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Toni Ko '20 Contributor Since 2020
Founder & CEO | Bespoke Beauty Brands
Toni Ko is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in developing and building highly successful brands. Toni’s unwavering entrepreneurial spirit has armed her with over 20 years of experience in omni-channel strategies and global brand expansion. Toni launched her newest company, Bespoke Beauty Brands, LLC. Bespoke Beauty Brands is an incubator company that will accelerate, incubate, and launch beauty brands associated with niche influencers. Toni has worked with beauty influencers long before collaborating with influencers was the norm. She recognized their power and is really bringing that idea full circle with the launch of BBB. The first cosmetics line Toni launched is in collaboration with @KimChi_Chic, the larger than life drag-queen from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The collection, KimChi_Chic Beauty, debuted on October 16th and is founded on the belief of beauty for all.
Toni disrupted the beauty industry in 1999 with the introduction of her first company, NYX Cosmetics. She created NYX with the goal of delivering professional, richly pigmented products at affordable prices. L’Oreal acquired Toni’s multi-million-dollar operation in 2014, and it was one of the largest beauty acquisitions in 2014..
In 2016, Toni fulfilled a lifelong dream when she graced the cover of Forbes annual “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” issue and has since been included on the list three times. She has been featured in many reputable publications to date, including Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan.
Toni has received numerous awards, including being honored at the National Women’s History Museum’s “Women Making History” brunch. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by ABA, received the 2015 Leadership Award from NAWBO, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Beauty Bus Foundation in 2013. Also in 2013, NYX was chosen by WWD Beauty Inc. for Brand of the Year. In 2014 she started the Toni Ko Foundation, where she passionately lends support to organizations that help children, especially young girl’s education. Toni is a member of YPO Beverly Hills and the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellowship within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. She is also a board member of the UNICEF Southern California chapter and took a field visit to Madagascar in spring 2019.