It takes a special person to create a global luxury lifestyle brand based solely on their personal taste, but that’s exactly what Estée Lauder heiress and scion Aerin Lauder has done with her namesake brand.
Lauder has a refined eye for curation, and her taste culminated in 2012 with the debut of Aerin, which offers beauty, fragrance, furniture, home decor, makeup, fashion, accessories and more. Lauder herself has a singular vision for interior design and real estate, often seen in the pages Architectural summary and Elle Decor, where he showcases his many homes from Palm Beach, Florida to Paris. This year, she’s celebrating the ten-year anniversary of her brand, and she can’t help but look back at the woman who helped shape her career and style — her grandmother, beauty guru Estée Lauder.
“I’ve worked at Estée Lauder for about 25 years, gaining amazing experience in many different departments,” says Lauder, who is also currently Estée Lauder’s director of style and image. The Robb Report. “I was always doing interviews about what was in my makeup bag and the items I couldn’t live without. After being asked this question so many times, I felt there was an opportunity in the market for a lifestyle brand based on feminine, modern and effortless products with a strong heritage and story.”
One look at Aerin’s website and you will discover that femininity, elegance and beautiful living are the pillars of her brand. Her personal and professional travels are crucial inspirations for her line and she divides her time between her home base of New York City, East Hampton, Palm Beach and Aspen.
“With influences from each of these destinations, our client is introduced to diverse aesthetics, all with the same effortlessly elegant sensibility,” she says. “In this way, we are able to create pieces for every mood, season and occasion that suit the needs of customers around the world.”
Lauder is committed to immersing herself in the history and culture of each destination she frequents, which has led to many impressive collaborations over the years. These include international brands such as Colefax & Fowler, an English heritage textile brand; Casa Lopez, a Spanish artisan tableware company; ceramic artist Frances Palmer; Tanner Krolle, a heritage British luggage brand; and more. She also brought her design expertise to hotels, such as designing Villa Jasmine at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.
“I think the modern woman sees beauty as an extension of herself, her home, her wardrobe and her travels,” she says. “My grandma Estée used to say that everything can be beautiful if you take your time, and I think it’s so true.”
Travel brings her constant inspiration, and recent trips to the Mediterranean—a favorite of hers—as well as Mexico City were particularly memorable.
“[In Mexico City], the bright colors, unique architecture and natural beauty were all very interesting to me,” she says. “While exploring, I took so many photos that I sent back to my office as inspiration for future projects.”
To celebrate the brand’s ten year anniversary, she introduced new collections across all brand categories.
“As a cornerstone of the anniversary collections, we introduced the brand’s first Vanity Table, which was inspired by Estée’s original vanity,” she says. “My earliest memories are of watching my grandmother getting ready for her vanity, which felt like such an engaging and grown-up ritual. I wanted to recreate that same moment in a modern and beautifully functional way.”
The table is dressed in shagreen, which has become synonymous with Aerin, from luxury shagreen table sets to decorative pieces and furniture. Looking ahead to the next ten years, Lauder hopes to expand into different categories and establish a larger retail presence in addition to its current storefronts in Palm Beach, Southampton, East Hampton and Miami. But her grandmother’s advice is her guiding light even a decade later, and her goals haven’t changed.
“My grandmother always talked about the importance of being authentic,” she says. “She said if you are passionate and true, success will come. I have appreciated this idea since I was little. Over the years, my goals have ultimately remained the same – to be authentic to myself and do what I love.”