End of an Era: Revlon Files For Chapter 11

Cosmetics maker Revlon has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after nearly 90 years of operation and oversight of brands like Almay and Elizabeth Arden.

Revlon has been on the cutting edge of trends of the majority of its existence though it has been criticized for its failure to evolve with the times over the last 30, especially as more women toned down the bright reds for more muted colors.

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“Today’s filing will allow Revlon to offer our consumers the iconic products we have delivered for decades, while providing a clearer path for our future growth,” Debra Perelman, Revlon president and CEO since 2018, said.

She cited a “challenging capital structure” as part of the announcement that also dovetailed in the information that it expects to receive $575M in financing from its existing lenders, allowing the company to continue it operations in an effort to stave off extinction.

Revlon filed with assets and liabilities between $1B and $10B. The filing was made in the Southern District of New York and does not included its international operating subsidiaries, save for Canada and the United Kingdom.

At its peak, Revlon was the No. 2 seller of cosmetics as it trailed only Avon. According to industry journals, it now is ranking as low as No. 22.

Sales had dropped 21% in 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and despite a rebound of 9.2% in the previous year and a Quarter ending in March also up 8%, the revenue is still grossly behind its pre-pandemic levels of $2.4B annually.

Revlon was a revolutionary product, being the first to feature a Black model in 1970 with Naomi Sims. It also helped launched the careers of Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington as well as Iman.

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