The audience roared Tuesday night as Leonard A. Lauder took the stage at the 92nd Street Y for the latest Fashion Icons series with Fern Mallis. After more than two years of courting, Lauder finally sat down with Mallis to dish on his New York upbringing, the early years of Estée Lauder and his art obsession.

Here, a few key moments:

• On Sundays with his father at The Tip Toe Inn: “I would order the most expensive thing on the menu, which was shrimp cocktail. [My dad] laughed and said, ‘You eat like a buyer!’”

• On his childhood savings account: “We needed to make payroll in the late Fifties and my parents were away in Europe and there was no money in the bank. I went to my savings account, cleaned it out and made the payroll.”

• On the first Estée Lauder factory: “Two people worked there. Two.”

• On the Youth-Dew Bath Oil launch in 1953: “It was the sexiest thing you’ve ever smelled in your life. I married Judy [Glickman], who uses it. Youth-Dew drove the company.”

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• On the two cinema clubs he created while at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: “The cinema club, I sold a membership for $1 and for that you got to see 10 films. I decided I would run a competitive film society and I sold three films for $1.50. From that came the idea of creating Clinique to compete with Estée Lauder.”

• On his wife, Evelyn, working for the company: “She used her maiden name, Hausner, because we didn’t want people to think it was just Lauder, Lauder, Lauder and Lauder.”

• On breaking into Harrods: “We had a distributor who tried to sell to Harrods, but they said, ‘No, we don’t want it.’ So [my mother] went to see the buyer and an hour later, there was a deal. The distributor was so insulted that he resigned.”

• On buying MAC and, six months later, Bobbi Brown: “Boy, were people mad at me. No one really understood what I was doing, to tell you the truth. I did, but no one else did.”

• On his current position as Chairman Emeritus: “They don’t pay me much. You’re laughing, but you should see my paycheck.”

• On his art collection: “I come home every night from dinner and go to the living room or the library, sit down and look at a painting for five or 10 minutes, then leave. I really, really love it.”

• On his worries for the future: “I can only quote my mother. ‘When sex goes out of business, so will we.’”

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