As the granddaughter of beauty icon Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder knows a thing or two about beauty and building a brand.
After years working for her grandmother’s company, Lauder launched her own eponymously named lifestyle brand in 2012. Her well-curated collection is built on the premise that “living beautifully should be effortless.”
Today, AERIN permeates beauty, accessories and the home.
What propelled you to leave your grandmother’s company and create your own brand?
I was the creative director for Estée Lauder, and I saw a real void in the marketplace for a well-edited beauty collection. Then we expanded that into other categories. All of the products are cohesive.
Talk about the decision to expand beyond beauty.
Beauty is my heritage, but home and accessories are my love. I thought beauty could be done in a new way—the glass tray where you put products, a picture frame of a beautiful moment. I want the products to be a reflection of beauty.
The products are beautiful. How did you determine the look?
I’m very involved in the design process. I’m inspired by nature. If you notice, the caps on the fragrance bottles look like stones. We pay close attention to detail.
Why did you use your name for the brand?
It’s my grandfather’s name. [My parents] added the “A” to it. It has such a modern, feminine and unique look to it. It fit perfectly.
Your grandmother served as a major source of inspiration. Who inspires you today?
My friends inspire me. I love Lisa Marie Fernandez’s new bathing suit line. She’s got a wonderful sense of style—an effortless beach point of view. Florists inspire me. I love the wild, carefree new arrangements they’re creating.
What about travel?
I love the Mediterranean. I go there in the summer. I love the style, the stones, the flowers. It’s the inspiration for my newest fragrance—Mediterranean Honeysuckle. I also love Bahamian ease—the whimsy, and tons of straw.
As a mother of two and business owner, you must get this question all of the time—How do you balance it all?
You can have what you want. I have to prioritize what’s important. My family is my priority. My mom always said, “You have one chance to be a good mother.” If you love what you do, everything else falls into place.