October 15th, 2013
It takes a strong personality to branch out of the comfort zone of an established global icon to bring something new to the party – and Aerin Lauder has done just that with the success of her eponymous lifestyle brand.
Being the granddaughter of the legendary Estée comes with its perks: a job in one of the biggest beauty companies in the world, a house in the Hamptons and a name that opens doors, and that’s just for starters. However, Aerin Lauder has never been content to live in the shadow of her famous name and in 2011 established her own luxury lifestyle brand, AERIN, of which she is both Founder and Creative Director. Alongside the expected cosmetics, the brand includes a furniture line with E.J. Victor, lighting with Visual Comfort, tableware with Lenox, and textiles and rug with Lee Jofa.
Born in Queens, New York in 1906, the young Estée Lauder learned about skincare from her chemist uncle and practised her newfound skills on her school friends. She launched her brand in 1946 with four skincare products that were sold in local salons and just two years later, the company had its own counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. Today the Estée Lauder Group reaches 150 countries and owns 25 major brands including Bobbi Brown, MAC, Jo Malone, Clinique, Crème de la Mer, Tom Ford and Origins.
Since Estée’s death in 2004 at the age of 97, Aerin has been shaping the global image of the band initially in her role as Creative Director and more recently as Image and Style Director.
The idea to start her own lifestyle brand was sparked by Aerin’s appreciation that balancing children, a career and a home is a challenge for today’s busy women. The last thing they want on top of all that is a complicated beauty regime, but they don’t want to compromise on quality.
The AERIN Essentials collection is inspired by her own product choices and includes everyday must-haves. While Estée spent hours in salons, speaking with potential customers and applying her products on them, Aerin uses the 21st century equivalent: social media. With Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, she can interact directly with women and find out what they really want from their make-up. And this is clearly reflected with the inclusion of multi-tasking products such as Fresh Skin foundation (£37) which doubles as a concealer and Multi Colour for Lips and Cheeks (£30) save both time and handbag space.
Flowers feature large in the Essentials Collection with each product incorporating the signature Rose scent to help relax the mind, and a special floral infusion, such as Magnolia Flower, Peony, Pink Rose and Meadow Foam Extracts, to leave skin looking calm and radiant.
While the Essentials Collection remains a constant part of the AERIN range, each season sees the release of limited edition colour ranges. The New York City Colour Fall 2013 collection celebrates Aerin’s hometown and offers must-have looks for an NY lifestyle. The Fall Colour Palette (£45) includes three eye shadows which can be mixed and matched to create countless looks. Barely There is a perfect neutral canvas, while Smoky Navy and Midnight Shine add depth and definition for a more striking look. The AERIN lipsticks (£24) are available in two colours: Madison, a modern take on the nude lip – strong, yet subtle and Mercer, a dramatic deep merlot.
In November, the heir to beauty brand royalty will introduce five new fragrances to her lifestyle brand. With Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine, and Evening Rose, Aerin aims to provide a perfume for every mood and time of year. The perfumes (£69 each) take inspiration from moments in Aerin’s life and memories of her late grandmother. The inspiration for Lilac Path came from the lilac bush in Estée and Joseph’s own garden, and has notes of galbanum, jasmine lactones, angelica seed oil and orange flower. The packaging is also impressive with its distinctive print-inspired design and glass bottles topped with a large single stone.
You can feel the influence of weekends spent pouring over her grandmother’s make-up collection. Beauty is in her blood, though it doesn’t stop Aerin foraying into furniture design and decoration which are obvious passions for her. She frequently shares images of her homes in the Hamptons, Manhattan and Aspen in various luxury magazines. In between running one of the biggest beauty companies in the world, Aerin found time to write the book, Beauty at Home, in which she shares memories and talks about what formed her sense of style. When she speaks about her family in the book, as well as in interviews, it is clear that her love for them is equal to her love of beauty. The same was said to be true of her grandmother.
Almost a decade after her death, it is clear that Estée is still a major source of inspiration for her granddaughter. With every aspect of her line, Aerin aims to make a woman’s life easier and more beautiful, as her grandmother did before her. As long as both AERIN and Estée Lauder have Lauder blood running through them, Estee’s values, ingenuity and integrity will remain at the heart of everything they create.