Fashion and beauty moguls show more gains on 2019 Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women

June 4, 2019

by Yvette Thomas

Forbes has published its 2019 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, and what’s notable about this year’s list of 80 women is that several of the new entries on the newly expanded list are entrepreneurs from the fashion and beauty industries: Rihanna, Patricia Miller, Toni Ko and Karissa Bodnar. The women eligible to be on the list are U.S. citizens or U.S. residents who founded a company that is headquartered in the United States. All net-worth figures are estimated by Forbes, as of June 3, 2019.

Here’s a summary of the moguls from the fashion and beauty industries who made it onto the list:

The Billionaire Moguls

Doris Fisher, co-founder of Gap Inc., is ranked at No. 8 (same as in 2018), and has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion in 2018. Gap Inc. is the parent company of such fashion retailers as Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Intermix, Weddington Way and Athleta. Although Gap Inc. has been hit hard in recent months with closures of many of its stores, don’t expect Fisher to lose her billionaire status anytime soon.

Tied at No. 14, with an estimated worth of $1.5 billion each, are Forever 21 co-founder Jin Sook Chang and Proactiv co-founders Kathy Fields and Katie Rodan. Chang, Fields and Rodan have the same rankings and net worths as they did in 2018. Forever 21 has successfully extended its youth-oriented fashion brand with the launch of lower-priced retailer F21 Red and the beauty retailer Riley Rose. Proactiv’s winning subscription-based business model, boosted by celebrity endorsements of the company’s skin-care products, has made Proactiv the leading mail-order service for non-prescription acne treatment.

Anastasia Soare, who built a cosmetics empire with her Anastasia Beverly Hills brand, holds on to her No. 21 ranking on the list, but her net worth increased from $1 billion in 2018 to $1.2 billion in 2019. Spanx founder Sara Blakely is No. 23 (down from No. 21 in 2018) on the list, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion (same as in 2018), thanks to her patented invention that changed the way undergarments can shape a body. Kylie Cosmetics founder Kylie Jenner has now entered billionaire status: She’s tied at No. 23, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. Jenner was No. 27 on the list in 2018, with an estimated net worth of $900 million. With the help of mother/manager Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner parlayed her reality TV fame and social-media savvy into the Kylie Cosmetics company, which was founded in 2016. At 21 years old, Kylie Jenner is the youngest person on the entire list.

The Veteran Millionaire Moguls

Most of the women on the list have companies that are more than 10 years old. Some have literally made their fortunes by their names, since their names are the same as their companies. They include fashion designer Tory Burch (No. 29 on the list, with an estimated net worth of $850 million, up from $800 million in 2018, where she was also ranked at No. 29); jewelry designer Kendra Scott (No. 40, net worth of $550 million; up from $500 million in 2018, where she was also ranked at No. 40); fashion designer Vera Wang (No. 45, net worth of $460 million); and fashion designer Donna Karan (No. 49, net worth of $430 million).

Alex & Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian (who has a majority stake in the accessories company) took a steep tumble down the list. In 2018, she was ranked at No. 21, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. In 2019, Rafaelian is No. 52 on the list, with an estimated net worth of $520 million. Wang’s fortune also took a hit:  In 2018, she was at No. 34 on the list, with a net worth of $630 million. Also sliding down the list was Karan: In 2018, she was No. 43 on the list, with a net worth of $470 million.

Paisley designs have off well for Vera Bradley co-founder Patricia Miller (No. 69, net worth of $300 million), who retired from the accessories company in 2012, but still rakes in a fortune as a significant stakeholder. NYX Cosmetics founder Toni Ko (No. 75, net worth of $270 million) sold the company to L’Oréal for $500 million in 2014. In 2016, she launched  sunglasses company Thomas James LA. She is also a venture capitalist; her Butter Ventures company invests primarily in female-owned businesses.

The Upstart Millionaire Moguls

Fashion and beauty moguls on the list who have companies that are less than 10 years old owe most of their marketing success to TV and social media.

Rihanna (No. 37, net worth of $600 million) is best known as a Grammy-winning superstar singer, but she’s made much of her fortune through the beauty and fashion industries. Her inclusive cosmetics company Fenty Beauty (launched in 2017) was an immediate hit. She’s also partnered with Puma for a Fenty brand of shoes. In 2019, Rihanna made fashion history by joining forces with fashion giant LVMH (parent company of Louis Vuitton, among numerous other brands) to create her own fashion brand called Fenty. With this partnership deal, Rihanna became the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH and the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH house.

Huda Kuttan (No. 36, net worth of $610 million), who started off as a makeup artist, became a beauty blogger in 2010, and then used that Internet notoriety to launch the Huda Beauty cosmetics company, which she co-founded with her sisters in 2013. Kuttan’s fortunes have increased every year since then. On 2018, she was No. 37 on the Forbes list, with a net worth of $550 million. She is also the star of a Facebook Watch reality show titled “Huda Boss,” which debuted in June 2018, and has been renewed for a second season.

Jamie Kern Lima (No. 47, net worth of $440 million) used to be a TV reporter, but transitioned into the beauty industry by founding It Cosmetics in 2010, when she first began selling the company’s products on QVC. In 2016, she sold the company to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion, while still retaining leadership of It Cosmetics, making her the first female CEO of a L’Oréal-owned company. Kern Lima’s net worth remains the same from 2018, although she was ranked higher on the list (at No. 44) in 2018.

Kylie Jenner’s half-sister and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” co-star Kim Kardashian West (No. 57, net worth of $370 million) has made most of her fortune from reality TV and licensing her name to video games, but Kardashian West’s fashion/beauty ventures (including KKW Beauty, the cosmetics line that Kardashian West launched in 2017) have contributed significantly to her wealth. Although Kardshian West is ranked lower on the list in 2019 (she was No. 54 in 2018), her net worth has increased from $350 million in 2018.

In 2013, makeup artist Karissa Bodnar (No. 74, net worth of $275 million) left her corporate job at L’Oréal and made the leap into entrepreneurship by launching Thrive Causemetics, “a direct-to-consumer makeup brand that sells products that are vegan, cruelty-free and without parabens, latex and sulfates,” according to Forbes. Instagram has been a key factor in Thrive Causemetics’ success.

Fashion and beauty moguls increase clout on Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

July 11, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

Forbes has published its 2018 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, and what’s notable about this year’s list of 60 women is that four of the seven new entries on the list are entrepreneurs from the fashion and beauty industries: Anastasia Soare, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West and Huda Kuttan. The women eligible to be on the list are U.S. citizens who founded a company that is headquartered in the United States. All net-worth figures are estimated by Forbes, as of July 10, 2018.

Here’s a summary of the moguls from the fashion and beauty industries who made it onto the list:

The Billionaire Moguls

Doris Fisher, co-founder of Gap Inc., is ranked at No. 8, and has an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion. Gap Inc. is the parent company of such fashion retailers as Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Intermix, Weddington Way and Athleta. Although Gap Inc. has been hit hard in recent months with closures of many of its stores, don’t expect Fisher to lose her billionaire status anytime soon.

Tied at No. 13, with an estimated worth of $1.5 billion each, are Forever 21 co-founder Jin Sook Chang and Proactiv co-founders Kathy Fields and Katie Rodan. Forever 21 has successfully extended its youth-oriented fashion brand with the launch of lower-priced retailer F21 Red and the beauty retailer Riley Rose. Proactiv’s winning subscription-based business model, boosted by celebrity endorsements of the company’s skin-care products, has made Proactiv the leading mail-order service for non-prescription acne treatment.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely is No. 21 on the list, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, thanks to her patented invention that changed the way undergarments can shape a body.  Also tied at No. 21, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion each, are Alex & Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian (who has a majority stake in the accessories company) and Anastasia Soare, who built a cosmetics empire with her Anastasia Beverly Hills brand.

The Veteran Millionaire Moguls 

Most of the women on the list have companies that are more than 10 years old. Some have literally made their fortunes by their names, since their names are the same as their companies. They include fashion designer Tory Burch (No. 29 on the list, with an estimated net worth of $800 million); fashion designer Vera Wang (No. 34,  net worth of $630 million); jewelry designer Kendra Scott (No. 40, net worth of $500 million); and fashion designer Donna Karan (No. 43, net worth of $470 million).

The Upstart Millionaire Moguls

Fashion and beauty moguls on the list who have companies that are less than 10 years old owe most of their marketing success to TV and social media. With the help of mother/manager Kris Jenner,  Kylie Jenner (No. 27 on the list, with an estimated net worth of $900 million) parlayed her reality TV fame and social-media savvy into the Kylie Cosmetics company, which was founded in 2016. Kylie’s half-sister and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” co-star Kim Kardashian West (No. 54, net worth of $350 million) has made most of her fortune from reality TV and licensing her name to video games, but Kardashian West’s fashion/beauty ventures have contributed significantly to her wealth. KKW Beauty, the cosmetics line that Kardashian West launched in 2017, had $100 million in sales in its first year, according to Forbes.

Huda Kuttan (No. 37,  net worth of $550 million), who started off as a makeup artist, became a beauty blogger in 2010, and then used that Internet notoriety to launch the Huda Beauty cosmetics company, which she co-founded with her sisters in 2013. Jamie Kern Lima (No. 44, net worth of $440 million) used to be a TV reporter, but transitioned into the beauty industry by founding It Cosmetics in 2010, when she first began selling the company’s products on QVC. In 2016, she sold the company to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion, while still retaining leadership of It Cosmetics, making her the first female CEO of a L’Oréal-owned company

Fashion retail in crisis: Top 15 companies that will have the most store closures in 2018

June 7, 2018

by Daphne Sorenson

Shopping habits have radically changed in the past 20 years. Online shopping is a trend that’s not only here to stay, it’s growing. And many retail companies that rely on brick-and-mortar stores for most of their sales have seen their business suffer as a result. The fashion retail business has been hit especially hard. Business Insider recently published a list of retailers that will close the most stores in 2018, and half of the companies on the list are retailers whose core business is fashion.

Trying on clothes and accessories in person and being able to bring home those purchases immediately may seem like the main reasons why people would want to do their fashion shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. But the reality is that many customers have been increasingly turned off by shopping in stores, for various reasons such as lousy customer service and the inconvenience of having to travel to a brick-and-mortar store. With many online retailers offering deep discounts, free shipping and convenient return policies, it’s easy to see why online shopping has become so attractive to consumers.

Here are the fashion retail companies that are facing the most closures in 2018, according to Business Insider and other sources.

1. Ascena Retail Group (Parent company of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, Catherines and Maurices)

Number of stores expected to close: 667

2. Gap Inc. (Parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Intermix, Weddington Way and Athleta)

Number of stores expected to close: 200

3. The Children’s Place

Number of stores expected to close: 144

5. Signet Jewelers (Parent company of Sterling Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Jared and Zales)

Number of stores expected to close: 120

6. Foot Locker

Number of stores expected to close: 110

7. Gymboree

Number of stores expected to close: 102

8. Payless ShoeSource

Number of stores expected to close: 100

9. Abercrombie & Fitch (Parent company of Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co.)

Number of stores expected to close: 60

10. Michael Kors

Number of stores expected to close: 50

11. Crocs

Number of stores expected to close: 49

12. Bon-Ton

Number of stores expected to close: 42

13. Guess

Number of stores expected to close: 45

14. Henri Bendel

Number of stores expected to close: 23

15. J. Crew (tie)

Number of stores expected to close: 20

15. Victoria’s Secret (tie)

Number of stores expected to close: 20

 

Gap’s ‘Mama Said’ short film, co-directed by Liv Tyler, features celebrity mothers and their kids

May 3, 2017

Mama Said
Ali Bird, Cass Bird, Liv Tyler, Coca Rocha Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Candice Swanepoel with their children. (Photo courtesy of Gap)

Clothing retailer Gap has debuted the short promotional film ‘Mama Said,’ a celebration of motherhood in support of Every Mother Counts.  Liv Tyler is one of the stars of the film, which she. Tyler co-directed with Paola Kudacki. The Tyler family has a long history with Gap. Liv and her father, Steven Tyler (lead singer of Aerosmith), have each starred in past ad campaigns for Gap. Earlier this yet, Steven Tyler’s youngest daughter, Chelsea, was featured in a Gap campaign paying tribute to Gap fashion of the 1990s.

According to a Gap press release:

The ‘Mama Said’ cast includes:

  • Actress Liv Tyler with son Sailor (age 2) daughter Lula (9 Months):
    “I’ve always loved the Gap. Growing up in America, Gap is such a big part of your life and I thought it was such a special thing to do a project that involves the mothers, the children and Every Mother Counts,” said Tyler.
  • Model Coco Rocha with daughter Ioni (age 2):
    “I’ve never felt so strong and powerful as I did bringing my daughter into this world. Being a mother is by far the most rewarding and beautiful experience I’ve ever had.” Said Rocha
  • Model Candice Swanepoel with son Anacãn (6 months):
    “Motherhood is so different for each woman – it’s your unique journey, and I love that I’m able to share my experience as a mother in this project,” said Swanepoel.
  • Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell with son Hunter (5 months):
    “When I think of ‘Mama Said’, I think of things my mama used to say to me. My mom used to try to reinforce the fact that it is important to live your truth and be authentic and don’t apologize for who you are, I look forward to passing that to my son,” said Smollett-Bell.
  • Artist Ali Bird and wife, photographer Cass Bird, with son Leo (age 9) and daughter Mae (age 7):
    “I love every aspect of ‘Mama Said,’ it’s exciting to be doing this as a family with Gap and Every Mother Counts to support mothers who don’t have access and need the help,” said Ali Bird.

Set to actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell singing “Let Your Love Flow” by the Bellamy Brothers, the film depicts the mothers enjoying intimate, candid moments with their children playing, dancing and bonding. The cast’s children are dressed in babyGap and GapKids, showcasing Gap essentials that are part of every mother’s go-to wardrobe for their children.

Liv Tyler commented in a statement m”I often think of the things my grandmother and my mother have been telling me my whole life. Remembering what your ‘mama said’ as a child and growing up is very important. I often try to think of things that I can say to my children in a way that they can hear me the same way I heard my mom.”

Gap found a natural partner in Every Mother Counts to support mothers as part of this celebration. Every Mother Counts is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safer for mothers everywhere, providing $4 million in grants since 2012 focused on improving access to essential maternity care. Gap is issuing a call to action for people to make a donation; U.S. residents can text ‘MOMS’ to 20222 to make an automatic donation of $5 and international residents can visit www.EveryMotherCounts.org/products/donate to donate.

Naomi Campbell and children of celebrities recapture the ’90s in new Gap campaign

February 2, 2017

Gap '90's Archive Re-Issue campaign
Gap ’90’s Archive Re-Issue campaign. Pictured from left to right: TJ Mizell, Coco Gordon, Rumer Willis, Naomi Campbell, Evan Ross, Chelsea Tyler and Lizzy Jagger. (Photo courtesy of Gap)

Naomi Campbell and several children of celebrities are starring in a new Gap promotional campaign to launch of a limited-edition collection—the ‘90’s Archive Re-Issue—for men and women featuring styles from the 1990s, including the Bodysuit, Reverse Fit and Easy Fit Denim, Pleated Khakis and the Pocket Tee, available online and in select stores globally as of February 7, 2017.

To launch the collection, Gap collaborated with director Kevin Calero to create “Generation Gap,” a film that pays tribute to the famous Gap ads of the ’90’s, with references to the retro hits “Mellow Yellow,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” and updated with a modern twist. Set to an a cappella version of Color Me Badd’s 1992 hit “All 4 Love,” the short film is a nod to the past and a celebration of the next generation as they re-imagine the Gap looks in their own unique style.

The “Generation Gap” cast includes:

  • Lizzy Jagger, daughter of Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, wears her take on the classic black Bodysuit that her mother flaunted in 1991.
    “The classic look for anyone is not just a ’90’s look. The white t-shirt and jeans look has gone through the decades and is still around, and I think of that as being really Gap,” said Jagger in a Gap press release.
  • TJ Mizell, son of Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, wears the iconic Gap Logo Sweatshirt that his father wore in the “Original Fit Jeans” commercial in 1990.
    “I feel honored. Being part of anything Run DMC is a huge honor for me and being able to back up my father’s legacy with Gap,” said Mizell.
  • Evan Ross, son of Diana Ross, wears the sleeveless Logo Tee as a tribute to his mother who wore a simple tank in her 1991 ad.
    “Gap can transcend all eras. It still feels relevant. It looks like what we would be wearing right now … it is at the cusp of what we’re doing right now,” said Ross.
  • Chelsea Tyler, daughter of Steven Tyler, wears the sleeveless Tee and Reverse Pleated Jeans channeling her dad’s “Easy Fit Jeans” commercial from 1997.
    “Gap is taking something so classic that we all know and is so quintessential in our minds but has a new spin and current feeling to it,” said Tyler.
  • Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, wears the Cropped Denim Jacket, similar to the one her mother wore in her 1990 ad, with the Henley Bodysuit.
    “Gap was really the first brand to come out of the box… and do different and interesting things,” said Willis.
  • Coco Gordon, daughter of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon (who wore the Pocket Tee in her 1990 ad), wears the navy Icon Leather Jacket, black short-sleeve Mockneck Tee and High Rise Denim Short in the film.
    “My mom always bought me Gap clothes … we definitely went to the Gap for my cool clothes,” said Gordon.
  • Model, actress and activist Naomi Campbell, who was shot wearing the Pocket Tee in her 1992 ad by Steven Meisel, wears the Pocket Tee re-issue in the film.
    “It’s an honor to be here, in the same outfit that I wore 20 years ago in my Gap ad,” said Campbell. “The creativity in the ’90s is something I’m so grateful that I got to be a part of and to see and to learn from and to draw inspiration from.”