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Monday, May 05, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres








"It was summertime and I was 18 and just moved to NYC. With nepotism on my side I wrangled a job and a studio apartment. My privileged childhood did not prepare me for these strictures and nightly I drank microwaved ice cream and wondered what the hell had happened to my life. Midwinter I was invited to Palm Beach for a weekend and I gratefully accepted. Someone knew someone with a private plane ...and space was found for me. On a Friday afternoon we flew out of Teterboro Airport on a small but very deluxe plane with burled cherry walls and wide white leather seats. The plane owner, one polo playing tycoon, switched on a movie called Dog Day Afternoon. Before the movie was finished Mr Tycoon and his passengers began mimicking Pacino’s lines and making bang bang sounds, and soon Mr Tycoon picked up a gold receiver and commanded the pilot change course. Just like that I was hijacked and diverted to the Bahamas for one night at Mr Tycoon’s white oceanside domain. My only request was that I be allowed to use a telephone when we landed to alert those expecting me in Florida. At the Tycoon’s marble palace I was assigned a room with massive windows and stunning views, and I exhaled as if I were home. 'This is more like it!' I thought, soothed." (Christina Oxenberg)









"Last Thursday night I went down to Sotheby’s for a black tie dinner benefiting  the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. ADDF was created in 1998 by Leonard and Ronald Lauder, sons of Estee. In the past eight years they’ve established a public profile. The Lauders are an interesting family. Mama and Papa (Joe Lauder) started the business in the mid-1940s.  Estee Lauder started with a fragrance called 'Youth Dew.' If she ran into you at Bloomingdale’s or on Fifth or Madison Avenues, she’d give you a little spritz and a sample. That initial marketing foray was highly successful; people talked about it and those old enough still recall it. It became a hit. When Leonard, the eldest son, joined the company in 1958, they had annual sales of $800,000. That was not a figure to be scoffed at (the equivalent of more than ten times that in today’s currency).I don’t know much about their father Joe, except that he was the rock of the company management. It was with him that Estee could create an organization that is now 68 years old, and one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair products with annual sales of more than $10 billion. And Mama Estee is a household name across the world. Estee Lauder was the center of the story. Ambition was personified. She had all the makings of a tycoon and indeed she became one. By the early 1960s, the company was prospering and Estee had other fields to explore and develop. Society." (NYSD)

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