Julie Macklowe

If you are Julie Macklowe, here is your career trajectory: Speed through college in three years with degrees in economics and commerce.

Move to Hong kong, where you commute weekly to Seoul and do leveraged buyout for J.P. Morgan–as the only female analyst in their Asia division.

Move to New York (marrying real estate tycoon Billy Macklowe and having daughter along the way) and “run money” for hedge-fund legend Steve Cohen at Sigma Capital.

Start your own shop, managing hundreds of millions of dollars; dive it all up to start a beauty line when your cosmetic bag is confiscated at the airport.

It was summer 2010. Macklowe was headed to Versailles for a friend’s wedding.

A five day affair. I packed a carry-on. And, of course, at JFK, they take all of my toiletries. So I started thinking… On the plane, I sketched it on a napkin and thought: That’s a cool idea.”

Once home, she began investigating her concept–great products in jet set–friendly packaging– “Like I’d research a stock,” she says.

Vbeauté, debuting this month at Bergdorf Goodman, was born. The line will launch with five gentle, fragrance-and paraben-free essentials–a coconut exfoliator, rosemary cleanser, hyaluronic acid-rich serum, multitasking moisturizer, and depuffing eye cream–that come in sleek purple jars as well as travel size tubes that sit snugly in a smooth silver egg Julie Macklowe call the It Kit.

But this isn’t just about a pretty package. Julie Macklowe calls it “serious skin care, simplified.” And to this end, she went all the way to Geneva to harness the anti-aging power of her star ingredient, the alpine rose.

Like Julie Macklowe herself, the small pink blossom, which grows in the Swiss Alps, is no delicate flower. It has adapted to its high-altitude environment, withstanding extreme climate changes and developing a way to protect itself naturally from UV exposure.

I’m a skier, I surf,” says Julie Macklowe, who keeps weekend homes in Aspen and Sagaponack, New York. “I’m always out in the element, so this really spoke to me”.

To create the proprietary complex that is at the heart of all Vbeauté products, her chemists combined stem cell from the plant with a collagen stimulating, cell-energizing peptide rich in antioxidants.

In addition to the 300 women to whom she’s given sample for testing. From friends like Lincoln Center‘s Stephanie Winston Wolkoff to “a lot of moms who go to the 92nd Street Y, a pretty diverse group“.

Julie Macklowe has been finding time for her own market research, too. Of her sturdy It Kit she says, “I’ve traveled through probably 30 airports now with mine, and no one has ever asked me to take it out of my bag. You can throw it in your carry-on–no problem.”

© Sarah Brown @ Vogue Magazine December 2011

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