long car journeys and at drawn-out
family occasions the question, “Who, dead or alive, would you
invite to a dinner party?” is likely to rear its head. Scraping the
barrel as far as conversation is concerned, it is nonetheless a
good question. Without hesitation, Aerin Lauder is always first to
be seated at our hypothetical table.
Think about it. Her grandmother was Estée Lauder – that’s an
advanced class in beauty history ready to go. She sets an
impeccable table, as indicated by her resplendent Instagram feed, which oozes with
palm prints and elegant silverware. As founder and creative
director of lifestyle brand AERIN, she would most certainly
bring an impeccably wrapped gift for the host – we’re reaching for
one of AERIN’s fresh scents and a salad dish from her
Williams-Sonoma collab. She’s also a long-time resident of The Hamptons, skis in Vienna on the reg and summers in
Palm Beach – so the travel recommendations are likely to be
free-flowing (and top-end).
While our interview wasn’t quite the dinner party we’d
envisioned, Aerin did let us in on her well-trodden holiday routes,
her musings on what constitutes a great hotel and the best place for
interiors shopping in NYC.
What destinations inspire your creativity?
I have been inspired by destinations from all over the world,
whether it’s a walk in Central Park, our home in the mountains of
Aspen or Vienna, where I spent time as a teenager. I have recently
been heavily inspired by the colours, feel and lifestyles the
people in regions across the Mediterranean including the
South of France and the Aegean
Do you link smells/ fragrances to places you’ve visited?
When we design a collection, whether it
is for home or beauty, we often start with a
destination and then build around the look and feel of that
location. For our newest fragrance, Aegea Blossom, a voyage around
the Greek islands served as
inspiration. It captures the blue sea, cool breezes and pure light
What do you think makes a good hotel?
A good hotel should always reflect the place you are travelling
to, while simultaneously making you feel at home. I love to travel
but it is important that I feel comfortable and relaxed when I get
back to the hotel at the end of a long day. I also love beautiful
sheets and delicious room service.
How important is scent in terms of hotel experience?
I think scent plays a major role in a hotel experience. Warm and
inviting fragrances can help invoke a friendly, relaxing and
comfortable atmosphere which is an important part of
Which are your most frequented travel destinations?
Aspen, Palm Beach and The Hamptons.
If there was one destination you could go back to immediately,
which one would it be?
I always love returning to Vienna. I lived there as a young
girl, so it feels like home to me. The Viennese culture is a big
part of who I am and has inspired many collections of AERIN.
Where do you go to relax?
My Hamptons home is the ultimate retreat. No matter the season,
I’m most at peace there with my family.
Best spots in the Hamptons include…
In Southampton, the garden in Sant Ambroeus is the ultimate
summer experience. The Candy Kitchen is my go to for the best Oreo
milkshake and grilled cheese – I’ve been a frequent visitor since I
was a little girl. I love eating at The Clam Bar or Duryea’s for a
really authentic Hamptons experience. For a quiet and serene beach
setting, visit Georgica Beach. I love walking along the sea on a
quiet summer morning.
Where is the best place to shop for interiors?
Bergdorf Goodman has a great home department. For unique finds,
Creel & Gow is one of my favourite shops in the city.
Where should we head on the Upper East Side, NY?
For burgers, nothing compares to JG Melon. Some of my favourites
are Majorelle, The Mark Restaurant and Lobster Club. For an
art-filled outing, Neue Galerie, which my father founded, is a
jewel-box museum filled with masterworks by the likes of Gustav
Klimt, Egon Schiele, Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos. Café Sabarsky
(located inside the museum) is great for a morning coffee or a quiet lunch meeting.
For shopping, I usually walk Madison Avenue or go to Bergdorf
Must-visit spots in Palm Beach?
Palm Beach is such a unique place because it has the perfect mix
of old and new. Worth Avenue has great shopping. For a more vintage
shopper, I recommend going to the shops on Dixie Highway – Palm
Beach Vintage in particular. Renato’s, Pizza al Fresco and Taboo
are all classic Palm Beach restaurants, but I also love Green’s
Pharmacy for an old-fashioned diner feel. The Breakers is iconic to
Palm Beach – a great hotel for dinner or a drink by the beach.
What are your travel essentials?
A large cashmere scarf because it’s perfect for keeping warm on
the plane and a versatile piece, and a classic blazer from Blaze
Milano. The ENZO Travel Domino Set is easy
on-the-go entertainment, Estee Lauder advanced night repair and the
Rose Lip Conditioner from AERIN
Beauty. The AERIN Travel gold comb is
practical – it’s lightweight and the perfect size for travel.