The Fragrance Foundation Announces Leslie H. Wexner, Founder, Chairman and CEO of L Brands, Named The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2016 Hall of Fame Honoree
The Fragrance Foundation announces Leslie H. Wexner, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L Brands, will be honored with the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award at the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards. The Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award annually honors a preeminent individual, who has brought extraordinary ingenuity, business acumen and world-class creativity to the fragrance industry.
Leslie H. Wexner, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands, was born Sept. 8, 1937, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Russian immigrants. When he was young, his parents worked hard, owning and operating a small store named “Leslie’s” in downtown Columbus. He credits his parents with teaching him the importance of hard work and attention to details and the belief that anything is possible. After graduating from The Ohio State University (OSU) and serving in the Air National Guard, he worked in his parents’ business.
In 1963, Wexner, with a $5,000 loan from his aunt, founded L Brands with one store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio – The Limited – with sales of $160,000 the first year. In the years that followed, he expanded his business portfolio through both invention and acquisition (including Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, La Senza, Abercrombie and Fitch and Express), becoming a dominant U.S. retailer with numerous powerful brands and brand extensions. Under Wexner’s leadership, L Brands has evolved from an apparel-based specialty retailer to an approximately $12 billion segment leader with more than 80,000 associates focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care product categories that make customers feel sexy, sophisticated and forever young.
Throughout his career, Wexner has been committed to making a difference in the community and is one of the industry’s most generous philanthropists. In 2010, Les and his family, in conjunction with L Brands Foundation, made a historic $100 million commitment to OSU to benefit The Ohio State University Medical Center (renamed in February 2012 The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University in 2012), The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and the Wexner Center for the Arts as well as select other university initiatives. Aside from his passion for OSU, Les’ other philanthropic interests include the Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus; the Martin Luther King Center for the Performing Arts and the Wexner Heritage Village, both in Columbus. He is a generous supporter of the United Way, and was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship for his commitment to the public good.
“I am honored to accept the Hall of Fame award from The Fragrance Foundation,” said Wexner. “I want to thank the Foundation for this recognition. Fragrance has always played a leading role in the L Brands story and it is immensely satisfying to be acknowledged for our work.”
Dedicated to serving its member companies as a resource for industry expertise, innovation and education. Passionately devoted to engaging the consumer, increasing their awareness and appreciation of fragrance in all its forms.
“We applaud the career of Leslie Wexner, one of the most accomplished leaders in American retail history and a true visionary,” said Elizabeth Musmanno, President of The Fragrance Foundation. “Through his works both professionally and philanthropically, Mr. Wexner sets the standard for our industry.“
The 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards will be held on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.