Tracks Career Path at Insiders’ Breakfast
On February 23, The Fragrance Foundation held another of its Insiders’ Breakfasts for entry to middle level members of the beauty industry in marketing, brand management, sales promotion and public relations who want a unique insider’s view of its leaders—the individuals and the corporations. This most recent breakfast was hosted by Terry Darland, President of Parfums Christian Dior, NA. The event was held at the New York City headquarters of Parfums Christian Dior.
A serendipitous response to a newspaper ad for a job as a Revlon Charlie girl at a Hudson’s department store in Michigan was Ms. Darland’s first job in the beauty business. Her career got a jump-start when she was asked to fill in a spot at the Clinique counter. After putting on a white coat, her career began its upward trajectory.
Building a solid business at-counter led to her appointment as a Clinique Coordinator, and she traveled all over Michigan opening counters and training people. Other positions at Clinique were followed by a move to Prescriptives. Eventually, Ms. Darland joined Prescriptives’ corporate headquarters at The
Estée Lauder Companies in New York City as head of Sales. It was there that she met Pamela Baxter who was to play such an important role in her future professional life.
At The Estée Lauder Companies, Robert Nielsen, former Group President, became a mentor to Ms. Darland. “Bob wanted ideas every day, and I learned how to work with those challenges.” She also used time management to balance her career and the demands of two children. At the same time, she noted that she always took good care of herself. She believes that it is bad time management not to take off weekends and vacations. “You have to play hard as well as work hard.”
Subsequent roles on the Tommy Hilfiger brand in the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division brought her into a close working relationship with Ms. Baxter. When LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics North America tapped Ms. Baxter to become President and CEO, she brought along Ms. Darland to head up Dior Beauty.
Ms. Darland’s mission was to bring Dior Beauty more in line with its fashion image. “I edited Dior and closed one-third of the distribution. We are now back in luxury distribution and will be opening our
installation at Bergdorf Goodman this summer.”
She defines the distribution of Dior Beauty as a three-tier pyramid. The top consists of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. The second tier is Sephora. The third tier is made up of department store distribution including Macy’s and Dillard’s. “Some products are right for Sephora, others for Neiman Marcus and yet others for Macy’s. It is our platform for growth.”
Ms. Darland confides that she always “tries to promote from within when an opening occurs.” Her management style is to “let people do their job. I trust but am there to share advice and expertise.” One guideline Ms. Darland follows is to “always hire people who are smarter than you. Find the best people and keep them happy.”