Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Estée Lauder Remembers A “ not so nice, not so generous” Elizabeth Arden


So I've had my hands on Estée Lauder - A Success Story for quite sometimes now and have just gotten around to finishing it this past last week. I believe what motivated me to finish this book may have been New York fashion week coming to an end.

Hashtag: So Long NY Fashion Week!

Because the book was so indebt, insightful and just downright behind the scenes real I thought I'd feature a chapter from the book that was the most interesting to me. Estée lets us into the relationship she had with the ever so iconic Elizabeth Arden, the Elizabeth Arden she knew of..that is.

The Play’s The Thing - FOR NOW. 
I continued to love dressing up. When Leonard was very  young, I searched for ways to put all my loves together. It was simply not enough for me to stay home and play mommy. I was yearning for bright lights. I’d wander down to Cherry Lane Theatre and ask them to give me small parts in their production. Leonard would sit in the back of the theatre and watched as I rehearsed.  

One evening, Joe bought my sister, Renee, and her husband to the theatre.  He told her that I’d be joining them shortly after the curtain went up—she had no idea I was studying to became an actress. The curtain rose in the darkened auditorium. When I walked onto the stage, I heard my sisters voice cry out in shock, “Joe what is Estée doing up there?” My acting career was short-lived, I’m afraid. I was not destined to be a Sarah Bernhardt, even thought I did have a retentive memory.

 Was I vain? There wasn't a  minute of any day when I didn't look as pretty as I knew how to make myself. It was a matter of pride to me; it was a matter of self-repsect. There is no reason ever to look sloppy because it takes so little time to look wonderful.  Hair did take a little more time, I must admit. In my mothers day, beauty salons were not exactly dotting the main street, A young girl would come to our house to wash and brush Mothers hair (even though chances were I’d already brushed it twice that day already.) Sometimes she’d even put in a few rag curlers, but not too many, since my mothers naturally curly hair was her pride and joy. Beauty, like medicine, was strictly a house-call profession in those days. Just think—hair dryers did not exist. 

Every time I think of hair dryers, I think of Elizabeth Arden— not a nice women, not a generous women.  At her peak, she used to shampoo her own salon’s carpeting and she bought her lunch to work everyday in a brown paper bag. Not my style. She was subject to to rages and fits of jealousy that were sometimes uncontrollable.

If you were a professional threat, you were her enemy forever. Miss Arden called Charles Revson “that man” because she couldn't bare to address him by name. To annoy her, Revson bought out a mens perfume called That Man. Once, I was in Paris and in a dreadful need of a hairdresser. Only the Elizabeth Arden salon was open in Paris on Mondays. Swallowing my competitive spirit, I found myself under a dryer at her salon when the great women herself walked in, spotted me, and marched over. I’d met her only briefly once before.

“Well, hello” I said. “So nice to see you again.”
“Never mind,” she said. “Why did you steal away my public relations lady?”
“I know nothing about it” I said, I didn't. Really. 
“Well, now you do know about it and I don't want you here, either.”

I got up,  took the rollers out of my hair, picked up a nearby comb, ran it through my damp curls, paid my bill, and left. I never saw her again.

All this happened soon after Miss Arden had hired away virtually the whole of Helena Rubinstein’s executive staff. Helena Rubinstein retaliated by hiring miss Arden’s ex-husband, Thomas Lewis.


// Credits //
The chapter featured on this WrightingOutLoud post was taken from Estée Lauder - A Success Story  by Estée Lauder // October 12 1985 Random House 

     
SHARE:

6 comments

  1. Great book. This is definitely something I want to read in the future. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such an amazing read. Estée was so brilliant in business and elegance. I didn't have any idea Aerin was her granddaughter. I LIVE for her products!! I also had no idea she created the skin care brand Clinique as well!
      Estée was such a women of brains and power. So inspiring

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. I honestly had no idea this book existed, I need to read it!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! the book was just so astonishing!
      It was such an amazing read. Estée was so brilliant in business and elegance. I didn't have any idea Aerin was her granddaughter. I LIVE for her products!! I also had no idea she created the skin care brand Clinique as well!
      Estée was such a women of brains and power. So inspiring

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. This sounds like such an interesting read! I've never read anything like this before! xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

    ReplyDelete