Revlon has developed a long-standing reputation as a colour authority and beauty trendsetter in the world of colour cosmetics and hair care. Since its breakthrough launch of the first opaque nail enamel in 1932 Revlon has provided consumers with high quality product innovation, performance and sophisticated glamour. In 2016 Revlon acquired lizabeth Arden Company and its portfolio of brands including its leading designer, heritage and celebrity fragrances.
Today Revlon’s diversified portfolio of brands is sold in approximately a hundred and fifty countries in most retail distribution channels including prestige, salon, mass and direct to consumer. Revlon is among the leading global beauty companies with some of the world’s most iconic desired brands and product offerings in color cosmetics, skin care, hair care, hair color and fragrances under brands such as Revlon, Revlon Professional, Elizabeth Arden, American Crew, Almay, Cutex, Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Juicy Couture, Curve, Shawn Mendes and John Varvatos.
Cosmetic giant Revlon was founded on March 1, 1932 in New York by brothers Charles and Joseph Revson along with chemist Charles Lachman. It began with a nail enamel, using pigments instead of dyes to develop new shades of nail enamel. In 1937 Revlon retailed it in department stores and pharmacies and, within six years, was a multimillion-dollar company. In 1940 Revlon offered a manicure line and introduced lipstick into the portfolio promoting it with ‘Matching Lips and Fingertips’ campaign. During WWII Revlon created makeup and related products for the United States Army and by the end of the war it was the second cosmetics producer in the United States.
Revlon acquired Graef and Schmidt, a cutlery manufacturer seized by the government in 1943, so it could make manicure and pedicure instruments instead of buying from suppliers. In 1957 the company acquired Knomark and in 1967, US Vitamin and Pharmaceutical Corporation. In 1962 Revlon’s entrance in Japan was a gamechanger. Instead of adapting its advertising and using Japanese models Revlon chose to use iU.S. advertising and models. Japanese women loved the American look and sales that year were estimated at $164 million. On February 28, 1996, Revlon was listed on New York Stock Exchange.
In 1968, Revlon introduced Eterna27, a cosmetic cream with estrogen precursor, Progenitin as well as designer fragrance, Norman Norell. Later, Revlon launched Braggi and Pub for men and wig maintenance brand, Wig Wonder. In 1970, Revlon acquired Mitchum. The following year, Flex shampoo and conditioner was introduced in two years, Revlon introduced Charlie. Targeting the millennial market, model Shelley Hack was representative of the Seventies independent woman and Charlie became a blockbuster, raising Revlon’s net sales to reported $606 million.
The next fragrance, Jontue, was the number two bestseller. Revlon also owns renowned fragrance Jean Nate. In 1975, Charles Revson passed away and Michel Bergerac, President, continued acquisitions with Coburn Optical Industries, Barnes-Hind, Armour Pharmaceutical Company and Lewis-Howe Company. In the mid-Eighties, Revlon lost ground to Estée Lauder but made reparations with more acquisitions including Max Factor, Ellen Betrix, Charles of the Ritz, Germaine Monteil, Almay, Fermodyl, Lancaster, Aziza, Halston and Carlos Colomer.
In the Eighties, Revlon pioneered the phenomenon of ‘supermodel,’ making Cindy Crawford inseparable from Revlon. With everyone’s eyes on the brand, Revlon was acquired at reported $2.7 billion by Pantry Pride — renamed Revlon Group, Inc. — a subsidiary of Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews and Forbes. The buyout, with the help of Michael P. Milken, burdened Revlon with reported $2.9 billion debt.
Pantry Pride Inc. offered to buy outstanding shares for $47.5 a share and Forstmann Little and Company offered $56 a share, and a bidding war tool place. Perelman won and paid reported $1.8 billion to Revlon shareholders and $900 million towards costs associated with the purchase. In 1991, Revlon sold Clean and Clear to Johnson and Johnson and shortly, acquired Mirage Cosmetics and then Colomer Group from CVC Capital Partners for reported $660 million.
On November 1, 2013 Revlon named Lorenzo Delpani as President and CEO and in the following year elected Roberto Simon as executive vice president and CEO. The company continued its acquisition trail with The Colomer Group, U.K. based fragrance management company CBBeauty and Elizabeth Arden, Inc. In 2016 Gwen Stefani and Ciara kickstarted an era of celebrity endorsement with Revlon, building mass awareness and social influence. Gal Gadot joined as Global Brand Ambassador and Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign encouraged women to express themselves with passion starring Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann. In May 2018 the company announced Debra Perelman, daughter of Ronald Perelman, as the first-ever female CEO of Revlon.
At Revlon, the core team envisions to continue to be a leader in the beauty industry and strives to create innovative, high quality products and services that meet the needs of its customers and subsequently excel in the marketplace. Leveraging consumer and market-driven insights and our creativity, the team aims to delight consumers with trendsetting and innovative products, wherever and however they shop for beauty.
“We are inspired by our founders’ originality, vision, and restless curiosity and share their passion for the business of beauty. We operate responsibly and believe that how we conduct business matters as much as the results we achieve. We are bold, courageous and results-driven and we celebrate individuality in our teams and among the consumers we serve.” Per Revlon’s website.
To emerge as leader in cosmetic and personal care throughout the world
Ronald Perelman (Chairman); Debra Perelman (President and CEO)
Cosmetics, skin care, fragrances and personal care