The Repêchage 30th Anniversary Celebration, held recently at New York's Tribeca Rooftop, was an emotional event. Lydia Sarfati, CEO and founder of Repêchage, began by tearfully reciting The Meaning of Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson to 200 skin-care and spa professionals. Marking 30 years since Sarfati first launched her career-altering Four Layer Facial in 1980, the night kicked off with close friends sharing memories of Sarfati's beginnings, while a slideshow of photos from the company through the years played in the background and was followed by the highly anticipated announcement of the annual Repêchage Spa de Beauté of the Year award winners.
Felicia Milewicz, beauty director of Glamour Magazine; Andrea Robinson, former beauty editor at Vogue; Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More Magazine; and Susan Sommers, best-selling author of French Chic and founder of DressZing, the group referring to themselves as 'The Big Chill Sisters,' shared beautiful memories from the early years of Sarfati's career. Stories of cured pregnancy breakouts, careers saved by the Four Layer Facial and forward thinking, unprecedented photo shoots had the sisters feeling nostalgic. Robinson recalled, 'Thirty years ago, she put a mask on me and I had the most beautiful skin after. I asked her what was in it and at the she said, Seaweed and other minerals.' I don’t know how many people in the industry are really as forward looking as Lydia. That is all anybody is talking about today. Nobody was doing it at that time. And after that, I sent all the models at Vogue over to her for facials.'
Close friend Joel Gerson, Ph.D., authorof Milady's Standard Textbook for Professional Estheticians and Milady's Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians, shared humor filled stories of his friendship with the Sarfati family over the years. Denise Fuller, editor in chief of Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa, announced the three winners of the prestigious Spa de Beaute of the Year Awards selected by the magazine, continuing the tradition in appreciating the dedication and commitment of top Repêchage spas. Michelle Lamb of Lemongrass Spa from Valdosta, Georgia, accepted the award for Day Spa of the Year; Julie Mahoney of Oasis Day Spa from Weymouth, Massachusetts, accepted the award for Skin Care Spa Center of the Year; and Mayola Amador of Melange World Spa from Neuvo Vallarta, Mexico, accepted the award for Destination Spa of the Year.
Sarfati thanked everyone for believing in her and extended a special thank you to David Sarfati, her husband and COO of Repêchage, for supporting her dreams all along. Guests danced the rest of the night away before heading out with Repêchage goodie bags in tow.