I love a heritage brand, and there are few that come with the history that Erno Lazlo does. In fact, the brand has been in the UK before, some years ago, and then a little flutter recently with a store in Covent Garden. But as is the way of re-entering a market, things don’t always go to plan. So, the big re-launch in the UK for Erno Laszlo is kicking off at Harrods in March 2012.
Hungarian born Laszlo began making skin care for women in the 1920′s, but he shot to fame when Princess Stephanie of Belgium tried one of his products: once word got out, everyone wanted a pot of his beauty preparation. In fact, he studied skin physiology at university so it wasn’t that he got lucky, his preparations were, for the time, quite revolutionary and scientific and he was one of the first ‘skin doctors’ as we know them today.
Laszlo made the move to New York in 1939, with a very poor command of language, making opening a skin institute very difficult. However, he managed it (even turning down an offer from Helena Rubenstein to buy his business) and it didn’t take long before the luminaries of the day were flocking to see him.
So, it’s no surprise that the brand is launching with a star-studded line up of products, using updated customised versions that were created for the stars they are named for. Eva Gardner Instant Eye Repair, Marilyn Monroe Morning Beauty Rescue, Katherine Hepburn Intensive Porcelain Veil, Grace Kelly Refresh Moisture Infusion and Greta Garbo Velvet Night Cream will all be making their UK debut as The Hollywood Collection, along with the rest of the Laszlo range (some of you may have heard of Black Sea Soap which is a cult product).
What I like about Laszlo is that apparently he was very forthright.. there’s a story of him accusing Ava Gardner of lying and not using his cream properly. In fact, he famously refused to treat ladies who didn’t follow instructions to the letter. Blimey!
Erno Lazslo died in 1973 and it is now owned by Charles Denton, ex-Molton Brown.