Lady Esther Cosmetic
The history of the Lady Esther label is a typical American Dream story of the 20th century. Aron Cohen and Miriam came to Indiana around 1898. The Jewish family originated from Russia where their oldest children were born. After the turn of the century, the American beauty industry began its strong growth. In New York, Elizabeth Arden (1909) and Helena Rubinstein (1915) – immigrants as well – transformed their European “beauty secrets” into successful Fifth Avenue labels. Syma (*1891) and her sister Esther both worked as beauty advisors at the time. It was then that their idea to create a multi-functional cosmetic product was conceived. This would be a cream that would not only serve to cleanse and clear the skin, but would be promoted as “skin food”, as well as serve as a make-up base. They named it “Four Purpose Cream”.

On July 1st, 1913 their Lady Esther label was registered with the US Patent Office. Their intention was to make modern skin care accessible to a broad class of consumers. This was further symbolized by a trade mark consisting of two pages offering the product to the “consumer-queen”.

When radio broadcasting began in the late 1920s, the cosmetic industry hastened to sponsor programs and purchase commercial spots. In 1931, Lady Esther became the first cosmetics firm to allot almost all its advertising budget to the airwaves; promoted as a depression-era product cheaper than its competition, Lady Esther saw sales increase 400 percent within a year of its first broadcast. Chesapeake Industries Inc. from New York had won the bid for Lady Esther in 1953.

When the trade mark was first registered in Germany in 1961, they had transformed into Chemway Corporation, N.J. The “Esüdro” of Munich, a wholesale cooperative formed by southern Germany druggists began to import Lady Esther from America. A trade mark conflict with the German brand Margaret Astor, belonging to Blendax of Mainz, was settled soon but lead to their complete takeover and formation of the Lady Esther Kosmetik GmbH. This marks the start of an own product and brand development, independent from the American company. Products were marketed in Germany through drugstores and the perfume departments of warehouses.

Horst Figaj, a merchant from Lorsch who had been engaged in the cosmetic business all his life, bought Lady Esther in 1984. Together with his sons Thilo and Roman he moved the business to Bensheim. The company started to align towards a growing type of market. Individually owned beauty salons profited from this market development. In 1989 a new factory was built. By the end of the decade the Berlin wall collapsed and gave way to a new and larger European market which longed to be conquered.  

You would like to order Lady Esther products online?

The Lady Esther range can be found right here in your Kosmetikkaufhaus!

From 20 Euro (order value) onwards we offer free shipping (within Germany)

Do you have questions about the products or want personal advice?

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Contact & Info
  • Kosmetikkaufhaus
    Straßheimer Straße 1
    61169 Friedberg
  • 0 60 31 / 68 49 98-0

a member of Zapf cosmetic group e.Kfr.,Friedberg (Hessen), HRA4157

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