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.

Sephora closes for half-day diversity training after SZA claims she was racially profiled

May 25, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

On the morning of June 5, 2019, beauty-store company Sephora is temporarily closing all of its U.S. retail stores, distribution centers and corporate offices for a diversity-training program for company employees. The decision came after R&B singer SZA (whose real name is Solána Rowe) went public with an accusation that she was racially profiled by Sephora. According to SZA, the incident happened on April 30, 2019, while she was shopping at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California. SZA says that she had security called on her because she was wrongfully suspected of shoplifting.

SZA tweeted that day, “Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy.”

In response to SZA’s complaint, Sephora tweeted: “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores.”

In a statement on its community page, Sephora announced: “On the morning of 6/5, every Sephora store, distribution center, and corporate office in the US will close to host inclusion workshops for our employees. These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we’re excited to welcome everyone when we reopen. Join us in our commitment to a more inclusive beauty community.

Ironically, SZA says she was at Sephora to shop for Fenty Beauty products. SZA was part of Fenty’s lipstick campaign in 2017. Fenty founder Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, sent a gift card and a handwritten note to SZA that read, “Go buy yo’ Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love, Rihanna.” SZA shared these messages on an Instagram Story.

SZA is best known for her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for the song “All the Stars” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack. The song was nominated for numerous awards, including an Oscar and a Grammy.

This isn’t the first accusation of discrimination that Sephora has faced on social media. There are dozens of messages from angry customers who claim that they were racially profiled as potential criminals, even though they say they didn’t do anything wrong.  Sephora has also been getting complaints on social media about discriminating against customers over the age of 40 and customers who have physical and intellectual challenges, by treating them rudely and dismissively. It looks like it took a celebrity to go public with a discrimination complaint before Sephora tried to do anything about it.

Costume Institute’s Spring 2018 exhibition at The Met Fifth Avenue and Met Cloisters to focus on ‘Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’

November 8, 2017
The following is a press release from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Image 1 (left): El Greco, Cardinal Fernando Niño de Guevara (1541–1609), ca. 1600, oil on canvas; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.5) (Image courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Image 2 (right): Evening Coat, Cristobal Balenciaga for House of Balenciaga, autumn/winter 1954–55; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Bryon C. Foy, 1957 (C.I.57.29.8) (Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb)

Exhibition Dates: May 10–October 8, 2018
Member Previews: May 8–May 9, 2018
Exhibition Locations: The Met Cloisters and The Met Fifth Avenue’s
Medieval Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center


Costume Institute Benefit on May 7 with Co-Chairs Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour, and Honorary Chairs Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition will be Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, on view from May 10 through October 8, 2018 (preceded on May 7 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented at The Met Fifth Avenue in both the medieval galleries and the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the show will also occupy The Met Cloisters, creating a trio of distinct gallery locations. The thematic exhibition will feature a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of religious art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism. A group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican will travel to the United States to serve as the cornerstone of the exhibition, highlighting the enduring influence of liturgical vestments on designers.

The exhibition is made possible by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, and Versace.

Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

“The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects, and customs continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. “The Museum’s collection of religious art, in combination with the architecture of the medieval galleries and The Cloisters, provides the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.”

In celebration of the opening, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 7, 2018. The evening’s co-chairs will be Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour. Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman will serve as Honorary Chairs. The event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”

Exhibition Overview
The exhibition will feature approximately 50 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. These will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and will include papal vestments and accessories, such as rings and tiaras, from the 18th to the early 21st century, encompassing more than 15 papacies. The last time the Vatican sent a loan of this magnitude to The Met was in 1983, for The Vatican Collections exhibition, which is the Museum’s third most-visited show.

In addition, approximately 150 ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present will be shown in the medieval galleries and The Met Cloisters alongside religious art from The Met collection, providing an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism. The presentation situates these designs within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the historiography of material Christianity and their contribution to the perceptual construction of the Catholic imagination.

Designers in the exhibition will include Azzedine Alaïa, Cristobal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, Marc Bohan (for House of Dior), Thom Browne, Roberto Capucci, Callot Soeurs, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Maria Grazia Chiuri (for House of Dior), Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana (for Dolce & Gabbana), John Galliano (for House of Dior), Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Craig Green, Madame Grès (Alix Barton), Rei Kawakubo (for Comme des Garçons), Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld (for House of Chanel), Jeanne Lanvin, Shaun Leane, Claire McCardell, Laura and Kate Mulleavy (for Rodarte), Thierry Mugler, Norman Norell, Guo Pei, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Elsa Schiaparelli, Raf Simons (for his own label and House of Dior), Riccardo Tisci (for Givenchy), Jun Takahashi (for Undercover), Isabel Toledo, Philip Treacy, Donatella Versace (for Versace), Gianni Versace, Valentina, A.F. Vandevorst, Madeleine Vionnet, and Vivienne Westwood.

Exhibition Credits
The exhibition—a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters—is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, working together with colleagues in The Met’s Medieval department: C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters; Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the interdisciplinary architecture and design firm, will create the exhibition design with The Met’s Design Department. Raul Avila will produce the gala décor, which he has done since 2007.

Related Content
A publication by Andrew Bolton will accompany the exhibition and will include texts by authors David Morgan and David Tracy in addition to new photography by Katerina Jebb. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

A special feature on the Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/HeavenlyBodies, provides further information about the exhibition. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to join the conversation about the exhibition and gala. Use #MetHeavenlyBodies, #CostumeInstitute, and #MetGala on Instagram and Twitter.

Vogue’s inaugural Forces of Fashion event: photos and videos

October 13, 2017

Forces of Fashion
Rihanna and Hamish Bowles at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion Conference at Milk Studios in New York City on October 12, 2017. (Photo by Corey Tenold/Vogue)

The following is a press release from Vogue:

Vogue has concluded its inaugural Forces of Fashion conference. The conference was the first event of its kind: for one day only in New York City (October 12, 2017), a series of intimate and informative dialogues between some of today’s most talented designers‍‍‍‍‍‍ and the editors of Vogue took place. These conversations were no holds barred conversations and nothing was off the table; everything about what it means to be designing and working in 2017 was up for discussion. The day was sponsored by American Airlines, HP, and Milk.

After a whirlwind day of fashion talk (both colloquial and cerebral), Vogue’s first ever conference Forces of Fashion ended with clinks of champagne flutes. Seven hours prior, however, it was Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour who delivered a toast of her own. “Forces of Fashion is a testament, I think, to our capacity for change,” she announced in her morning address. “This is our 125th anniversary year, which marks a long time for any magazine to stay relevant and interesting.”

In the spirit of embracing the now, the audience included both guests (360 including students) who took their seats at 15th Street’s Milk Studios and conference-goers who streamed the experience via Facebook live. Those IRL attendees received little red pamphlets which contained the day’s program-–a fashionable assortment with back-to-back conversations from the likes of (in chronological order) Stella McCartneyDries Van NotenMarc Jacobs, Kevin Systrom (Instagram), Michael Kors,Francesco Risso (Marni), Natacha-Ramsay Levi (Chloe)Joseph Altuzarra, Erdem Moralioglu, Simon Porte Jacquemus,Victoria BeckhamJohn GallianoVirgil Abloh, Heron PrestonDemna Gvaslia, and Rihanna.

Throughout the day, conversations ranged from social media, inheriting a fashion house, disruption, unpacking the concept of “cool” and (straight from the bad gal herself) the nature of being Rihanna. The ears’ of design students perked when John Galliano doled out technical tricks of the trade (hold a mirror to your croquis to see them in a new way) and nostalgic millennials delighted when Victoria Beckham spoke of her experience revisiting photos from her Posh days. “That was a hell of a PVC catsuit,” she quipped. Off-white’s Virgil Abloh pressed the importance of individuality, “Be yourself but be so specific so people can find you.” There was something for everyone.

Coming off of Rihanna, who proffered business tips like “If I can do your job better than you, then it’s a waste of my time to hire you,” everyone was inspired to be their bad self as they made their way down to the ground floor of Milk Studios for a cocktail hour. If there was a lack of things to look at (with the caliber of this crowd, there certainly wasn’t) guests could peruse a collection of landmark photography from the Vogue archives which lined the walls. Panel members and their onstage moderators—Vogue magazine’s best and brightest (Hamish Bowles, Chioma Nnadi, Sarah Mower, André Leon Talley, Sally Singer, Nicole Phelps, Virginia Smith, Luke Leitch, Mark Holgate, and Selby Drummond)—gathered, inspired by the day’s dialogue which continued on throughout the evening.

As the day wound down, one of John Galliano’s remarks from the afternoon seemed to reverberate: “glamour doesn’t exist without an audience.” At the time, he was speaking of fashion as a shared experience but with an audience like today’s, glamour seemed to be everywhere.

Facebook Lives:

Pop Goes the Fashion World: Rihanna and Hamish Bowles

Fashion in the Age of Instagram: Marc Jacobs, Kevin Systrom, and Sally Singer

Can You Keep Cool Cool: Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston, and Chioma Nnadi

Rihanna launches makeup brand Fenty Beauty

September 17, 2017

Rihanna and Fenty Beauty products
Rihanna and Fenty Beauty products (Image courtesy of Fenty Beauty)

The following is a press release from Fenty Beauty:

Rihanna, in partnership with Kendo Brands, a LVMH-owned beauty developer, launches her global makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, in an unprecedented 1,600 stores across 17 countries in one day. The Beauty industry’s most anticipated launch, Fenty Beauty was created by Rihanna with a vision that’s always ahead of the game. Fenty Beauty redefines the rules with light-as-air formulas that love to be layered, in a global lineup of shades designed for all.

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after trying to find products that worked across all skin types and tones. With Rihanna’s mandate of inclusivity, Fenty Beauty offers a wide range of products for traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.

Just like Rihanna, the brand is both edgy and feminine, with a complexion-focused product assortment developed to work together and provide everyone with Rihanna’s real-life method for killer radiance, The Fenty Face. “The Fenty Face was created for women of all skin tones, of all personalities,” she says. “These steps are key to starting your makeup, no matter the look you’re going for. This is where the fun begins.” For Rihanna, the secret to radiance lies in the very first step of the Fenty Face, a soft matte filter. Because no matter your skin type, adding glow on glow = unwanted shine. The second step? Layer your highlight for strategically-placed glow. It’s all about lighting up where you want. Lastly, get ahead of shine by blotting on the fly, wherever and whenever; Rihanna believes that being photo-ready means being shine-free. Tested backstage, on stage, and in real life, The Fenty Face is the key to unlocking all of makeup’s limitless possibilities. This process is at the core of this 91-sku line, which includes 40 shades of Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation; 1 universal Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer; 30 magnetic Match Stix Skinsticks, in both matte and shimmer finishes to contour, correct, conceal, highlight and blush; 6 cream-powder hybrid Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters for face and eyes; Invisimatte Blotting Powder and Paper; 1 universal lip gloss known as Gloss Bomb; and a variety of application tools.

In addition to creating every detail of each product in her cosmetics collection, Rihanna also personally appointed three prestigious makeup artists to represent Fenty Beauty around the world. This Global Artistry Team includes James Kaliardos as Resident Artist, and Priscilla Ono and Hector Espinal as Global Makeup Artists.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna is available starting September 8, 2017 at Sephora, Sephora.com and FentyBeauty.com.

 

2017 Forces of Fashion: Rihanna joins inaugural event

September 5, 2017

Rihanna
Rihanna (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS)

The following is a press release from Vogue:

What’s a pop superstar with a burgeoning movie career doing on a fashion panel among the likes of John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia? As anyone who reads Vogue knows, the four-time cover girl is more than a chart-busting diva with more online downloads than any other artist and a star of next year’s Ocean’s Eight. She’s a fashion mogul whose every chameleonic outfit change is chronicled online. Indeed, outfits like the sheer, Swarovski-encrusted fishnet number she wore to the CFDAs in 2014, and her electric yellow Guo Pei–designed 2015 Met Gala gown have been known to “break the Internet.” That’s the red carpet, but her off-duty looks are just as influential. Rihanna has brought her glamorous, body-confident sensibility to the sportswear giant Puma, where she’s been the women’s creative director since late 2014. Tickets to her Fenty x Puma shows in Paris were highly prized, not just for the sexy tomboy basics and brilliant best-selling shoes she served up, but also for their unbridled sense of fun. Last March, Slick Woods, Joan Smalls, et al. stormed down the reading tables at the Richelieu-Louvois Library; the season before, Rihanna filtered the extravagance of Versailles with state-of-the-art gym gear. New York Fashion Week will be lucky to have her back next month—don’t miss Vogue’s online coverage of her show on September 10.

All of these topics and much more will be on the table when Rihanna sits down at Milk Studios on October 12. For more information and to buy tickets, visit vogueforcesoffashion.com.

About the Conference:

Forces of Fashion is the first event of its kind: For one day only in New York City, a series of intimate and informative dialogues between some of the most talented designers of today and the editors of Vogue. These will be no holds barred and nothing is off the table conversations; everything about what it means to be designing and working in 2017 is, and will be, up for discussion. You’ve worn and loved what these designers do – now’s your chance meet them, up close and personal.

Ticket availability is limited.

 Opening Remarks

Anna Wintour

Speakers

Demna Gvasalia, Vetements & Balenciaga

Dries Van Noten

Erdem Moralioglu, Erdem

Francesco Risso, Marni

Heron Preston

John Galliano

Joseph Altuzarra

Marc Jacobs

Michael Kors

Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Chloe

Rihanna, Fenty x Puma

Simon Porte Jacquemus, Jacquemus

Stella McCartney

Victoria Beckham

Virgil Abloh

Moderators

André Leon Talley

Chioma Nnadi

Hamish Bowles

Kevin Systrom

Luke Leitch

Mark Holgate

Nicole Phelps

Sally Singer

Sarah Mower

Tonne Goodman

Virginia Smith