INTERVIEW: Aerin Lauder

We caught up with beauty scion and lifestyle maven Aerin Lauder at the presentation of AerinXBlazéMilano, a Spring/Summer 2020 capsule of the urban chic iconic blazers Blazé is known for, fused with Lauder's effortless aesthetic flair. 

In an intimate, floral-filled salon, on the edge of Milan’s Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, the businesswoman (clad in a tan travel blazer) chatted with us about her luxury lifestyle beauty and fashion brand AERIN, her beauty rituals, and some advice her late grandmother Estée gave her.

SC: I spotted you wearing Blazé Milano on Instagram before you announced any sort of collaboration. How does Blazé Milano fit in with the AERIN world and the other brands you've partnered with -- like Rebecca de Ravenel and Frame denim?

AL: My family has taught me so much. My uncle always taught me the importance of good partnerships, and when you say Blazé Milano fits in with the rest of my clothing partnerships... I’ve been wearing Blazé Milano for many years. I remember I first discovered the brand in New York at Barneys and then I couldn’t find it. I went on Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, and it was so hard to find and so special. I followed them on Instagram. They were coming into the city and we had a few free-standing stores, and I thought it would have been the perfect addition to our fashion edit… and so it all came very organically, and it was meant to be. The team was great, we had a wonderful meeting. They fit perfectly because everything that the brand [AERIN] has offered had style, whether it’s beauty, home, or accessories. We did a collaboration last year with Frame Denim, for example, which sold out in like an hour. It was all about perfect custom neutrals, as well as a green, a pink, and a blue.

SC: This season, together with Blazé Milano founders Delfina Pinardi, Corrada Rodriguez d’Acri, and Maria Sole Torlonia, you brought the laid-back Hamptons style to the Milan streets. Tell us about the Blazé Milano collection… What’s your favourite blazer? 

AL: The collection is the perfect extension of that idea [like the Frame collection]: a great neutral beige jacket and a pretty floral set that is easy to wear. You can dress it up or dress it down. It was a wonderful next chapter to get into fashion.

We have a jacket called the tomboy. It’s my favourite cut [she said pointing to the rounded pockets].

SC: You launched AERIN, a luxury lifestyle beauty brand inspired by your own style, in 2012. The site sells everything from upmarket lamps to signature perfumes to earrings and jeans. Are you trying to focus more on fashion or more on home decor?

AL: There are three pillars of the brand: fashion, beauty, and home. And right now, beauty and home are the two strongest pillars in terms of distribution. We are in 43 markets for beauty, and 30 for home – from the Middle East to Russia, South America, we are really almost everywhere.

SC: What do you like about Italy? Do you see this as a production hub for you?

AL: I love Italy. A lot of our products are made in Italy; a lot of our home items like the glassware and the ceramics, many of our fragrances, have Italian fragrance notes in it. We just launched a fragrance called Limone di Sicilia, which is inspired by a lemon note out of Sicily. Italy is a place I love to go to. I always holiday in Italy in the summertime – there is nothing like Positano and Capri to me, it’s really paradise. I also come to Milan quite a bit.

SC:  Do you have any other collaborations on the horizon?  

AL: We have a few other exciting projects that are coming up: we are doing something with Le Monde Beryl [an Italy-based company that makes Venetian gondolier slippers]… and some things that are confidential.

SC: You have been a representative for the company your grandmother started for many years, but you are such a natural beauty and you never seem to wear a lot of makeup…

AL:  I know. I look better with natural colors.

SC:  What is your ritual?

AL: Skincare, to me, has always been part of my regimen, ever since I was younger. Clinique 3-step is something I started using from the beginning, and as I got a little bit older, I added Advanced Night Repair into that, and even when I travel, I travel with a mask that I put on when I get back to the hotel at night. My grandmother [Estée Lauder] always used to say, “You only have one face, take care of it.” And that really sums up the importance of skincare.

SC:  Any cult or go-to products that you recommend?

AL: I think Advanced Night Repair is great – it’s an amazing serum that has antioxidants and it repairs and hydrates. And I think Crème de la Mer is amazing. 

Photo by Ivan Marianelli

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