If there is anyone I can't stand reading about it would have to be Aerin Lauder. She is Estee Lauder's granddaughter, and apparently some important high-powered executive at the makeup company, but she spends most of her time hosting parties and giving interviews to magazines so the world can read sentences like "She is every inch the star, with her swan-like neck, her graceful composure and her gorgeous designer dress" or "Perfect is the only way to describe Aerin Lauder" or "Aerin continues the legacy of stylish American women like C.Z. Guest and Jackie O., who combine the idea of simplicity and luxury with an eye toward quality and timelessness," on a steady basis. (Oh yeah, and isn't it absolutely AMAZING that she doesn't hire a stylist? Her style is all her own.) So I was kind of keen to see a story in today's Wall Street Journal promising to roll back the glossy swan-necked exterior on the Lauder family and show what life is really like for the dysfunctional family behind all the department store cosmetic brands you used to buy when you still went to department stores.
Um, so yeah, basically Aerin's dad managed to accumulate $200 million worth of personal debts in the eighties and nineties, but he took the company public and just kept selling shares in it to finance his basic needs to the point that, two years ago, he paid $135 million for a single Klimt painting. He tells the paper he doesn't lead a lavish lifestyle. (Though in her autobiography, Estee wrote that his "taste" was "magnificent.")
Meanwhile, Aerin's cousin William stepped down from his CEO post after Page Six reported he had a love child with another woman even though he is married, so now some person from Procter & Gamble is leading the company, because even though a thoroughly entrenched business selling small non-perishable creams and chemicals at a 1000% markup is not a very difficult business to keep afloat, it is too much for vapid people born into unspeakable wealth and privilege to handle anymore. But that Aerin: Sure is pretty!
Photo courtesy Go Fug Yourself