Anita Kaurinovic lives and breathes beauty. The Coty PR & Influencer Marketing Manager looks after the Luxury portfolio, which includes illustrious brands such as Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Davidoff, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Kylie Skin, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Tiffany & Co, as well as skincare brand philosophy. In addition, she also manages the Coty family of Consumer brands that includes global icons like Covergirl, Max Factor, Rimmel, Sally Hansen and Adidas. Retail Beauty finds out what life is like for the busy, mother-of-two PR beauty queen.
Anita Kaurinovic was taught some valuable life lessons in her first job working in a nursing home. At the age of 15, she already witnessed loss, sorrow and heartache while learning the power of human connection. “Working in a nursing home at 15 taught me that life is incredibly short, and that having family and friends close is as important as your health – we all impact other people’s life, with or without knowing it.” She credits working in beauty retail on the shop floor at David Jones for teaching her two major qualities needed for her career: a love of beauty and understanding people – and says the beauty retail environment was “a pressure cooker of both – the good and the not so great.” Anita said after her stint at David Jones, she was hired as an admin coordinator for a family-owned beauty distributor who had their own in-house/on-site media agency, warehousing, training facility. “I was exposed to and worked in all the departments and saw how each part of the business played towards getting products into the hands of consumers,” she said. “I helped out the PR & Events Manager and that is where I fell in love with PR and knew this was the path for me.”
The mother-of-two now manages the ultimate duo – the Luxury and Consumer Divisions – as PR & Influencer Marketing Manager at Coty. An early riser, Anita manages to squeeze in a coffee and exercise before starting work for the fifth largest beauty company in the world (L’Oréal, Unilever, Estée Lauder Companies and Procter & Gamble round out the top four multinationals). “I’m usually up around 5am and love having my morning coffee while I scroll through news apps or social media on my phone,” she said. “I need to work out in the mornings and it’s either a hike around the beaches and headlands, usually on weekends, or I head off to the pilates studio and do a reformer class. Coty is a very flexible workplace and family friendly which allows us to work from home or the office. If I’m working from home, I tackle work projects with more focus and have the clarity to be more creative.”
Anita said a day in the office began with her hour plus drive, which gave her a chance to listen to beauty, wellness, health and property podcasts. One she arrives at work, it’s time to hit the ground running. “I love being around the energy of the Coty team when I am in the office. The day is taken up fulfilling editorial request for media and influencers, coffee meetings with journalists at Bambini in Sydney, planning and strategy meetings and ensuring our advertising and social strategies for all our brands are aligned with my plans for editorial and content. The highlight of the day is when we receive a new beauty product in the office. Opening, touching and smelling new fragrances, skincare or make up products gets the entire team excited.”
Anita credits a progressive working environment that has seen her work for the same company for more than 15 years. “I get to work with, learn and have fun with some of the most incredible people in the beauty industry and it has always proved to be a place where individuals are liberated and allowed to shine in our own unique way. It’s a progressive environment that never gets boring.” In her time at Coty, Anita has witnessed the company grow in leaps and bounds but remain true to its core philosophy.
“When I first started working at Coty, it was a small team and felt like a family run organisation. Initially, we only had a few brands in the portfolio, mainly Davidoff, Joop!, Jennifer Lopez and Rimmel. Following Coty’s acquisition of Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang the portfolio of brands never seemed to stop growing and now stands as a world leader in beauty and home to an illustrious roster of cosmetic, skincare and fragrance brands.”
Working with Kylie Minogue is certainly a standout for the PR maven. “Working on Kylie Minogue’s ‘Darling’ fragrance launch was an incredible experience,” she said. “I worked with her manager Terry Blamey and a team of incredibly talented people to host the global press event at a private residence here in Sydney. It was Kylie’s first public appearance since her cancer journey and we had media outlets from around the world in attendance. Yes, she is even more beautiful in real life.”
Anita said juggling such a huge number of brands and a changing media landscape wasn’t without its challenges. “Our unique portfolio of prestigious and relevant brands allows people to express and celebrate their individual beauty. Ensuring each brand receives love and attention is ALWAYS the challenge. Confidence and maturity to target and nurture new and existing media relations in this ever-evolving media landscape can also be challenging. Trying to scope out who is genuinely interested in a win-win professional relationship and not just in it for personal gain, can be tricky to navigate.”
Consumers’ expectations are driving brands like Coty to focus on inclusivity and sustainability, she said. “Delving into how people think and act as well as their purchasing habits is crucial to any brand’s relevance and success. People are seeking brands that focus on inclusivity, representation and eco-conscious living and this affects how they prefer to shop and how they are influenced to purchase beauty products. Brands are using, bespoke loyalty and referral programs and movements towards sustainability, consumers are watching what brands are doing, not just advertising. For example, Coty is taking action and aims to recycle 80% of waste generated by our factories and distribution centres by 2030. This decision was driven by our customers’ expectations of us.”
HAnita credits her mum as being her most important influence on her, both personally and professional. “Immigrating to Australia as a 35-year-old single girl from Bosnia and building the life she now has; my mother is beyond admirable. She gives me great perspective on life. When I was younger, I remembered not having a clue as to which career interested me. She said, ‘You like magazines, you like people and you have too many beauty products’. Enough said.”
Anita said people often had misconceptions about the beauty industry and that her school friends kept her grounded. “My friends outside the industry always assume that luxury beauty has a vibe of the film Devil Wears Prada. Whilst we are predominantly women, we fiercely support, encourage and nurture each other. We all share life/partner/travel/wellness/kids’ advice and we are all in different stages of our career, but our unified passion is beauty. My dynamic and strong group of high school girlfriends continually influence me. Even though our careers and life paths are quite different, their support is unwavering, and they always remind you of who you are.”
This article is featured in the Winter issue of Retail Beauty.