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The beauty industry lost one of its brightest stars in November. WWD Beauty Inc asked those closest to Mrs. Lauder to share their most enduring memories of her.
“I have two. First, that love grows and grows and grows. Yes, it is eternal, but it is an eternal expansion. Each year, I couldn’t believe how my love for this wonderful woman, which was so great, could continue to expand. The other is her style. Evelyn’s style was not a studied one, but a very unique one. She had great taste and great insight, not only into what is today’s message, but in tomorrow’s styles, whatever they may be: fashion, fragrance, color, everything. She understood the concept of style and women.”
— LEONARD A. LAUDER
“First and foremost, she was passionate and committed in everything she did, and she taught me that when you are passionate and committed you enjoy everything so much more. My mother certainly was very passionate about what she did, and totally committed, whether it was her work or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation or her family, and it rubbed off on me, on my brother and on my children.”
— WILLIAM P. LAUDER
“One of my fondest memories is spending time with my aunt, Evelyn Lauder, in Palm Beach. Evelyn and Leonard’s house was previously Estée’s, and I always loved seeing the new touches Evelyn added. She was very relaxed and happy in that house, surrounded by friends and family, with fresh cut flowers from the garden and delicious food. Evelyn was an incredible woman with a great love of life.
We will all miss her very much.”
— AERIN LAUDER
“My most enduring memory of Evelyn is not just her passion for the cosmetics business and women’s health but truly her passion for her family. This past summer, one of the last times that I spent with Evelyn, she came to the Origins office to attend Josh Lauder’s intern presentation. Josh is Gary’s son and Evelyn’s grandson. He interned for a couple of weeks at Origins and we had him work on a project researching social media and how it impacts our brand, because who better to teach a bunch of executives about social media than a teenager! Evelyn found out that we were having Josh present to the Origins team over a pizza lunch and asked if she could join us. Not withstanding the fact that Josh’s presentation was truly impressive, Evelyn’s obvious pride and joy was felt by all. I know that all of her grandchildren have felt this love and passion and I’m sure that this will be one of her greatest legacies.”
— JANE LAUDER
“We have a house in Duchess County and Evelyn and Leonard are in Putnam County, and they kept asking if my younger son, Jamie, and I would spend a Sunday afternoon with them. One weekend we spent an afternoon at the cabin in the woods, as they call it. We walked around the pond, and Evelyn described to Jamie every pebble, every leaf, every flower, every tree. She then asked him if he’d like to go in the boat, and she and Jamie went in the canoe. My parents passed away before Jamie was born, and I saw my mother and Evelyn in the same vista. It was a very poignant moment, and the way she was with Jamie was as if he were one of her grandchildren."
“My other memory is from less than two weeks before she passed away. I called the house on a Sunday, the day after a snowstorm. She got on the phone with a very strong voice, and said, ‘Can you believe that I was an idiot and went in the car to William’s house!’ She used a very salty word, for her, and I hollered with laughter. I had a bittersweet moment of howling with laughter on the one hand and sensing that it was the last time I would speak with her and feeling blessed to have her personal friendship.”
— MICHAEL GOULD, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, BLOOMINGDALE’S
“My most enduring memories of Evelyn Lauder are the joyeux company occasions over the course of the past years where she took the time to remember every person’s name and managed to make them feel an extended member of the Lauder family. Her warmth, wit and generosity of spirit made her a guiding light in our industry.”
— JOHN DEMSEY, GROUP PRESIDENT, THE ESTÉE LAUDER COS. INC.
“She was not just a philanthropist — she was a guiding spirit.”
— DR. LARRY NORTON, DEPUTY PHYSICIAN IN CHIEF, SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER