We’re so excited: after a decade in the beauty family at Bergdorf Goodman, Edward Bess is introducing fragrance. The launch includes 3 scents; Spanish Veil, La Femme Bohème and Genre, which Bess tells us, “capture the olfactive essence of my greatest sources of beauty inspiration.” Read on as we chat with Edward Bess about Bergdorfs, beauty, and Betty Halbreich.
Bergdorf Goodman: You launched your beauty line at Bergdorf Goodman 10 years ago. Rose and thorn from the decade of partnership?
Edward Bess: It’s been such a beautiful decade since making my debut at Bergdorf Goodman. Can you imagine the thrill to first share my beauty philosophy all those years ago at the preeminent destination for style and luxury?! Back then I had to hand deliver more lipsticks to the store when they continued to sale out – the rose of today is I am better equipped to keep up with the demand!
BG: We’re so excited about your fragrance launch! What inspired you to create each scent in the collection? How does fragrance differ from creating skin care or color?
EB: I have spent ten years devoted to the pursuit of creating beauty, and what a journey it’s been. On a quest to conjure the memories of this past decade, I set out to capture the olfactive essence of my greatest sources of beauty inspiration. Magically fragrance has the unique power to immediately take one back to a specific time and place, and I knew there was only one master nose I could entrust with such a daunting task – Carlos Benaim of International Flavors & Fragrances. Carlos infused his talents into each fragrance to provide an electric jolt to the senses, so the real difficulty is in choosing just one scent to wear. Spanish Veil is inspired by the Latin culture that has gifted me rich inspirations over the years and the fantasy I had for the smells trapped within a sheer veil clinging tightly to the face. La Femme Bohème pays homage to the free spirit I always seek out and long to be around – those who float in ay direction of the wind with no regard for the constraints of time. And Genre is quite a personal endeavor, combining a mysterious balance of masculine and feminine to seduce both sexes.
BG: You’ve become dear friends with Betty Halbreich throughout the years. What was your first Betty memory?
EB: Of all the gifts Bergdorfs has given me, meeting Betty has been the greatest treasure of them all. Betty is a summation of style, wit, and humor that make her the best friend I could ever ask for. My very first Betty memory is a bit embarrassing just because of how she made me blush. In short, she paid me a compliment on looks and I immediately gathered she’s far from shy and not one to mince words – just who I’d been looking for! And so our friendship quickly blossomed and we have shared many unforgettable experiences throughout these past ten years.
BG: Who is your beauty icon and why?
EB: My mother Nancy, of course. She’s got all the beauty of life one person could possibly possess. Yes, she has always been stunning to look at with features that make her uniquely beautiful – but it’s her spirit that makes her so much more than just a pretty face. Her passion for life emanates through her laugh, which she does often. We feel as one soul and I don’t take the beauty of that bond for granted.
BG: Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
EB: If the next 5 years fly by as fast as this past decade has, it will be here in the blink of an eye! I love sharing my pared down beauty philosophy, and it’s been an exciting journey to translate that from my first collection of lip colors at Bergdorfs to a comprehensive range that today includes makeup, skin care, hair care and fragrance. I am excited to see what I dream up next!