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18 Oct
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Oct 18, 2017 | 6:00 PM-8:00 PM


More than Skin Deep? Riding the Wave of the Changing Beauty Industry

The Practicum and the Advanced Practicum in Fashion Business will host a panel discussion on the inclusiveness, innovation, and speed-to-market that define today’s evolving beauty industry. Panelists Sarah Brown (fashion writer and contributing editor, Vogue), Zahir Dossa (co-founder and CEO, Function of Beauty), Blair Lancer (Director of Communications, Lancer Skincare), and Jennifer Tuchman (Senior Vice President General Manager, International for La Mer) will address such topics as the impact of social media and influencers, transgender models and evolving cultural notions of the customer, the global economy, and regulatory, environmental, and labor issues.

Zahir Dossa (co-founder and CEO, Function of Beauty) is a graduate of MIT with undergraduate degrees in computer science and management and a doctoral degree in sustainability. Dossa received a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Sustainability at the IMD Business School in Switzerland where he co-authored a book on sustainable business models and focused on the role of internet-based technologies to transform value chains. This research eventually led him to found Function of Beauty, a personalized hair care company that formulates shampoo and conditioner based on an individual’s hair type, goals, and preferences.

Sarah Brown (fashion writer and contributing editor, Vogue) is a business of fashion columnist who joined Vogue as a Beauty Editor and served as the magazine’s Beauty Director for 13 years. In 2015, she left Vogue to launch the beauty consulting firm, Sarah Brown Advisory. Brown continues to write for Vogue and writes for The Wall Street Journal, Porter, British Vogue, and the Sunday Times UK Style Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2006 Skin Cancer Foundation Skin Sense Award, the 2014 March of Dimes Spirit of Beauty Award, and the 2015 Skin Cancer Foundation Skin Sense Media Award for her Vogue article, “Ban de Soleil.” Brown is a consulting producer and judge for Lifetime TV’s American Beauty Star, which will air in the fall of 2017.

Jennifer Tuchman (Senior Vice President and General Manager, International for La Mer) has over 20 years of marketing and business development experience on brands including Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Le Labo, Jo Malone and La Prairie, Jennifer has a proven mastery of the nuances of the luxury sector of the skincare, makeup, haircare and fragrance categories. In her current role, Tuchman is responsible for driving La Mer’s short and long-term strategic, business and market share goals around the world.

Blair Lancer (BA ’15; Director of Communications, Lancer Skincare) helped transition this clinic-only line of into a successful brand sold at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Harrods and other major luxury cosmetic retailers worldwide. Lancer manages all communication strategies for the line and is currently creating her own line of color cosmetics that integrate skincare and makeup, merging science and color after noticing this void in the skincare industry. Her new line, which will debut in 2018, targets all ages of women, widening the demographic for Lancer Skincare. Lancer is an alumna of Gallatin, where she studied fashion and communications and worked on the annual Gallatin Fashion Show.