Michelle Feeney is no shrinking violet. The beauty entrepreneur has created cult global beauty products and brands you have on your bathroom shelf or wish you had. And she’s not done yet.
Starting out in PR in the UK, Feeney was headhunted by Estée Lauder Companies to work on their Prescriptives brand in the US. “When I got that job, the president sat me down and asked, ‘Are you ambitious?’ and I said, ‘I’m ambitious every day. If you add up all those days, it equates to quite an ambitious life without always being on the lookout for the next thing.”
The next thing happened to be helping Tommy Hilfiger launch his first ever fragrance globally. In 1994, Feeney transformed the newly acquired Crème de la Mer into an overnight success at the then-unprecedented price point of €130. Promoted to vice president, global communications of MAC Cosmetics following their acquisition by Estée Lauder Companies, the company grew from a $65 million brand to a $1 billion brand. She later became the CEO of St Tropez, creating a prestige brand, and her visionary approach for St Tropez resulted in the acquisition by PZ Cussons in 2010, when Michelle was appointed as CEO of their newly formed beauty division, where she continued to make an impressive mark.
Her latest venture is potentially her most personal to date. Floral Street is a modern fragrance brand, which has just launched in Arnotts. Lest you are under any illusion, these are no ordinary petal-based scents. They feel truly modern. Floral Street is about breaking with tradition. “It’s about peeling back the curtain of the secret world of fragrance. It’s about ease, modernity and joy.”
To read Rosaleen McMeel’s full interview with Michelle Feeney pick up the July/August issue of IMAGE Magazine. On sale now nationwide.