Jean Madar, a Director, has been the Chairman of the Board since our Company’s inception, and is a co-founder of our Company with Mr. Philippe Benacin. From inception until December 1993 he was the President of our Company; in January 1994 he became Director General of Interparfums SA, our Company’s subsidiary; and in January 1997 he became Chief Executive Officer of our Company. Mr. Madar was previously the managing director of Interparfums SA, from September 1983 until June 1985. At such subsidiary, he had the responsibility of overseeing the marketing operations of its foreign distribution, including market research analysis and actual marketing campaigns. Mr. Madar graduated from The French University for Economic and Commercial Sciences (ESSEC) in 1983.
Philippe Benacin, a Director, is President of our Company and the Chief Executive Officer of Interparfums SA, has been the Vice Chairman of the Board since September 1991, and is a co-founder of our Company with Mr. Madar. He was elected the Executive Vice President in September 1991, Senior Vice President in April 1993, and President of the Company in January 1994. In addition, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Interparfums SA for more than the past five years. Mr. Benacin graduated from The French University for Economic and Commercial Sciences (ESSEC) in 1983.
Michel Atwood became our Chief Financial Officer on September 6, 2022. From September 2018 through March 2022 while at Estée Lauder, Mr. Atwood had strategic oversight for the fragrance category across that company and operational accountability for several of its fragrance brands. He also had senior level merger and acquisition (“M&A”) duties, including acquisition integration and brand divestitures/discontinuations. Over his nearly four years at Estée Lauder, he also drove cross-brand synergies across research and development and supply chain for the fragrance category. From February 2017 to August 2018, he was an independent consultant as an M&A advisor on multiple fragrance license acquisitions and also acted as a private investor.
From 1995 to 2017, Mr. Atwood has held several executive positions at Procter & Gamble (“P&G”) in France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. His final title at P&G was Divisional CFO of Global Prestige Fragrances, leading a 90 member team, and ultimately spearheading the divestiture of that division to Coty. Earlier he was CFO Global Markets – Prestige Fragrances, a business generating over $2 billion in sales, where he headed a globally dispersed team of 60 people supporting the go-to-market organization (affiliates, Travel Retail and distributors) of the Prestige Division. Before that, he was Global Prestige Director of Strategic Planning, Licensing and Acquisition shaping and executing the overall business direction and licensing and acquisition strategy of P&G’s Global Fragrance and Premium skin and cosmetics businesses.
Michel Atwood holds a Master’s degree in Software Engineering from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées of Lyon, and a Master’s in International Finance from HEC Paris, the prestigious French business school. He also earned the designation of Certified Management Accountant from the Institute of Management Accountants. He has an international background, working/living in France, Switzerland, the U.S., Canada, Turkey and Italy.
Philippe Santi, a Director since December 1999, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Interparfums SA. Mr. Santi, who is a Certified Accountant and Statutory Auditor in France, has been the Chief Financial Officer of Interparfums SA since February 1995. Prior to February 1995, Mr. Santi was the Chief Financial Officer for Stryker France and an Audit Manager for Ernst and Young.
Mr. Heilbronn has been a Director since 1988, is an independent director and a member of the Audit Committee, Nominating Committee and the Executive Compensation and Stock Option Committee, is a graduate of Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree and is currently the managing partner of the consulting firm of M.M. Friedrich, Heilbronn & Fiszer. He was formerly employed by The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. from 1988 through 1992 as a manager. Mr. Heilbronn graduated from Institut d' Etudes Politiques de Paris in June 1983. From 1984 to 1986, he worked as a financial analyst for Lazard Freres & Co. In addition, during 2009 Mr. Heilbronn became an Associate Professor in Business Strategy at Sciences Po, Paris, France.
Robert Bensoussan, has been a Director since March 1997, and is also an independent director. Mr. Bensoussan is the founder of Sirius Equity Consultants, a retail and branded luxury goods Investment Company. To date, Mr. Bensoussan remains as an investor in C.A.R.O.L, the AI driven fitness equipment, Hapy Sweet Bee Ltd, natural health food products, Eaglemoss Ltd, UK part-works publisher and Patchwork, a Parisian co-working company.
He was previously Chairman of Camaïeu, the French retail conglomerate, a board member of Celio International, the French retail conglomerate and Vivarte representing the GLG hedge fund. In the latter part of 2019, Mr. Bensoussan resigned after 6 years as the only non-North American board member of lululemon athletica Inc. Following the successful sale in 2021, Mr. Bensoussan stepped down from the board of Feelunique.com one of Europe’s largest online beauty retailer’s after serving 9 years.
He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Pictet Bank Premium Brands Fund and sits on the board of Pronovias, the worldwide leader of wedding dresses owned by BC Partners, Yonderland, Europe’s largest premium outdoor retailer, SNS, a prominent aspirational streetwear and entertainment hub and Internet Fusion Group, a leading e-commerce site for niche lifestyle products.
Previously Mr. Bensoussan was as director of, and had an indirect ownership interest J. Choo Limited until July 2011, and was CEO from 2001 to 2007, and was a member of the Board of Jimmy Choo Ltd, a privately held luxury shoe wholesaler and retailer, from 2001 to 2011.
Ms. Gabai-Pinsky, was elected for the first time to our board in September 2017. She became a director of Interparfums SA in April 2017. She is currently operating a startup specialty fragrance business, and a director of Lifetime Brands (Nasdaq: LCUT), which is in the home goods business. She was President of Vera Wang Group from January 2016 through June 2018, after a year of consulting with the company and she oversaw all product categories and markets. Prior to joining Vera Wang, from 2006 to December 2014 Ms. Gabai-Pinsky was the Global President for Aramis and Designers Fragrances as well as Beauty Bank and Idea Bank at The Estée Lauder Companies, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer of such company. During her tenure, Ms. Gabai-Pinsky developed and ensured the growth of several beauty and skin care brands, including Lab Series for Men. She was highly instrumental in the evolution of the fragrance category for such company, as she improved its overall business model, globally grew brands such as Donna Karan and Michael Kors, evolved and harmonized the portfolio, divested dilutive brands and brought in Tory Burch, Zegna and Marni under licenses. She ultimately actively participated in the acquisitions of Le Labo, Frederic Malle, and By Kilian and assisted in the transformation of the long-term strategic direction of such company.
In the earlier years of her career, Ms. Gabai-Pinsky served as Vice President of Marketing and Communication for Guerlain, a division of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A., where she led the successful re-launch of Shalimar, the introduction of Aqua Allegoria, and contributed to the re-focus of the beauty category around its pillars, Terracotta, Meteorites and Issima, while redesigning all communication strategies and content. She started her career at L’Oréal, and was also Vice President of Marketing for Giorgio Armani, where she was instrumental in the overall development of its fragrance business by developing the successful Acqua di Gio for men and introducing the Emporio Armani franchise. A graduate from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France, she has received several awards, including Marketer of the Year by Women’s Wear Daily in December 2013.
Ms. Gabai-Pinksy is an independent director, and is a member of the Audit Committee, Executive Compensation and Stock Option Committee and the Nominating Committee of our company.
Mr. Harrison, an independent director, was appointed to our board in April 2021. He has more than 50 years of experience in corporate finance and strategic transactions, specializing in the consumer products space. He began his career in 1965 practicing corporate and securities law in New York and Philadelphia. In 1971 he founded Financo, which he grew to become one of the leading independent middle market transaction firms in the country. In 1985, Financo was acquired by Lehman Brothers, where the firm’s primary efforts were focused on increasing its expertise in retail, apparel and other merchandising transactions of all types. At Lehman, Mr. Harrison was Chairman of the Merchandising Group and on the firm’s Investment Banking Operating Committee while continuing as Chairman of Financo, which was renamed the Middle Market Group of Lehman. In 1989, he re-acquired Financo from Lehman, re-establishing Financo as one of the leading investment banking firms handling transactions and providing strategic advice in connection with merchandising companies.
Mr. Harrison retired as Chairman of Financo in December of 2017, after which he formed the Harrison Group, a firm that provides consulting and financial advisory services to merchandising and products companies. He continues to consult and provide financial advisory service to a number of clients.
He recently finished his autobiography Deal Junkie which was published by Post Hill Press in January 2022.
Mr. Harrison’s other activities include his membership on the Advisory Council of the World Retail Congress, Shoptalk and the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit. Additionally, he has created a course on mergers and acquisitions at The Wharton School and has published various articles and academic studies on the state of retailing and mergers and acquisitions, including a chapter in the book entitled ”The Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook.” Mr. Harrison lectures throughout the country, including chairing seminars for Retail Week as well as for the International Council of Shopping Centers, the National Retail Federation, Young President’s Center, The Wharton Aresty Institute of Executive Education and The President’s Association of the American Management Association. He also appears frequently on Bloomberg TV and CNBC as an expert on retail and apparel.
Mr. Harrison received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania in 1962 and his Juris Doctor from The University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1965. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Fashion Division of UJA, Treasurer and a Board member of the Southampton Hospital, Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and former Board member of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Kappauf, age 61, an independent director who was elected for the first time to our board of directors on September 14, 2023, was born in Madagascar. After studying Classic Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute on a scholarship and worked as a special effects make-up artist in Los Angeles. Upon traveling to Paris, Kappauf became interested in fashion and worked at a Jean Paul Gaultier fashion show. Thanks to this experience, he began to expand his network by meeting emblematic figures in the industry such as Paco Rabanne. While providing marketing and acquisition consulting services to L’Oréal Group during the tenure of Lindsay Owen Jones as its Chairman, in a bid for independence and emancipation, he founded his own magazine in 1992, Citizen K.
Through Citizen K, he realized his ambition to launch a major magazine for a wide audience on fashion, luxury, culture, and the art of living, truly different from the magazines already in existence. Citizen K magazine then became Citizen K International in 2012, a benchmark in fashion, luxury, and lifestyle. Kappauf expanded the magazine’s offering with the launch of Citizen K Homme in 2013, and 2014 was the year of change for Citizen K International with a new format and a fresh look.
In 2016, Kappauf launched Citizen K Arabia. This title, distributed in the Middle East, benefits from editorial development and format adapted to the market. Although 80% of Citizen K International’s editorial content is contained in Citizen K Arabia, this magazine still features 20% of content tailored to The Emirates and the Middle East. In 2021, Kappauf launched The Kurator, the first a-gender magazine in the Middle East, as a luxury supplement to Gulf News, the leading daily newspaper in the region.
Founded in January 1992 by Kappauf, he has been the Chief Executive Officer, and Creative and Editorial Director of the K Groupe since inception, which owns Citizen K magazines in Paris, as well as Enkore Studio in Dubai. Enkore Studio specializes in visual brand identity, digital content, storytelling and concept development for the fashion, luxury, beauty, and lifestyle industries. Kappauf now lives in Dubai and is currently working on projects in India.