FOUNDERMADE’s Future of Beauty Awards Honored Brand Founders at Genesis House


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FOUNDERMADE’s Future of Beauty Awards kicked off at Genesis House this month, bringing a crew of fashion and beauty leaders together. The evening celebrated the accomplishments of beginning beauty brands and their founders with two panels featuring a range of talents, including Molly Sims, David Yi, Charlotte Cho, Pritika Swarup, Meghan Asha, and Garance Doré, Mary Alice Stephenson, Naomi Watts, Tai Beauchamp, and Wendy Iles.

Jessica Matlin, Naomi Watts, Tai Beauchamp, Wendy Iles, Mary Alice Stephenson

“I just love all playing in the same sandbox with everyone and learning from everyone and listening to their stories,” Molly Sims, who spoke on a panel , told The Daily Front Row. “It’s all about community and and building that community together. And these brands and these founders work really hard and it’s a really beautiful night to also come together and be here.”

Sims, who launched her skincare brand YSE Beauty in April 2023, was particularly reflective following YSE’s one-year mark. In fact, she even took a moment to share the advice she wish she’d received when first starting her brand.

“It’s a marathon, not a mile. You just have to take a deep breath and go on the ride, because the ride is crazy in good ways [and] in hard ways,” said Sims. “Just continue to try to innovate and be grateful and try your best to make as incredible products as you can.”

Molly Sims

Throughout the occasion at Genesis House, founders were also reflective on the driving forces and instigators of their beauty careers. Stephenson first began her nonprofit Glam4Good to address fashion and beauty’s overconsumption—and how that excess product can be redistributed to those who need and value it.

“It starts at home, using your products to the fullest and using them till they’re done,” Stephenson told The Daily. “A lot of us have so many products—so many products on the shelves that we never finish using, and it’s just wasteful. I love to try things, but I would advise using your products and not just throwing them away. There is $4.3 billion dollars worth of beauty waste that goes in to landfills and incinerators a year in the US, and I think we can do better.”

Crystal Carroll, Molly Sims, Mary Alice Stephenson, Cara Kamenev, Naomi Watts

In addition to worldly causes, many founders reflected on their learning experiences as brand founders. Stephenson found that to be true when launching Glam4Good, given her previous editorial career as a fashion director, editor, and stylist at titles like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Allure.

“I thought I learned everything, being in fashion for so long. I just think that all of this glamour and all of this beauty is really nothing if it’s not attached to purpose.” Stephenson said. “The good news is that so many brands are doing it right now, where they’re actually making women feel better about themselves as opposed to 10 years ago even, where they would feel worse—like they couldn’t look good enough, they couldn’t afford that dress, they’re always striving. Now, I think just being comfortable in your own skin and not have to use beauty to be anybody else is the takeaway that people are getting and I want to champion.”

Crystal Carroll, Molly Sims, Mary Alice Stephenson, Cara Kamenev, Naomi Watts

After both panels, guests went upstairs to mingle over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Genesis House’s Michelin star restaurant. Given the event’s focus on beauty’s progress, many were also thinking of the industry’s future. Yi was especially focused on sustainability, as his brand Good Light brand only uses sustainable, hypoallergenic, and dermatologist-tested ingredients in its product line.

Meghan Asha, David Yi, Charlotte Cho, Molly Sims, Pritika Swarup, Garance Doré

“We’re really trying to see how we can better the earth—not only from a sustainable standpoint, but how we can also sustain ourselves as humanity,” said Yi. “As global warming approaches us, how we as as humans can collectively come together and survive for another century. I think that’s on my mind and on my peers minds, that we need to really think about the environment and how we elevate each other—and while on earth, how we can make an impact for the better good.”

Additional guests for the occasion included Andrew Taylor, Brandon Kurzela, Joe McHugh, David Alex, Stephanie Horton, Kathy Kim, Barbara Hill, Emma Dennis, Nicole Koski, Sue Jin Seth, Rick Pipino, Dani Stahl, and more.

All images: Courtesy of BFA

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