It will shock nobody to learn that Aerin Lauder is a fixture in the pages of Town & Country. From her 1996 nuptials to the launch of her eponymous brand AERIN (which she debuted exclusively with T&C in our December 2012 issue), we’ve always been inspired by her elegant sensibility and business savvy she undoubtedly inherited from her grandmother Estée. AERIN is now a complete lifestyle brand, encompassing beauty, fragrance, home decor, and, most recently, shoes and handbags. For her fall accessories campaign, she collaborated with two of her friends and muses, Olivia Palermo and photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank. Below, she talks with T&C about the the collection, the campaign, and more.
What is the inspiration for AERIN’s fall accessories collection?
AL: I wanted to create an accessories collection that truly felt like an extension of our brand DNA, that living beautifully should be effortless. Like our home and beauty collections, our mission with accessories was to create an edited collection of pieces in the best quality that were feminine, modern and timeless.
How did you decide to cast Olivia as model/muse for the campaign?
AL: I’ve been inspired by Olivia’s sensibility for a long time and admire her personal style. When I decided to create the collection, I knew she’d be the perfect person to embody the line. Women today want to feel inspired and I think woman of all over the world want to be her. She is a fashion and beauty icon and it was important for me to work with someone that beautifully represented the modern woman of today.
You were shot a few years ago for Claiborne Swanson’s book American Beauty. Was that where you first connected? Why commission Claiborne for this campaign?
AL: Claiborne and I met a long time ago through mutual friends. Over the years we’ve become very close collaborators and friends. I appreciate her instinctive eye and understanding of how a woman wants to look and feel. Also, her own personal style is so confident and chic and it’s always fun and inspiring to be around her.
You’re a big fan of leopard print. Why is it a go-to for you?
AL: I’m a big believer that leopard is a neutral. It goes with everything. It’s like gold – you can wear it with anything. I think there’s something very strong and chic about leopard in accessories and we’ve of course included it as part of our collection.
In one shot Olivia wears leopard on leopard on leopard. Can you wear too much of the print?
AL: I love to do the unexpected and I think it is fun to layer your leopard. It felt playful and a bit eccentric to combine the coat, shoes, and handbag in one shot. I believe that at the end of the day it’s a timeless look.
Where are the flowers and plants featured in the shoot from?
AL: We did the photoshoot at the flower shop, Zezé, in New York City. It is one of my favorite places. When you walk into his shop, you’re transported to a fantasy world and I thought it would provide the perfect backdrop.
Describe your dream fall day.
AL: A dream fall day would involve as much outdoor time as possible with my family and dogs. I love walking through Central Park and seeing the leaves change color. There’s something magical about those final days in New York before winter really sets in. People are out, taking advantage of the season, and the energy is contagious.
What accessory instantly makes an outfit?
AL: I think a handbag can instantly make an outfit. I think your bag can elevate an outfit immediately and personally, I love mixing and matching textures to create something unexpected. I have been wearing our new embroidered chain bag and I love how the embroidered flowers instantly add an element of delight to my look.
What’s your go-to fall outfit when you have nothing to wear?
AL: My personal style is very streamlined and classic, but I love to follow trends. I look to accessories to add that extra something to my wardrobe. For fall, I always wear classic colors like black, white, camel and navy. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a fitted blazer over a cashmere sweater or silk blouse, and a slim black pant. I love its simplicity in that you can easily take it from day to night depending on the accessories you select. Flats are an essential part of my wardrobe and of our new collection. For me, comfort is a key element in feeling confident and beautiful.
Source: Town and Country Magazine