Davis and Dean Factor’s Smashbox
BY JENNIFER SCHREIER PELCZARSKI
In the competitive world of photography and cosmetics, Smashbox opened in 1990 and is an established leader with a rich history of over 20 years. Smashbox Cosmetics was founded in 1996 in Los Angeles, as Smashbox Studios by Davis and Dean Factor, the dynamic duo grew the organization from a world-class photo and film studio to a preeminent leader in developing innovative beauty products now found on counters around the world. Establishing itself as an industry powerhouse, the Smashbox name is now synonymous with natural, fashionable and approachable beauty that transcends the ages.
When Davis Factor graduated from art school in 1986, he immediately set his sights on New York City to manifest his dream of becoming a world-renowned photographer. Under the tutelage of famed Italian photographer, Fabrizio Ferri, founder of Industria Superstudio, Factor worked alongside numerous and celebrated talents such as Richard Avedon. Quickly immersing himself in the world of Industria, there was never a task or request too small or big that he wasn’t willing to take on.
During this time Davis was honing his craft and his extraordinary ability to look through the lens with a very discerning eye. He developed his talent by understanding all the critical elements that go into achieving the quintessentially perfect image. Yet, he soon recognized that New York was one of the only cities at that time with up-scale facilities providing all of the essentials a photographer could want or desire.
“This was one of the most amazing spaces that you could have ever worked in,” acknowledged Davis Factor. “There was never a question of making this happen, but in my mind it had to be the perfect blend that encompassed a mind-blowing experience with the ideal type of creative vibe that permeated every facet, from start to finish and all in one location.”
It was then at the encouragement of Fabrizio that Factor went back to his hometown of Los Angeles in 1989 to initiate plans to build a full-service, rental photo ‘Superstudio’ on the West Coast. In order for this to come to fruition, Davis enlisted the help of his brother Dean and longtime friend Phillip Weingarten. A unique business plan was created.
Their vision was the whole package and would require enormous amounts of space, an abundance of natural light and the ability to prepare gourmet cuisine on site. This was only the beginning and as luck would have it, the perfect space became available that had all the criteria they wanted right in their own backyard of Santa Monica. The success of this space led to an additional five studios in Culver City, pivotal in the meteoric rise of Smashbox Studios, which then paved the way for the creation of Smashbox Cosmetics.
In no time at all, the global photography community immediately embraced the upscale service and the word spread like wildfire, propelling the company and its team to the forefront, as emissaries of style in a highly competitive industry. Now fast forward to 2002, when Lori Taylor joined the organization as Smashbox Cosmetics, Top Makeup Artist Extraordinaire. This Los Angeles native knew that she was going to be part of a team of talent that would rival any in the world and has never looked back.
In her role as Pro Artistry Relations Manager, she has a very straightforward philosophy that “knowledge truly is a beauti- ful thing that should be shared.” The culture at Smashbox Cosmetics fosters an environment where the team is privy to insider beauty secrets and trends straight from the experts.
Inspiration comes in all forms on a daily basis to make the company one of the most approachable brands on the market today. From tutorials on how to get a certain look, to highlighting and contouring, Taylor’s goal has always been to help women understand that they all have their own unique and special beauty.
“At Smashbox your success is our success. I love what I do and there is nothing more rewarding then working side-by-side with the best-of-the-best. We are demystifying makeup application for women of all ages and connecting with them on an emotional level. Beauty is timeless, so by offering tips that women don’t necessarily think of for themselves, we’re showing them that there is an art to applying makeup, keeping in mind that less is more,” she further commented.
Davis Factor and his team have raised the bar. With continued innovation, intimate understandings of evolving trends and an unsurpassed creative energy, legions of fans have come to revere Smashbox and its products. This is a company that showcases an altruistic model for sustainable success. One might then ask what’s next on the horizon, and it becomes readily apparent. The sky’s the limit, and the world is truly Smashbox’s oyster.