The first time I met Bryn Kenny she was writing for WWD Beauty Biz (now WWD Beauty Inc). I remember we met for cocktails in New York City, and she interviewed me, one of my first real interviews, the one that led to what I consider as my first piece of legitimate trade press… In preparing this blog, I looked back to figure out what year that was – 2007 in my mind, maybe 2008. Well, that was 2004, which means I have known Bryn for eight years… how time flies! She has continued to follow Alchimie’s progress, and I to follow her career, which led her to the other side of the press desk when she joined Dior Beauty as their Public Relations Director.
AP: What city were you born in? BK: I was born in New York City but I grew up in a little town called Remsenburg, near the Hamptons.
AP: What city to do you live in? BK: New York! West Village.
AP: What is your middle name? BK: Ann, after my father’s mother.
AP: What is your astrological sign? BK: Taurus.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? BK: The creativity and the people—there are so many interesting, inspiring personalities to discover in the beauty and fashion industries. I love working for a beauty brand that’s tied to an iconic fashion brand because there are endless stories to tell.
AP: Least favorite thing? BK: Anything that involves an excel spreadsheet.
AP: What is your most prized possession? BK: I guess my French Bulldog Binx, although he is more of a “being” than a “possession.” I grew up with Black Labs but I discovered Frenchies after I moved to New York. I saw one refusing to cross the street—his owner was literally dragging him across Greenwich Avenue—and I thought to myself, “There’s a kindred spirit.”
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? BK: Most people don’t know that I was an ocean lifeguard for six years. I was the only female lifeguard with a bunch of hooligans, which probably explains my somewhat warped sense of humor.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? BK: I got a Dior watch when I first started here almost six years ago. It’s from the Cristal collection and it’s way fancier than anything else I own. But it’s also kind of punk—silver with black crystal studs.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? BK: Ahem—diamonds.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? BK: Amy Poehler. I’m a huge, huge fan.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? BK: Keep calm and carry on? Problems always arise. It’s the way you deal with those problems that matters in the end. Anxiety and stress only complicate matters.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? BK: I don’t really have any tips! I’m not a big planner in general and probably less so when I travel. I like to land in a new place and kind of wander. I think it allows for a lot of interesting surprises.
AP: What is your favorite book? BK: It changes all the time, but right now Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne. Also—I could read Just Kids by Patti Smith over and over again. She’s an incredible writer.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? BK: Anything spicy and tart with Don Julio tequila.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? BK: Not sure if this is a secret but exfoliating is so important (Dior Peeling Lumiere).
AP: What fragrance do you wear? BK: For day, Diorissimo or Narciso Rodriguez. For night, Hypnotic Poison.
AP: Botox or not? BK: Never say never.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? BK: Not since I was 11 and discovered the magic of Sun-In.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. BK: This question is a very slippery slope. Currently on my “Recently Played” list are “Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne, “Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine and “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. I also listen to a lot of old school hip hop.
AP: Quote to live by. BK: “I’m tough, ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a b*tch, okay” by Madonna (this quote is next to my senior year high school yearbook photo).
AP: Who is your mentor? BK: I have been lucky enough to have several over the years. Pete Born at WWD is an incredible mentor. My current boss Dianne Vavra is one of the best in the business—patient and kind. She could teach a class on mentoring.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. BK: Keep an open mind. I was extremely focused starting out. At first, there was only one career path I could envision for myself, but my job has taken me in several different directions. As a result, opportunities have come my way that I never could have dreamed of. The important thing is to figure out your passion (what excites you? What scares you a little bit? What’s the one thing you could talk about forever?), whatever that may be, and stick with it on some level, even if it means taking classes at night. Be patient—and resilient. Passionate people always rise to the top.