Making of a Maven: Estée Lauder’s Journey to Becoming a Global Tastemaker is Laid Out in a New Book by Her Granddaughters - Lifestyle Asia

Published by Assouline, Estee Lauder: A Beautiful Life drops in the last quarter of the year.

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As a businesswoman, matriarch, and innovator, Estée Lauder was in a league of her own. From a humble background growing up in Queens as the child of Hungarian immigrants, her ambition and hard work found her tremendous success, transforming a small skincare cream business she started in her kitchen into a worldwide portfolio of beauty brands.

The beauty maven’s journey to international maven and tastemaker is the subject of a new Assouline book, which is set to launch in the last quarter of the year. Created with the guidance of her granddaughters Aerin and Jane, Estee Lauder: A Beautiful Life is crafted like a personal album.  

From left: Estée in her first town house in New York in 1960; an illustrated advertisement for Hydro-Tone makeup

Aerin describes her grandmother as an incredible role model. “When she launched her business in the 1940’s, she was way ahead of her time and taught me so many of the important lessons I know today,” she says. “She passed on the importance and value of family, passion, commitment and beauty in everything you do.”

Fabulous friends

Ever principled and determined, Estée’s charming ebullience took her far—she was the first to harness the power of word-of-mouth advertising, and to realize that a free gift with purchase would do well to win her customer’s loyalty.

Aerin, Jane and Estée at Disney World

The book opens the door to the legendary woman who made her name known all over the world. As a true visionary, Lauder succeeded in building her cosmetics empire through talent, determination, hard work, and kindness, while still maintaining a rich and fulfilling family life.

Adding to her legacy was her eye for interiors, a reputation for hosting fabulous dinner parties, and her countless notable friends such as Princess Grace of Monaco, Hubert de Givenchy, Diana, Princess of Wales, Nancy Reagan, and Frank Sinatra, among other luminaries.

To celebrate her life and important influence in business, at home, and on the town, Aerin and Jane Lauder along with Assouline, present an in-depth look at what a beloved tour de force Estée was, as expressed through her personal letters, family photographs, company archives, and more.

Beauty heritage

Aerin, who is a creative visionary and tastemaker in her own right, has grown up to be a name to remember in terms of style. The mother of two is committed to living life more beautifully, and founded her eponymous luxury lifestyle brand AERIN in 2012.

Estée with her beauty advisors at the counter at B. Altman, 1970

With a love for interiors and a talent for creating warm, inviting spaces, Aerin’s elegant, effortless aesthetic is a reflection of her unique upbringing.

 “Beauty is my heritage, but home and accessories are my passion,” she says. “There was an opportunity in the market for a lifestyle brand based on feminine, modern and effortless products with strong heritage. I decided to launch AERIN and make the whole concept of beauty part of the way we live today. Aerin brings ease and beauty into all aspects of life and, as a dedicated philanthropist, into the lives of others.”

From left: Estée and Joseph Lauder set sail to Bermuda for their honeymoon, 1930; Estée with Aerin

Jane, on the other hand, has over two decades of beauty industry experience, including more than 23 years at The Estée Lauder Companies.

Formerly the global brand president of Clinique, Jane currently serves as the corporation’s first ever executive vice president, enterprise marketing and chief data officer, responsible for developing company-wide strategies to accelerate ELC’s growth. The 48-year-old resides in New York with her family.

“This book is a personal expression of her beautiful life. I hope her story inspires you as much as it has inspired me,” Aerin says.

Banner Photo: Estée in her New York dining room / Courtesy of the Leonard A. Lauder Estée Lauder Companies Archives and Assouline

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