Beauty entrepreneur Aerin Lauder shops for new tableware to match her phenomenal and diverse china collection.

By Christine Quinlan
Updated March 31, 2015

In this Article

“Just like my grandmother Estée, I’ve never been afraid of color,” says Aerin Lauder. Lauder has worked for more than 20 years at her grandmother’s famous beauty company, founded more than a half-century ago; this summer she’s launching her own beauty, housewares and fashion line under the Aerin label. Her legendary grandmother’s influence is evident in Aerin’s designs, as well as in the way she sets her table for dinner parties at home. For instance, she mixes graphic coral plates by Sydney Albertini with bright hydrangeas and pale-blue glasses at the East Hampton, New York, estate that once belonged to Estée. While her grandmother loved to set out little bowls of candy or kumquats to decorate the table, Aerin often takes a more playful approach, filling bowls with stones, seashells or even her sons’ toy action figures. “That whole idea of embellishment, and a certain level of style detail, is something my grandmother handed down to me,” she says. Estée also left Aerin a substantial china collection, which she still uses and has added to over the years. “That formal style of entertaining is really fun when you first get married,” she says. “But my tastes have changed, and now I like a more fun, casual mood.” On the next page, Aerin shows how she uses Estée’s heirloom china pieces as inspiration for her own modern style.

Aerin Lauder Sets Four Tables

Lauder’s china ranges from elegant (vintage Spode) to out-there (Damien Hirst). Here, table settings in four distinct styles.

Formal Style

Photo © Michael Turek.


Vintage Spode plate inherited from Lauder’s grandmother.

Photo courtesy of LSA.


Savoy Champagne saucer by LSA. $50 for 2;

Photo courtesy of Lifetime Brands.


Grand Duchess gold flatware. $300 for 65 pieces;

Photo courtesy of Schumacher.


Cordwain damask fabric in Mica. Price upon request (to the trade);

Casual Style

Photo © Michael Turek.


Cabbage plate by Todd Alexander Romano, from Lauder’s collection.

Photo courtesy of Nouvel.


Ba tumbler by Nouvel Studio. $22;

Photo courtesy of William Yeoward Crystal.


Dakota jug. $135;

Photo courtesy of Dransfield & Ross.


Delovely napkin. $30;

Bold Style

Photo © Michael Turek.

Lauder’s Plate

Superstition plate by Damien Hirst. $20,000 for 12 pieces;

Photo courtesy of BDE.


All-Time flatware. $150 for 24 pieces;

Photo courtesy of Saint-Louis.


Théorème glass by St. Louis. $225; 212-835-6448.

Photo courtesy of BDE.


Steel La Pliée chair. $710 for 2;

Beach Style

Photo © Michael Turek.


Bespoke plate by Sydney Albertini.

Photo courtesy of Dransfield & Ross.

Place Mat

Water hyacinth mat. $26;

Photo courtesy of Nordlys.


Nordlys glass by Holmegaard. $20;

Photo © Maison Luxe.


Carthage lanterns. From $86;