ChangeNOW 2021


Virginie Courtin-Clarins


Deputy Executive Director for the Clarins Group, Head of CSR and Director of New Territories for the Clarins Brand


It’s obvious where Virginie’s work ethic, love of nature and passion for beauty come from. A rightful Clarins ‘heir’, she is Jacques Courtin-Clarins’ grand-daughter and Christian Courtin-Clarins’ daughter. This passionate and dedicated young EDHEC graduate has been part of the success of the family business for more than 7 years. What you notice first about Virginie, besides her work ethic and love of beauty, is her natural simplicity and her openness to others. She is the eldest of the cousins and has made listening her life philosophy. “My grandfather was an amazing man who listened to others and knew how to put himself in their position. ‘Would you like to hear what you are saying?’ he always used to tell me. This was the guiding principle in both his personal and professional life.” Virginie passed her Baccalaureat in Economic and Social Sciences with merit, making her father very proud, and began preparatory classes before entering one of the top business schools in France, EDHEC. She talks about her exemplary academic path with great humility. “Clarins has always been the model of success for me, founded on respect. I am proud to be linked to men like my grandfather, my father and my uncle.” At EDHEC, her taste for business naturally led her to major in Entrepreneurship. Very early on, she felt a real passion for the family brand and during her studies she carried out marketing work placements at Clarins in the USA and Asia. It’s no surprise, since Virginie has grown up and been immersed in the cosmetics universe her whole life. From their early childhood, the four Courtin-Clarins cousins would test Clarins face and body creams, sometimes just on one leg, to see the results for themselves! Very close to their grandfather, they always shared their points of view as young women with him. In fact, the whole family brainstorms new product names together. She is passionate about beauty, but not only beauty. Virginie is also interested in the world of fashion. She admits a fascination for Thierry Mugler who she met at one of his spectacular catwalk shows when she was just eight. In 2010, she joined the teams at Printemps, the major Parisian department store. Working in the Fashion & Beauty department, she was in charge of marketing operations and partnerships. During this time, she launched her own brand of ethical bathing suits, Luz Collections. A range of suits made from 100% organic cotton and recycled materials developed in workshops around the world and sold at the Bon Marché department store in Paris. Three years later, she was named managing director of Mugler Mode. In 2018, she studied naturopathy to better understand the relationship between nature, plants, and the human body. In September of the same year, she joined the brand her grandfather started as Deputy Executive Director. In charge of opening new territories for the brand, she relies on co-branding, artistic partnerships, and new distribution channels to widen the brand’s international presence. Without forgetting nature, a fundamental pillar for Clarins: to make life more beautiful, Clarins has always included responsible corporate practices and respect for biodiversity in all it does. In November 2019, Virginie took the reins of the CSR department. Under her guidance, Clarins accelerated its CSR strategy with a promise that has always been anchored in the brand’s genes: “Take care of people, take care of the planet”. Major projects include: obtaining B Corp certification by 2023, have 80% of the plant extracts used be from organic sourcing and 100% recyclable packaging by 2025; become plastic neutral by 2025 and carbon neutral beginning this year to make life more beautiful and pass on a more beautiful world to future generations.

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