Jul. 24 2018
Recently featured in a Morning Routine, Aerin Lauder is the Style & Image Director of Estée Lauder, as well as the Founder of her namesake luxury brand, Aerin. A descendant of one of the most successful women ever, and a lifestyle guru in her own right, there’s a lot to learn from Aerin Lauder–so we sat down with the beauty boss to ask our most pressing questions about entertaining guests, creativity, and her truly impressive career. Prepare to be incredibly inspired.
Where do you feel you’re most creative? Is there a place you go when you have a creative block?
I feel most creative in our design studio – it is my favorite space in the AERIN office. Overall, the office has a very clean and feminine feel but the design studio is full of mood boards with our seasonal inspiration, vintage pieces and books that inspire me. It is the perfect creative space for me to work with my team.
Who is your biggest creative inspiration? How have they inspired you?
I inherited my creative passion from my grandmother Estee. She liked to make everything around her beautiful – she saw beauty as an extension of herself, her home, wardrobe and family. She used to say, “Everything can be beautiful if you just take the time.” This concept has not only inspired the way I live day-to-day, but it shaped my philosophy behind the AERIN brand – that living beautifully should be effortless.
What are your tips for our readers on how they can style a room with prints, without going overboard?
I love mixing patterns and prints and would encourage readers to never be afraid of taking a risk. One piece of advice if you are nervous about the pattern is to experiment with different textures and colors.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Always trust your gut.
Which pieces from your Williams Sonoma collection are essential for the dinner party enthusiast?
Do you have any tips for throwing a great dinner party?
- Incorporate fresh flowers – My mother always had fresh arrangements in our home growing up and they are a simple touch that brings so much life to a space.
- Make guests feel as comfortable as possible – One entertaining trick that I learned from my grandmother is to serve gourmet potato chips or nostalgic candy such as Swedish Fish in decorative bowls – what’s more inviting than candy and chips?
- Surprise guests with a little gift at their seat – For example, incorporate a wine stopper into a table setting that each guest can take home
You are a mother of two, as well as a successful designer and businesswoman. How does this influence the way you design your collections?
For a busy woman, true luxury is having your options pre-edited for you. This is what I work towards with the AERIN brand across all categories – beauty, home and fashion accessories. As a working mother, editing your life is essential to staying organized. It provides a sense of ease, and my goal is to create that for the AERIN shopper.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My proudest professional moment was the day I put my own name on my product. It was a very exciting and scary time for me – I had to prove myself as a businesswoman. I spent several years working on my first collection, and the first time I saw the finished product on the counter was an extremely rewarding experience.
Your collection seems to have a lot of natural colors and floral motifs. Are elements of your personal style reflected in this collection?
My favorite color combination is blue and white – it’s a part of my design DNA and I use it often in my homes and collections. For this recent Williams Sonoma collaboration, I was inspired by the blues, greens and whites of my favorite summer memories, which are filled with sea and sky landscapes, lush greenery and bright white beachside homes.
You have built a huge company and also find time to design in collaboration with Williams Sonoma on the side. How do you stay organized and level-headed with so many things going on at once?
When I launched AERIN, my vision was to create a lifestyle brand for the modern woman that included collections that crossed the worlds of beauty, home and fashion. Today, we have lines in beauty and fragrance, fashion accessories, decorative home accessories, lighting, fabric and wallpaper, and our collections with Williams Sonoma. Plus, we have AERIN retails stores in Southampton, East Hampton and Palm Beach.
While all of these collections are the core of the AERIN brand, I approach retail through the eye of an editor, curator and friend. I hope to offer our customers a new discovery on every visit through the edit that we offer in our stores.
Finding the perfect balance is always the biggest challenge for any working mother but I think the key is always taking a little personal time to escape for some pampering or quiet time. It is important to take care of yourself and be with your family as much as you can. I believe if you are happy, everyone around you will be happy.
What is your next step after this collection?
We are working on new and exciting collaborations for the fall. I’m always looking for unexpected and clever partnerships to continue growing and strengthening the AERIN brand.