Thursday, August 16, 2012
There is no greater excitement than finding out that someone whom you admire reads your blog. Even more exciting is having the opportunity to interview them. Last Thursday, I headed over to The Fuller Building to meet Aerin Lauder to discuss all the exciting things she is working on for her new company AERIN. She decided to leave off her last name since her first name looked nice standing alone.
When I first blogged about her new venture, I mentioned that it would have been very easy for her to stay on at Estée Lauder, the company that her grandmother founded in 1946. It took a lot of guts and work to go out on her own. She said it was something that she had been thinking of for a while especially since home was such a part of her grandmother's life. But she took her time and even worked with focus groups to make sure it was right.
The first piece of the puzzle is the AERIN Effortless Beauty line which will be available in September at Estée Lauder counters. (Although, I think it's already available at Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC.) Soon to come will be candles and gifts for holiday; a fabric line with Lee Jofa; tabletop accessories with Lenox; sunglasses; jewelry; shoes; and maybe eventually clothing. A pop up shop is also slated for Southampton next summer.
As I mentioned, the first debut is the beauty line. The Essentials line will always be available and each season a new Color Collection will be introduced. It was all inspired by everyone asking Aerin what's in her makeup bag. Now she has her own signature ikat print make up bags to share with everyone.
The pale pink packaging was inspired by her own bathroom and looks just as great sitting out as it does in your handbag. The brushed linen compacts also help repel fingerprints. They also each come in little pink pouches reminiscent of Estée Lauder's gift with purchase. Aerin sees women being able to use them to store jewelry. I can honestly say that I did use them to store jewelry when I came back from my weekend trip.
What I love most about the new AERIN beauty collection is the realistic shades. Not every woman can wear crazy colors and this line is full of natural shades that are really wearable. She had help developing them with the same people who worked on Bobbi Brown and Tom Ford Beauty collections. One of things that I've always admired is that she never looks overdone and always stays true to her own style.
I was sent home with a bag full of products and spent the last week trying them out. I love them all but have fallen in love with the Rose Lip Conditioner, an item that Aerin said she had to have in the line. All the products have a light rose smell that is really lovely.
I also absolutely love the Fall Style Palette for Weekday, the Lipstick in Pout, the Lip Gloss in Perfect Nude, and the Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder in Level 1. I'm definitely going to have to stock up on the limited edition shades since I've already grown attached to them.
I was actually just about the buy a new blush brush since the one I bought kept leaving dark brush hairs in its wake. The AERIN Brush Essentials set is definitely worth the splurge.
Interior designer Jacques Grange helped with the design of the new AERIN office and it feels more like a home than a workspace. Aerin said that the gold pieces harken back to gold art in the Neue Galerie that was founded by her father.
Aerin said that her grandmother always had a mirrored dressing table so when she saw the mirrored table above, she knew it would be perfect for the conference room.
The door to the left leads to the office that Aerin shares with members of her staff. There were many top secret items in it so I couldn't take any photos. I can tell you that you are going to love everything that is yet to come from AERIN.
She did share one of her mood board with Fashionista seen here. She also has binders in her office filled with inspiration. She said she also loves Pinterest and has been tweeting on Twitter but has not gotten into Instagram just yet.
Aerin also has a wonderful "World of Aerin" aspect to her new website where she shared this photo of her desk. In one of the best pinch me moments ever, Aerin's make up artist showed me how to use some of the products and gave me a little make over. The best part was that I got to sit at Aerin's desk while she was meeting with someone in the conference room.
As someone who works at a desk in the corner of their living room, I dream of having an office this beautiful and spacious someday.
I love the color combination of the blue tabletop and green and blue sofas.
I wasn't allowed to photograph this cabinet since it was filled with pieces to be released but Aerin posted this photo on her website so I hope it's ok. One thing you don't see here are the photos and advertising images taken by her friend Claiborne Swanson Frank. The locations used are her own apartment and home in the Hamptons where she lets people into her world. She also said she knows that people consider her a friend. She said that she has girls write to her asking what color lipstick they should wear on their wedding day because they trust her. She really is someone who sets an elegant example.
It may be Aerin's office but her grandmother Estée is still inspiring her. Framed photos hang in the space and knick knacks and jewelry are all around the office. I especially loved the green parrot that made it into home collection. One of the things that Aerin mentioned was the family heritage that she brings to her new company.
The entry to the office is just as welcoming as Aerin herself. You can tell that she learned much of entertaining style from her grandmother. I couldn't help but ask if her sons might join the company someday. Right now they are busy being boys but since AERIN is more than just beauty, it might be a possibility.
I want to thank Aerin Lauder for taking time out of her now very busy days to spend time with me last week. I've always admired for her personal style but now I have such a better insight into her strong work ethic and drive. I left that day feeling inspired and made over literally and figuratively and looking forward to what's to come from AERIN. I just know it's going to be good.
Below is my gorgeous blue AERIN goodie bag filled with products.
Photos by Heather Clawson except 11 from Fashionista and 12 and 16 via Aerin.com.