Beautiful didn't necessarily mean fashionable. Having edited two leading women's magazines over the past 25
years, I am hard pressed to think of a trend that Lauder started. The company never made any effort to be the
makeup choice in the fashion shows. What you had with Estée Lauder was the quality of her view, of her
demand for an ultrafeminine portrayal of the product. Every woman in every ad was the essence of femininity.
Is that the kind of women we are talking about now ? I'm not sure, but women know who Lauder is. Hers is a
product with a focus - it's not MTV. You will recognize the brand names, and what they stand for, as you
would a friend's name: Estée Lauder, Prescriptives, Clinique, Origins and Aramis. The company has even
bought hot new lines such as M.A.C., Bobbi Brown Essentials and Tommy Hilfiger fragrances. Lauder's
company may not be able to set trends, but it is never going to be left behind by them. The boss - and her son
after her - would never allow it. Says the company's vice chairman Jeanette Wagner: "No matter how she aged
in years, she was still the youngest thinker in the room."
Grace Mirabella, who was editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine for 17 years, was also the founder of
Before we sign off we want to send a "Very Special Thank You" to Grace for writing such a wonderful story and
for being a cornerstone in the Fashion and Magazine Industry herself. And a thank you to the email sender for
sharing this wonderful works written by Grace Mirabella with us all. Can't get much cooler than that. Call it a
true Community. Call it The World of Fashion and Beauty. What is it that Estee said ? It spoke of Beauty.
What Estee Lauder said was ... "Beauty is an Attitude." That says it all.
The global enterprise of the Estée Lauder Cos. is centered on the 40th floor of the General Motors Building
in Manhattan. Here the realm of very Big Business meets the world of Estee Lauder - focused, refined, every
woman's dream office. It has been the office of a businesswoman and mother, where work and family
mingled seamlessly for decades in a major corporation - the Holy Grail of many working women today (her
grandchildren are in key positions). Carol Phillips, who founded the Clinique line for the company, describes
Lauder's management style as highly creative. She conducted business in subtly elegant comfort. "Her
conference room was like a dining room, and everything was perfect. In the office were all the pleasant
things that go with running a household." And what households she did have. Estée Lauder loved to
"entertain," as giving large dinner parties was once called. She enjoyed "beautiful people" - celebrities, the
rich and famous - and could invite them to dine with her at a table that could seat 30 without extensions. The
food and the wines, lovely. She didn't miss a thing. She learned as she grew up. She watched. She enjoyed
A word that must be added to the definition of Lauder: focus. She kept her eye on the world around her and
on all women wherever they might be. She "liked to think about beauty and was determined to give women
the opportunity to feel beautiful," says Leonard.
On Every Page There Is
A Song. Wait. And adjust
... your volume.
Laurie S. Schechter
"World's First Vogue Style Editor"
ToTaLLy CoOL ®
Stay Tuned. On the road
... to the next journey.
Totally Cool ®
outtakes and misc.
Editorial Music Credit:
The Steve Miller Band
A Magazine Alive
All rights reserved.
"The Official Editorial Authority"
In Passing ... we must mention The Grande Dame of the Beauty and Cosmetic World: Estee Lauder. When
I was a young child (until I was 9 or 10 years old) I grew up right under the 59th Street Bridge in New York
City. I had this one very rich Aunt, Aunt Helen from Old Westbury. Whenever she went shopping in those
high end retail stores she always brought an Estee Lauder product. Whether it was perfume or skin cream
or some other magical wonder. When I went to visit Aunt Helen, on her bedroom dresser I would always see
the Estee Lauder bottle right next to Coco Chanel's No. 5. But what was the most intriguing story of Estee
Lauder's rise to fame was how she got started. As the story was told to me by Evelyn Lauder, Estee started
her cosmetic empire by mixing her own brews in the small kitchen of her apartment. Now that was too cool.
When I was a young teenager my parents moved to Long Island. I took a bicycle ride from Hicksville to
Melville one day to see my girlfriend. On the final leg of the journey there was a long straight strip of road
along side the Long Island Expressway at Route 110 exit 49. And when I reached the very end of that block I
saw this big low rise rectangle white building sitting all by itself atop a grassy Knol. It said on it: Estee Lauder.
No longer did she have to work from her own kitchen. This was her laboratory. So each time I saw the building
after that and I saw that name in big letters on the sparkling white brick it meant one thing: Success (and that
I was almost there). My girlfriend, Phyllis, lived 3 blocks from that corner. A long road. But it was well worth
the trip. What we learned from that story is maybe Estee Lauder never really knew how much she actually
affected the whole world around her. She was a woman who created many memories for many people on this
earth. A woman that will live on for years and years to come. Estee Lauder 1907- 2004. Richard david Renda.
Someone sent an email to me about Estee Lauder. It had this story attached. We could never say what
needs to be said any better than it was said here. So we are going to share that email attachment with you.
Estée Lauder: "She transformed beauty into big business by cultivating classy sales methods and
giving away samples." By GRACE MIRABELLA - Dec. 7, 1998.
Leonard Lauder, chief executive of the company his mother founded, says she always thought she "was
growing a nice little business." And that it is. A little business that controls 45% of the cosmetics market in
U.S. department stores. A little business that sells in 118 countries and last year grew to be $3.6 billion big
in sales. The Lauder family's shares are worth more than $6 billion. But early on, there wasn't a burgeoning
business, there weren't houses in New York, Palm Beach, Flordia, or the south of France. It is said that at
one point there was one person to answer the telephones who changed her voice to become the shipping or
billing department as needed. You more or less know the Estée Lauder story because it's a chapter from the
book of American business folklore. In short, Josephine Esther Mentzer, daughter of immigrants, lived above
her father's hardware store in Corona, a section of Queens in New York City. She started her enterprise by
selling skin creams concocted by her uncle, a chemist, in beauty shops, beach clubs and resorts.
No doubt the potions were good - Estée Lauder was a quality fanatic - but the saleslady was better. Much
better. And she simply outworked everyone else in the cosmetics industry. She stalked the bosses of New
York City department stores until she got some counter space at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1948. And once in
that space, she utilized a personal selling approach that proved as potent as the promise of her skin
regimens and perfumes. "Ambition." Ask Leonard for one defining word about his mother, and that's his
choice. Even after 40 years in business, Estée Lauder would attend every launch of a new cosmetics counter
or shop, traveling to such places as Moscow and other East European cities. Every Saturday she would go
to her grandson's Origins store in Manhattan's hip SoHo district and say, "Let me teach you how to sell."
Only declining health has halted those visits during the past few years. Did Lauder ever stop selling in her
prime ? She would give her famous friends and acquaintances small samples of her products for their
handbags; she wanted her brand in the hands of people who were known for having "the best." Early in my
career at Vogue she invited me to lunch. Before the meal was finished, she made sure to give me three
chicken recipes to help me interest the man I hoped to marry. (And did.)
She personified the mantra of "think globally, act locally." You can't get any more local than Estée
Lauder's turning up at Saks on a Saturday, showing the sales staff how to give customers personal attention
and a free gift. The latter promotion, by the way, proved to be a work of utter genius. Now an army of young
women and men, exquisitely turned out and properly trained, do the same in every department store that's
worthy of the brands. (continued below.)
A statement some of those living
in this world should remember,
and think about more often, is one
that comes from Estee Lauder:
"THINK GLOBALLY ... ACT
Cartier - A Jeweler's Art
Shoes shoes shoes
Photo credits: Estee Lauder
(top) - The Estee Lauder Company
(at right) - AP / Associated Press
And for some words of Inspiration:
"If you have a goal, if you want to be
successful, if you really want to do it
... you've got to work hard, you've got
to stick to it, and you've got to believe
in what you're doing."
Oh, just one more memory to share for now. One time I had the awesome experience to walk on the very
top edge ("The Catwalk") of the GM Building at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, across the street
from The Plaza Hotel. Cascading down 20 or 30 feet below us were the sounds of the waterfalls that
served as the pressure system which would carry drinking water to everyone thoughout this massive
skyscraper mountain building. It was a clear blue day with a few white clouds in the sky. The west view
looked out upon all of Manhattan. As I walked around the building's edge with only a black metal cable
keeping me from falling off, I stopped at the northeast corner of the Catwalk for a minute and reached to
touch the sky. There I saw a view that was, as the term goes ... "Breathtaking." High above the world I
was looking at what was Nature's Creation -- the East River and Hell Gate meeting The Sound, the Long
Island Sound. What could be seen from that corner's edge was ... "forever." If it were not for the fact that a
young lady grew up one day and became Estee Lauder I would have not seen any of these things ... quite
like this. Totally Panoramic. And that is Totally Cool ® !