Aerin Lauder would hate the term Park Avenue Princess, but that's what she is: The granddaughter of the legendary Estée Lauder, founder of the half-century-old $3.5 billion global cosmetics empire, and daughter of Ronald Lauder, the 57-year-old chairman of Clinique and former United States ambassador to Austria.
The long, thin, swan's neck supports a finely sculptured head. The patrician features, regal chin, confident glare and radiant complexion scream Park Avenue. The tall, cigarette-thin figure, emphasized by four-inch stiletto heels, is suggestive of a typical svelte Park Avenue Princess.
But, she is unassuming, unpretentious, very real. Very down to earth. There isn't a trace of arrogance or hauteur about her and it's not an accident. She has been raised to despise arrogance, even as a pose. One of a new breed of trust-fund tycoons - who actually work although they're born wealthy - she had the beauty business in her blood.
In her 20s, sporting Manolo Blahniks with Michael Kors or Oscar de la Renta wherever she went, she was regularly featured on magazine best-dressed lists alongside Hollywood stars and rock divas.
Now, at 30, Aerin is director of creative marketing of Estée Lauder, a senior executive in the family business. She brings her grandmother's implacable zeal and - at least as important - her instinct, to duties that include trawling Paris and Milan for next season's fashion and color trends.
"When people ask me, 'Why do you work?' I find that almost rude," she says. "Everybody has to work. You've got to work hard at whatever you do. You've got to do something that stimulates your mind, otherwise life becomes very petty and you have too much time to worry about nonsense. Even if you don't work in an office and you want to be at home with your children, then work at something you think is important. Do something!"
As well as her demanding business schedule, Aerin also has a dizzying social life. She is regularly featured in Avenue, Quest, W and Vogue as a guest at this garden party or that. In 1996, she married her college-days sweetheart, investment banker Eric Zinterhofer, son of a New Jersey pathologist, in a Hamptons wedding. They have one son.
Pictures via Harper's Bazaar