How I’m Making It is a weekly series in which Tatler speaks to influential individuals about their unique journeys and what keeps them going.
As the granddaughter of the American cosmetics trail-blazer Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder has big shoes to fill. The eldest daughter of billionaire Ronald Lauder, Lauder is one of three third-generation Lauders preserving the family’s heritage.
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The Lauder family’s legacy began with the bold and visionary Estée, who vehemently believed that every woman could be beautiful. The matriarch founded the company in 1946 with four original beauty products and an ambition for success. Even after more than 50 years, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading brands in providing quality skincare, fragrances and cosmetic products.
Today, Estée's granddaughter Aerin Lauder is continuing her legacy. Inspired by her heritage, Lauder believes that one’s heritage is what truly defines one’s future. To her two children, she hopes to impart this strong sense of family heritage, something she believes is what gives the conglomerate an edge over its competitors. Though Lauder may have had a foot in the door, her success can only be attributed to her perseverance and hard work through the years. And at 51 years old, what Lauder has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable.
Lauder first began working at Estée Lauder in 1992, joining as a member of the the Prescriptives marketing team. Over the years, she learned the ropes and worked her way up through several executive roles before takin on the title of Creative Director, a position she still holds today. In 2012, she started her own venture and created her own lifestyle brand, Aerin.
Aerin is a global luxury brand inspired by the lifestyle of its founder. The brand boasts a wide curation of cosmetics, perfume, fashion, and furniture collections that are rooted in Lauder’s own passion for travel, art and flowers. Conceived from the notion that living beautifully should be an effortless endeavour, the brand is a modern celebration of artisanal craftsmanship and femininity. As of today, Aerin has had three beauty collections and is available in 45 countries.
What makes Aerin stand out from other lifestyle brands is the keen attention to details of the products. Lauder gets involved in every phase of the concoction of her fragrances, all of which serve to replicate some of her most unforgettable holiday memories. From the flowers used to the colours chosen for the brand's fabric-inspired boxes, Aerin is able to explain the inspirations and motivations behind each and every decision in her company's product development process. Her perfectionist nature makes it such that any product that carries her name is ensured to be of the highest quality.
Just last year, Lauder joined hands with The Colony Hotel to design a hotel villa that celebrates her Palm Beach heritage. In true Aerin Lauder fashion, the villa was made with a keen eye, paying homage to the island’s old-school glamour and the elegance of its locale. The design of Aerin Villa Jasmin, as the space is called, is charming, feminine, and classically timeless.
Lauder is also a mother to two boys, Will and Jack, who are her pride and joy. To them, she hopes to instil familial pride and discernment to tell right from wrong. Tatler spoke with Lauder to find out how she does it all while being a mother.
What is a typical morning like for you?
Aerin Lauder (AL): I’m up early by 7 am to feed and walk the dogs. I wash my hair at night so it’s just a quick shower in the morning and simple makeup. I wear flats because I love to walk everywhere, including the office and I’ll stop by Sant Ambroeus on my way in for coffee.
What does a standard work day look like for you?
AL: My typical day usually includes responding to emails and phone calls, meeting with my teams to discuss new product ideas, packaging design, potential collaborations and upcoming campaigns. I love that every day is slightly different, which makes work feel fun and exciting.
How would you describe your working style?
AL: I am definitely somewhat of a perfectionist. After all, it’s my name on the package so I believe that everything needs to be the best that it can possibly be. However, I also have a team of many talented women that are supportive and goal-oriented. I would never be able to do this without my amazing team.
Free time: overrated or underrated? Why?
AL: Free time is definitely underrated. I feel that people often overlook the importance of self care and taking time for yourself. Whenever I have down time, I make it a priority to go for a walk or call a close friend. Though these are such simple gestures, they make me feel relaxed and really change my mood.