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Published on May 18th, 2009 | by Charu Suri

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Interview with Lynn Tilton, Stila’s new CEO

I was really excited to meet Lynn Tilton, the woman who saved Stila, at the 4th Annual Makeup Show in New York on May 17th.

Lynn Tilton Stila Cosmetics

Lynn is a Private Equity maven who manages 75 companies in her portfolio. That’s insane! She gets to know the companies intimately, from their day to day operations to their strategy. And Stila is the latest feather in her cap.

BD: What made you purchase Stila?

Lynn Tilton: It’s a glimmer of life in my porfolio. It really was easy because of three great attributes:

1. It has great product;

2. It’s a superb brand name;

3. It has a tremendous talent pool.

BD: How are you going to improve the company?

LT: My dream for Stila is to become a base for a larger cosmetics platform. It’s right out of the gates at this point, but everything we are doing is with the consumer in mind. It’s all about reaching the consumers, especially in this economy. We want to reduce the middleman and retailers and go directly to the consumer. The average American is suffering, we need to hear what they have to say.

BD: What do you mean when you say direct to consumer? What will you be doing?

LT: We’ll have a lot more infomercials, even 30 minute long infomercials. We’ll have a constant educational component in our campaign. There will be some QVC, HSN but more more. We’ve got Sarah, the Celebrity Makeup Artist as a spokesperson, and I’ll be making a lot more TV appearances to promote the brand.

I’ll also be creating a new mass line, called Simply Stila. Of course this won’t be a $2.99 brand, but we think we can definitely retail for, say, $7.99 or $8.99.

BD: What’s your can’t-live-without-it Stila product?

Stila Smudgepots

LT: The Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer, I think! Although everyone asks me that question I’m still getting to know Stila. I also love the 24k Lip Gloss and I use the Smudgepots all the time on my eyes.

We cannot wait for Stila to come out with the new Fall collection and also the seasonal gifts that Lynn says will never go away. Thanks a bunch for the interview Lynn! We wish you much success!

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