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A Possession Obsession: John Demsey

A Possession Obsession: John Demsey


John Demsey, the Group President of Estee Lauder Companies, has been an influential figure in the cosmetics business for over twenty years. Currently, he oversees the MAC, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, La Mer and Tom Ford brands - to name a few. A great part of his success comes from his amazing ability to transform a brand into a powerhouse while still remaining true to its heritage. Here, he tells us about an important part of his heritage: A mirror that belonged to his great grandmother, passed onto him from his grandfather.

Tell us how you came to own this precious object.

The mirror was the possession of my maternal fathers mother. My great grandmother brought it to the states from Russia after the first world war. It was in my grandfathers apartment when he passed 20 years ago and willed to me.

How do you live with your heirloom?

My heirloom mirror hangs over the fire place in my study with portraits of my daughter underneath.

Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?

My mother, who is a fine painter, has had the greatest influence on my personal style.

Fill in the blank: Whenever I look at __________ I can't help but smile.

My daughter, Marie Helene.

What's the best part of your day?

Coffee in the morning reading the Post.

Describe your ideal day.

My ideal day is pool side with family and friends in Los Angeles.

What is your favorite place to shop for antique/vintage pieces?

1st Dibs.

What was the most memorable gift you've ever given or received?

A vintage Audemar watch from my dad on my 16th birthday.

What was your last purchase that you believe will mean something to you 10 years from now?

A Buccelatti silver monkey.