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Beauty visionary George Friedman dies at 77


SAGAPONACK, N.Y. — Beauty pioneer George Friedman, a former advertising executive who helped shape the beauty industry and developed and marketed designer fragrances, died Sunday at his home in Sagaponack, N.Y. He was 77 years old.

According to reports, the cause of death was a heart attack.

Friedman joined Estee Lauder Cos. in 1968 and eventually became group president of Aramis and Clinique before leaving to start up Warner Cosmetics, a joint venture with Warner Communications and Ralph Lauren. Friedmand and another ex-Lauder executive, Robert Ruttenberg, teamed up to create revolutionary fragrances like the Polo men’s fragrance, Paloma and Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt was sold in both drug and department stores, a two-pronged approach that department stores had resisted, the New York Times reported.

In 1984 Cosmair, L’Oréal’s American division purchased Warner Cosmetics for $146 million. Four years later, Friedman and Ruttenberg formed a joint venture with Limited called Gryphon Development, to develop fragrances for brands like Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch. Limited bought Friedman and Ruttenberg out of their share in 1992.


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