LVMH's Pamela Baxter opens HBA in New York

'You learn a lot more from your fails than your wins' says fragrance and cosmetics executive

HBA Global Expo in New York got underway with a keynote speech delivered by LVMH's president and ceo of perfumes and cosmetics, Pamela Baxter.

Baxter, who has created and shepherded brands such as Tommy, Aramis and Jo Malone for The Estée Lauder Companies, focused on the qualities required to succeed in the beauty business using her own career for reference. "If you're looking at cosmetics as a career try to get as many cross-functional experiences as you can. If you are in sales, try marketing and if you are in marketing, try sales," she advised delegates. "If I could give three words in terms of advice when it comes to hiring people, I'd say look for passion and look for people who aren't afraid to take risks; you learn a lot more from your fails than your wins and I've learned a lot from fragrances that didn't make it."

Baxter also noted the importance of keeping abreast of changes in regulations as well as changing consumer habits such as the rise in social media. And for US brands and brand owners she added: "It is very important to understand globally where your brand is going."

Following the keynote, the 2010 Positively Beautiful Award was awarded to supermodel Christine Brinkley for her work with charity Smile Train, which helps transform the lives of children in developing countries suffering from clefts. Brinkley was presented with the award by Smile Train founder Brian Mullaney.

Companies