PALM SPRINGS, CA — Robert Taylor Yates Jr. passed away on August 5, 2019, at his home in Palm Springs, California.
Rob was born on February 25, 1948, in Chestertown, Maryland, the son of the late Robert Taylor Yates Sr. and Irene Jarrell Yates. He attended schools in Centreville, Maryland and then went to Drexel University in Pennsylvania.
After graduating from college, he pursued hotel management at The Nassau in Ocean City, Maryland. Being a creative marketer, Rob then moved to New York City to work for Chesebrough-Ponds, followed by Charles Of The Ritz, and Revlon. Next, he moved to California and joined the Vidal Sassoon Company as VP of Marketing. Using his imaginative creativity, Rob started a company called Table Manners in Los Angeles.
In the late 1980’s, he partnered with a home decor guru to create the epic campaign, “I Only Dream in Color” for Framesi. From there, Rob joined Matrix as VP of Marketing, giving the entrepreneurial company the big-city panache it needed to soar to new heights and secure its place as the leading professional beauty brand of its era. He then became VP of Marketing for Creative Nail Design and used his imagination in the Spa Manicure and Spa Pedicure to launch Pinkys — tiny bottles of polish to take home.
He started his own agency in 1997, Y8’s Inc. and his client roster included Creative Nail Design, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Pevonia, Essie, European Touch, and Sally Beauty Company. He shuttered his agency to serve as Senior Vice President, Global Marketing for John Paul Mitchell Systems, from which he retired in 2014.
Those who worked with him will always remember his kindness, his brilliance, his absolute commitment to excellence and especially, his one-of-a-kind style. With a personality larger than life, he was beauty’s magical shining star.
Rob was an avid gardener, a world traveler, a gourmet chef and he enjoyed hosting and entertaining friends and family at his home in Palm Springs. He lit up any room with his presence and loved people and their stories. There is now a bright star in the sky above us shining down on us.
He is survived by Vincent Cappa, his partner and husband of over 30 years. Other survivors include: his sister, Patricia Ann Haring of Trappe, MD; his niece, Diana Gail Lesser and her husband, Jan C. Lesser of Virginia Beach; his two grandnephews, Eric Brett Lesser, also of Virginia Beach, and Ryan Scott Lesser — his wife, Brittany Nicole Klaas Lesser — and their son, Zachary Colton Lesser, Rob’s great-grandnephew, all of Crozet, Virginia. Rob is also survived by cousin, Arlene Yates-Hyde, of Centreville, Maryland.
There will be a Celebration of Life at Bridges Restaurant on Kent Narrows, Maryland, on Saturday, September 7th, from 1:00-4:00 PM, for family and friends.