Beauty Launchpad Magazine

DEC 2015

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T his success story begins humbly: in a Polish kitchen. As a child Lydia Sarfati liked to watch her mom and sister brew beauty potions and cook lotions on the stove. "They'd perform facials, brow-tinting and eyelash treatments as part of their Friday morning regimens," Sarfati recalls. "From the start, I had a love for grooming." School studies focused heavily on chemistry and biology, as the student initially considered a career in medicine. After immigrating to New York in 1970, that background served especially useful when she scored her fi rst industry gig at Lamé Cosmetics on Madison Avenue. "I was among the few estheticians who understood the science behind mixing foundations and custom-blending powders," Sarfati reveals. The knowledge ultimately proved invaluable. In 1977, she opened Klisar Skin Care Center in Midtown Manhattan. New York was in the middle of a crime wave and recession, so rent was cheap, and the bold entrepreneur built her client base while experimenting with new formulations. At the time, advanced esthetician degrees weren't necessary. A basic cosmetics certifi cate allowed techs to perform every service from manicures to facials, and the highly educated pro struggled to devise a standalone skincare system that didn't require complicated equipment. Sarfati's solution eventually sprang from the sea. While traveling through Israel with her husband, David, the duo marveled at the lush abundance of produce growing in the desert. Investigation led to the discovery of seaweed farming, which soon brought Sarfati to France, where she worked with marine biologists to harvest the nutrient-rich algae. In 1980, the industrious expert launched Repêchage by introducing her patented Four Layer Facial to a crowd of colleagues and press at The Pierre Hotel. "My product's cellular-repair results were revolutionary, so response spread like wildfi re," she recalls. The following decade was defi ned by revolution and expansion. Says Sarfati, "Technological advancements popularized novel systems including high-frequency thermal heat, galvanic therapy facials, laser depilation and the full scope of injectables now available." Yet while her business blossomed, the innovator maintained integrity by never succumbing to a one-size-fi ts-all paradigm. Case in point: "When alpha and beta hydroxy acids fi rst hit markets, many instantly incorporated these hot ingredients in all offerings— to their detriment," explains Sarfati. "It's essential to stay true to science and treat skin according to the specifi c changes occurring in each decade." Repêchage President and Founder Lydia Sarfati celebrates 35 stellar years in the industry. —FRANCESCA MOISIN Conversations/ Milestones Skin Queen 1989 2009 2015 1990 1996 2000 2003 2005 Repêchage opens its fi rst Treatment Center and Day Spa on Manhattan's Upper East Side Sarfati receives Intercoiffure Mondial's "Chevalerie Knight Award" for outstanding contributions to the industry Repêchage launches SeaSmooth Artisan Sea Wax and Hydra 4 Red-Out, targeting rosacea The company celebrates its 10th anniversary in a new 15,000- square-foot Flatiron District space Repêchage becomes the fi rst skincare company to join pro hair and nail brands; by the end of the decade, it's partnered with 20 full-service distributors Lydia and David Sarfati relocate across the Hudson River to a 50,000-square- foot manufacturing, research, development and training facility in Secaucus, NJ Sarfati's book, Success at Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business, is published Major Repêchage Milestones MEMORY LANE Lydia Sarfati at her fi rst salon; Repêchage press lauch at The Pierre Hotel, NYC in 1980; Lydia and David Sarfati at the 19th Annual Beauty Ball, 2004 The Repêchage Vita Cura collection for anti-aging takes markets by storm 32 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | DECEMBER 2015

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