Mrs. Lauder formally retired from The Estée Lauder Companies in 1995 but remained deeply devoted to its products and its people. Each brand the Company developed was as important to her as her namesake line, and she was proud to watch us grow into a global enterprise that now exceeds $5.7 billion in annual net sales.
That her family should continue in the Company was one of her key wishes now fulfilled by her grandson, William, who became President and Chief Executive Officer on 1 July, 2004, as well as by her granddaughters, Aerin, who is Founder and Creative Director, AERIN, and Style and Image Director, Estée Lauder, and Jane, Global Brand President, Clinique. Her fourth grandchild, Gary is Managing Director of a private investment firm.
Whether or not you knew her personally, it’s clear that the values we live by and the standards we set for ourselves are the ones upon which Mrs. Lauder founded this Company 58 years ago. She created a culture of quality, style and unsurpassed customer service that has made us the global cosmetics leader we are today.
Estée Lauder founded this Company in 1946 armed with four products and an unshakeable belief – that every woman can be beautiful. By the time she passed away in April 2004, that simple notion had literally changed the face of the beauty business.
Part of Mrs. Lauder’s legacy is the products and brands she invented as a skin pioneer. She later became one of the world’s leading fragrance noses creating a host of best-selling scents, including the legendary Youth-Dew. At the same time Mrs. Lauder was a visionary businesswoman developing globally successful brands such as Aramis and Clinique, and pioneering marketing techniques including Gift-With-Purchase.
But her real impact was personal. Mrs. Lauder’s leadership inspired thousands of people. She won great respect both within and outside our industry and received scores of honours, including the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and France’s Legion of Honour. However, Mrs. Lauder was happiest during her in-store appearances and loved to advise her customers. One of her favourite quotes was “Telephone, Telegraph, Tell-A-Woman”, based on her conviction that once one woman tried the product, she would like it and share it with her friends.
“I am a woman with a mission. I want to show as many women as I can reach, not only how to be beautiful but how to stay beautiful” - Mrs Estee Lauder