the FIT Alumni Association, Firmenich, Gurwitch Products (Laura Mercier, RéVive, and nyakio), L’Oréal Paris, and Mane.

FIT’s history of educating students to enter the cosmetics and fragrance industry began in 1978 when, recognizing the beauty industry’s need for innovative thinking, the college established the Cosmetics, Fragrance and Toiletries associate degree program with a chair endowed by Revlon, Inc. This position was initially held by the late Hazel Bishop, a chemist who became a pioneer of modern-day cosmetics. Bishop founded the cosmetics company Hazel Bishop, Inc.—and invented the first long-lasting “kiss-proof” lipstick.

In 1988, in response to industry demand, FIT established the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing baccalaureate program. Professor Peg Smith, a longtime FIT faculty member, became the program’s coordinator, helping to raise nearly $2 million in support of the program. In 1993, FIT expanded its offerings further by opening the Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio, a fragrance development laboratory. Green, one of America’s leading fragrance authorities and futurists, was the longtime president of The Fragrance Foundation.

In 2000, the master’s degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management was established. The program is widely considered to be a think tank of innovative leadership that provides advanced education for emerging executives in cosmetics, fragrances, and beauty-related areas who have been recommended by their employers because of their strong management potential.

Both Smith and Green will be present at the baccalaureate program’s 25th anniversary event to provide highlights of the program’s history. Jenny Fine, editor of Beauty Inc, will host. The anniversary celebration will raise funds for scholarships and ongoing support for The Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio’s materials and maintenance.

“In celebrating 25 years of our Cosmetics and Fragrance program, we are proud to have provided an educational value to a global industry first written about in the Old Testament,” said Steven Frumkin, dean for the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. “FIT’s continuing leadership and innovation in enhancing these industries’ products, and the faculty’s participation in the research, development, and the market integration of scents into various products formulated for consumers’ personal use, personal care, and environment improvement, has kept us at the forefront of the business. We look forward to many continued years of industry partnerships and collaborations.”

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