Born: September 2, 1972
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Pre-Med
Founder of Hard Candy. Started company by creating fresh shades of nail polish in blues, lavendars and metallic colors.
One fateful day, as legend has it, Dineh was looking for the right shade of blue to match her strappy blue shoes. She was off for the summer holidays before starting medical school and wanted to kick back and enjoy some mindless fun. A few mixes of polish later, and she had the perfect match. She wore the shade out and was nearly attacked by a saleswoman in Charles David. It was then that Pooneh and Dineh decided to seriously consider pitching the idea of new nail polish in creative shades to the department stores. Dinah was 22 years old.
Dineh enlisted the help of her sister Pooneh and her boyfriend Benjamin Einstein. The three came up with $200 to buy some nail polish and supplies from the beauty store. One business plan, and a few sample shades later, they decided to pitch upscale fashion shop Fred Segal. While going through the pitch, a 16-year-old customer saw the shades and wanted all four instantaneously. The owner set the price at $18 a bottle on the spot and sold them to the demanding teenager. With no supplies left, Fred Segal placed an order with Dineh for 200 bottles that same day.
Within approximately 2 years, the business grew to a $10-million-dollar company. Dineh kept the creative juices flowing by staying in touch with her target market of 15 to 25-year-olds. She created new mod shades called Porn, Trailer Trash and Jailbait. It wasn't long before cosmetic giants had a contender and big companies took notice of this new cultural phenomenon. Fashion conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), who owns the likes of Donna Karen, Givenchy, Sephora, TAG Heuer, and Veuve Clicquot, jumped at the chance of owning a piece of the profits. The acquisition made sense and afforded Hard Candy a great distribution network and a strong, sophisticated brand to attach itself to. Industry estimates say that the company was sold for a cool $30 million. Mohajer and Einstein still work for the company and man the creative, branding, and marketing arms. Sister Pooneh is the legal counsel.
Today, Hard Candy is sold in fine department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. LMHV is a public company headquarted in Paris with a turnover of 12 billion Euros a year. They have 56,000 employees worldwide and own a large portfolio of companies in the following industries: Wine & Spirits, Fashion & Leather, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry, and others. The group was created in 1987 and is run by Bernard Arnault.