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Lauder family member to branch out

Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of the founder and namesake of the Estee Lauder Companies, plans to launch her own fashion brand outside of the family empire, according to a report in the New York Post.

Third-generation Lauder is currently the senior vice president and creative director of the Estee Lauder Companies. According to the New York Post, Lauder plans to launch a brand that will include accessories, house wares, china and jewellery.

Speculations are rife that Lauder will have to give up her current positions at the New York-based cosmetics company and will only remain a consultant for the group. As the third-largest shareholder of the business, this move could possibly impact family control at the company. When contacted, the group refused to comment.

Forty-year-old Aerin Lauder joined Estee Lauder in 1995 and was made the creative director in 2004. Her sister Jane serves as global president and general manager of two of the company brands, while cousin William Lauder is executive chairman of the company. The Lauders are often held up as a model of good family business governance when they executed a shift from family to non-family members with the appointment of Fabrizio Freda as chief executive in 2008.

Founded in 1946 by Estee Lauder, the Lauder family controls about 88% of the group's voting shares. One of the world's leading manufacturers of skin care, makeup, perfumes and hair care products, the company had revenues of $7.7 billion for year ended June 2010, up from $7.3 billion in 2009.

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