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This story first appeared in the December 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I like to joke that I’ve been in the beauty industry for 42 years and actually working for 20,” said Aerin Lauder, founder and creative director of Aerin LLC and style and image director for the Estée Lauder brand. That explains why she chose beauty as the opening salvo of her new luxury lifestyle brand, which also includes licenses for shoes, jewelry, eyewear and a wide array of home objects, many set for a spring 2013 launch. For her debut, Lauder launched with a limited-edition fall color collection and a well-edited selection of permanent products under the Aerin Essentials banner, and she hit the road to promote them, visiting four cities in three countries. “It’s a lifestyle brand, which is very much how Estée started,” said Lauder. “It’s not necessarily an age group—it’s a state of mind.” And apparently one that resonated with customers: retailers like Holt Renfrew cited Aerin as one of the year’s standout performers, and sources report that the brand is on track to hit its goal of $8 million at retail globally in its first year. Success, it seems, runs in the family.