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Aerin Lauder’s Licensees: Interpreting a Vision

Lauder attributes much of her success in putting together her new brand to the high caliber of her licensees, who produce and distribute the merchandise.

Aerin Lauder attributes much of her success in putting together her new brand to the high caliber of her licensees, who produce and distribute the merchandise. The feeling appears to be mutual, judging from a cross section of comments.

This story first appeared in the May 14, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“She has created a vision for new modern sensibility,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president for Estée Lauder. She praised Lauder for “possessing an eye for impeccable quality and extraordinary taste.” Lauder is the licensee of the beauty line, which was launched last fall along with the home fragrance candles from Nest Fragrances.

Hudis said the brand, which is distributed in about 100 specialty store doors, is attracting a younger consumer and is running ahead of plan.

Laura Slatkin, chief executive officer of Nest, said Lauder was “intimately involved” in product design, down to packaging decor and notes of the fragrance. She noted that the candle collection is centered around Lauder’s “deep affection for traditional white florals and unusual woody fragrances.” Of the 75 brands the firm handles, outside of the Nest line, the Aerin collection is selling the best, said Slatkin.

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The Aerin home object collection, produced in-house, arrived during the holidays. Footwear, produced by Jimlar; fashion jewelry, done by Erickson Beamon, and sunglasses, by Oliver Peoples, were launched this spring.

Coming in the fall are furniture from E.J. Victor, interior lighting from Visual Comfort, fabrics, trimmings and area rugs from Lee Jofa and tabletop and home and decorative accessories from Lenox Corp. While the fall merchandise appears not to have been finalized yet, Cary Kravet, president of Kravet Inc., which owns Lee Jofa, said in an e-mail that Lauder brought a “thoroughly feminine approach to design, based on classic principles of balance and simplicity — an effortless style that makes everything feel modern and unpretentious. That’s her signature.”