Beauty Pioneer Yves Rocher Dead at 79


PARIS — Yves Rocher, founder of the eponymous French natural beauty company that he developed into an international powerhouse, died of a stroke on Saturday. He was 79.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid homage to Rocher, calling him a “great French industrialist, inventor of plant-based cosmetics and pioneer of catalogue sales,” in a statement published Saturday.

Rocher was born April 7, 1930, in La Gacilly, France. He started the first Yves Rocher production site there in 1958. To help sell his company’s first skin care cream, Rocher devised an innovative distribution system that laid the groundwork for catalogue sales of cosmetics in France. In 1969, he opened his first beauty center, on Paris’ Boulevard Haussmann.

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