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The Estée Lauder Companies | Success Story of the Multinational Brand



Estee Lauder

The Estée Lauder Companies is one of the most prominent cosmetics brands worldwide. The company specializes in premium skincare, makeup, fragrance, and hair products. Estée Lauder has provided its customers with top-quality cosmetics for over seven decades. Recently, in a survey, the brand came out in the top spot in the most popular skincare brands category. Estée Lauder is headquartered in New York City and holds a diverse brand portfolio. In 2020, the brand generated revenue worth $14.29 billion.


The Estée Lauder Companies is an American-based multinational cosmetics brand. Estée Lauder and her husband Joseph Lauder founded the brand in 1946. The brand has collaborated with significant companies like Tom Ford, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger. A-list celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham, Ana de Armas, Justin Bieber, Anne Hathaway, and Kendall Jenner have endorsed the brand. Estée Lauder sells its products in over 150 countries. The brand’s subsidiary Clinique is widely recognized as one of the world’s best skincare companies. 


On the 1st of July 1908, Josephine Esther Mentzer was born in Corona, Queens, New York City, USA. Her parents, Rose Schotz and Max Mentzer have Hungarian descent. Both of them had migrated to the USA during the 1890s. When Estée was born, her parents wanted to name her Eszti. However, they changed their mind and decided to call her Josephine. Later, they used to call her by the nickname Estee. Growing up, Estée began responding to her nickname. She had eight siblings. Her father owned a hardware shop. The family had a tough time making ends meet. For schooling, Estée attended Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. Estée and her siblings used to help their father at his shop from a young age. As a result, she began learning about business.

By working at the store, Estée came to know about entrepreneurship. She learned about successful retailing techniques. However, Estée was not always interested in business. During her teenage years, she dreamed of becoming an actress. Estée wanted to see herself as a star. But things began changing after the First World War. Her uncle, Dr. John Schotz, came to live with the family after the war ended. John had spent most of his life creating skincare products. He worked as a chemist. Soon, John developed a mini laboratory in the back of his sister’s house. Young Estée began watching and learning from her uncle. As a result, she left Hollywood dreams behind. Estée started working with her uncle to modify and improve his products. Later, John established a new company, New Way Laboratories. Estée took the role of the head salesperson at the store.

Beginning of The Estée Lauder Companies

At New Way Laboratories, Estée started getting inspired to create something of her own. After graduation, she shifted her focus to her uncle’s store instead of her father’s hardware shop. Soon, Estée began selling her uncle’s products to her friends. Some of them were six-in-one cold cream, Super Rich all-purpose cream, and Dr. Schotz Viennese cream. Gradually, the creams started gaining recognition. As a result, Estée began selling them to beach clubs, resorts, and beauty shops. However, Estée’s beauty dreams halted during her early 20s. She met Joseph Lauter, who worked as a textile salesman. The two fell in love and soon got married. Later, the couple relocated to Manhattan.

After the marriage, Estée continued to experiment with mixtures of skincare products. Joseph noticed Estée’s passion for creating beauty products. As a result, he supported her in the beauty venture. The couple soon bought a small place. Estée tried creating new potions and began selling them. By 1946, the couple was producing and selling their beauty products in the area. Initially, they sold only four cosmetic items. It was a cleansing oil, Super Rich All-purpose cream, skin lotion, and creme pack. Within a few months, their products started gaining recognition. Consequently, the couple formed Estée Lauder Inc.

Initial Years

Within a year of launching, the Estée Lauder Companies established itself as a trustable brand. Their first big order was worth $800. During the late 1940s, the company grew substantially. Estée and Joseph opened the first Estée Lauder departmental store in 1948 in Manhattan. Initially, they sold skincare products. However, Estée wanted to expand the business with a fragrance line. At the time, women did not use perfumes daily because they were expensive. They wore perfumes on special occasions. Estée decided to change the tradition. In 1953, the Estée Lauder Companies launched Youth-Dew. It was a bath oil with a blend of roses, jasmine, vetiver, and patchouli. Youth-Dew was a significant success for the company. In its first year, it sold over 50,000 bottles.

Worldwide Recognition

In less than a decade, the company started generating revenue worth $800,000. During the 1960s, the brand ventured into the male fragrance line. Later, in 1967, the Estée Lauder Companies introduced the iconic skincare brand Clinique. The brand’s success continued to grow after launching a skincare line for men. By the end of the 20th century, Estée Lauder Companies had signed licensing deals with Tommy Hilfiger, Kiton, and Donna Karan. Simultaneously, it acquired top brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Jo Malone London. The Estée Lauder Companies gained worldwide recognition with top-notch products and clever branding.

Also read: Innisfree | Pioneer of Eco-Friendly Cosmetics in Asia

Who founded The Estée Lauder Companies?

Estée Lauder and her husband Joseph Lauder founded the brand in 1946. For over seven decades, the brand has provided its customers with top-quality skincare, makeup, and haircare products.

What is the net worth of Estée Lauder companies?

Estée Lauder Companies’ net worth is estimated to be $92 billion. Initially, they sold skincare products. Later, during the 1950s, the company launched a highly successful fragrance line. Many A-list celebrities have endorsed the brand.

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