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Style | The Aesthete

Aerin Lauder talks personal style: Part One

Aerin Lauder is the creative director of Aerin cosmetics, and style and image director at Estée Lauder, the company founded by her grandmother in 1946

December 21 2012
Elizabeth Paton

My personal style signifier is a gold Cartier Tank watch. I got it 17 years ago and, along with my wedding ring, it is something I wear every day. I see it as an object reflecting timeless and elegant luxury. Gold has also been my favourite colour since I was a little girl; today, I try to draw it into the palette of everything I design or do, be it home interiors, jewellery choices or the packaging of collections for my beauty brand. From £15,000; www.cartier.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was a white woven-leather tote bag from Prada earlier this season. I liked it so much I bought it in black for winter, too. £1,250; www.prada.com.

The thing I’m eyeing next is probably a Lanvin cocktail dress. I love the assortment of brocades, rich patterns and colour contrasts Alber Elbaz has created – perfect for parties in the holiday season when teamed with a statement necklace. From £1,065; www.lanvin.com.

An indulgence I would never forego is French fries. Sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to steak frites, or home-made roast chicken and chips, with your nearest and dearest friends. They are the ultimate comfort food. Occasionally, my cravings have taken me to McDonald’s for a shameful hit – undeniably bad, and yet so irresistibly good.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home recently was a kaleidoscopic assortment of napkins from the wonderful Parisian homeware store Muriel Grateau. Its linens are so special: layers of pinks, greens, neons, blacks and chocolate browns in deep, stacked drawers. It does a fabulous job of highlighting how presentation can become a source of both inspiration and desire to the enthusiastic shopper. From €30; 37 Rue de Beaune, Paris 75007 (+331-4020 4282).

A recent ‘find’ is a hip new restaurant called Acme in downtown Manhattan. It opened in January but I only got round to going last month – I took my father. I loved the buzzy atmosphere, and the Scandinavian menu was thoughtful and delicious; there’s also a great little basement bar downstairs for a nightcap after dinner. 9 Great Jones Street, New York NY 10012 (+1212-203 2121; www.acmenyc.com).

The books on my bedside table have recently included Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales by the actress and comedian Ali Wentworth, which I found truly hilarious. Each page felt like a conversation with a very close friend.

In my fridge you’ll always find cheese, yoghurt and a selection of fruit and vegetables. I have two children [Jack, 13, and Will, 12], so I try to ensure that we always stock the fridge with a healthy mix of foods. I actually adore grocery shopping – a trip to our local Whole Foods store is usually a full-blown family outing. I could spend hours pondering its selection of fresh produce and pre-prepared meals. www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

The best gifts I’ve given recently were G-Shock watches to my two sons this summer. They’ve been on their present wish lists for a while, so to see the excitement dawn on their faces when they opened up the boxes was something of a gift in itself. G-Shock Premium range, from £260; www.gshock.com.

And the best one I’ve received recently came from my wonderful friend Tabitha Simmons, the British stylist-turned-shoe designer who is now based in New York. She gave me a beautiful pair of floral silk sandals from her spring/summer collection. The bright, pretty neon print is offset perfectly by a strong heel and buckles. £425; www.tabithasimmons.com.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a magazine editor. A perfect evening for me is to curl up in bed with a big pile of fashion or interiors publications from around the world; I collect them in baskets until I have the chance to devour them in a single sitting. Discovering how editors in other countries choose to curate style has long been an influence on my own line of work. And I still much prefer the experience of turning the physical pages of a magazine to reading them as iPad apps.

See also

People, Aerin Lauder