Lauder, Estée

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Lauder, Estée,

1908?–2004, American cosmetics company founder, b. Corona, Queens, N.Y., as Josephine Esther Mentzer. The daughter of immigrants, she married Joseph Lauter (later changed to Lauder) in 1930, and the two began selling adaptations of her chemist uncle's face-care products. They opened concessions in beauty salons and hotels and in 1946 founded Estée Lauder, Inc. Lacking a large advertising budget, the company distributed free samples at fashion shows and by mail, a promotion strategy that proved extremely successful. In 1953 the company added Youth-Dew, a fragrant bath oil, to its offerings, and sales soared. During the following decades a number of other popular product lines, e.g., Aramis, Clinique, Origins, and Aveda, swelled both her roster of potions and perfumes and her company's coffers. Meanwhile, from 1948 on she had personally launched outlets in many better American department stores and in 1960 had initiated international sales. By 1995, when the company went public, it grossed in the billions of dollars, making her one of America's richest women. Lauder and her husband were also active philanthropists.

Bibliography

See her autobiography (1985).

Lauder, Estée (b. Josephine Esther Mentzer)

(?1908–  ) beautician, business executive; born in Corona, Queens, N.Y. Her Youth Dew beauty oil (1953) launched Estée Lauder, Inc., which became a billion-dollar-a-year business selling cosmetics through top department stores; her marketing innovations included free product samples. She was married twice (1930–39, 1942–83) to Joseph Lauder, her business partner.
References in periodicals archive ?
The woman born Josephine Esther Mentzer passed on this past May.
Born Josephine Esther Mentzer,in the working class Corona section of Queens,New York, she was the daughter of Max and Rose Schotz Mentzer.