October is breast cancer awareness month and the Estee Lauder group of companies ( which includes MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Aramis and Tory Burch fragrances among others) has been associated with this for over a decade now.
This evening Mumbai’s Sea Link and the Taj Land’s End hotel will turn pink to focus attention on the issue .
The initiative signaled by the now easily recognizable pink ribbon campaign was started and co-created by the late Evelyn Lauder in the early nineties.
Evelyn Lauder was the daughter in law of the legendary Estee but a formidably talented woman in her own right.
I had the privilege of meeting her a few years before she passed away in 2011, in her impeccably done up cream and gold Central Park facing office in the GM building (better known as the Apple store building now ) at fifth avenue and 59th street.
Mrs. Lauder was charming and incredibly warm. I was an editor at the newly launched Vogue India and she was very interested in knowing how the magazine had been received in India.
We chatted about women, health, beauty and fragrances.
Mrs. Lauder had personally overseen the launch of the group’s iconic fragrances Beautiful and Pleasures and Clinique’s Happy as the head of Estee’s fragrance division and she had a wealth of information on fragrance notes and what inspired a truly great fragrance.
She had also been instrumental in setting up the Clinique brand as its Training Director.
But the thing she really wanted to talk about was the work on breast cancer awareness and research and how much there was to do in the sphere of women’s health .
Her commitment was no passing whim.
There is a wing at New York’s Sloan Kettering Hsopital dedicated to breast cancer care to mark her efforts. In india all proceeds go to the Women’s initiative at the Tata Memorial Hospital
It was a memorable meeting, which went far beyond my allotted time.
As Mumbai turns pink here’s a toast to the woman who dedicated so much of her time and energy to raising awareness about breast cancer.
For more on the 2013 breast cancer awareness campaign do go to www.bcacampaign.com
For another facet of Evelyn Lauder see her impressive photography oeuvre at www.evelynlauder.com (the proceeds of the sales also go to her breast cancer foundation.)