Key milestones in Revlon’s storied history

NEW YORK (AP) — Revlon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday, weighed down by heavy debt load, disruptions to its supply chain and surging costs. The one-time cosmetics juggernaut owns iconic brands like Almay and Elizabeth Arden. It was started in 1932 by brothers and Joseph Revson and Charles Lachman who unveiled a Charles revolutionary nail enamel. It began selling lipstick in 1939. Revlon in its heyday throughout much of the 20th century was the second largest cosmetics company by sales, behind only Avon. Now, it’s number 22.

Here are key milestones in Revlon’s 90-year history.


1932: Brothers Charles and Joseph Revson and Charles Lachman unveil a nail enamel under a company called Revlon.

1935: The first Revlon advertisement runs in the New Yorker Magazine.

1937: Revlon introduces nail polish and starts selling it in stores and beauty salons.

1939: Revlon begins selling lipstick.

1952: Revlon’s iconic Fire and Ice lipstick and nail campaign highlights a Vogue partnership and celebrity endorsements (model Dorian Leigh).

1955: Revlon expands its business internationally.

1965: Revlon’s successful sponsorship of The $64,000 Question TV show drives sales and brand awareness. It also launches ColorSilk hair color.

1970: Revlon becomes the first cosmetics company to feature a Black model, Naomi Sims, in its advertising.

1973: Revlon’s Charlie Fragrance launches and becomes the number one global fragrance.

1975: Charles Revson dies and Michel Bergerac assumes leadership of Revlon.

1979: Revlon acquires Henry Colomer and launches Revlon Professional with Sensor Perm.

1980: Revlon’s supermodel campaign features diverse, famous and new models including Iman, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington.

1985: Revlon is sold to MacAndrews & Forbes, run by billionaire Ron Perelman. Bergerac resigns.

1991: Revlon ColorStay Lipstick launches as the first non-transfer lipstick.

1996: The company goes public.

1997: Revlon Age Defying, anti-aging makeup line launches.

2000: Revlon sells its Professional Products division to Beauty Care Professional Products Luxembourg.

2013: The company acquires the Colomer Group and reunites it with its professional products division. Brands acquired include Revlon Professional, CND, American Crew and Creme of Nature.

2016: Revlon acquires Elizabeth Arden, completes global acquisition of Cutex.

2017: Elizabeth Arden launches White Tea fragrance

2018: CEO Debra Perelman, daughter of Ron Perelman, becomes its first female CEO.

2022: Revlon files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Source: Revlon.

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