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Photos by Laura Morton for Drew Altizer Photography
It feels like every designer is trying to become a lifestyle brand. A line begins with clothes, and over the course of years —sometimes decades— expands to accessories, shoes, fragrance, and home. Aerin Lauder took the opposite approach: She started a lifestyle brand. It's easy to dismiss those words as fashion industry fluff, but consider what she has accomplished since leaving her gig as senior vice-president and creative director at Estee Lauder to build her eponymous company.* After launching with beauty, Aerin branched out to jewelry, furniture, bags, shoes, and home accessories. Total time: Just two years.
Aerin (the company) describes itself as "a global lifestyle brand" inspired by Lauder's signature style, and it lives up to that promise. Because there's a limited assortment of any given type of product, an Aerin item —whether it's necklace or a matchbox— feels deliberate and thoughtful. Combined with her website's photos of Lauder in her gorgeous home(s), Aerin pieces feel like an authentic connection to her lifestyle.
Lauder visited San Francisco for a trunk show last week, and if the excitement on the scene was indicative of the city's response to her collections, she should consider opening a local boutique, pronto. Candles and trays were the most popular items, but a number of shoppers were fawning over a delicate green miniaudiere and a raffia pouch that begged to be packed for a winter beach getaway.
If you missed the trunk show, don't despair. You can still find Aerin's complete collection online. Or, if you prefer to lose yourself in her delightfully posh world, you can shop a limited Aerin selection at Neiman Marcus.
*Aerin Lauder remains at Estee Lauder as Style & Image Director.