For one, they’re both Queens-born-and-bred entrepreneurs who built companies from the ground up, subsequently disrupting their industries. “She was a tough woman who was able to rise through the ranks and become a trailblazer in her market,” says Fieg. Then there’s the fact that growing up, he witnessed the impact that Lauder’s makeup and skin-care offerings had on the lives of women everywhere, namely his mother.
“My mom has always been my biggest inspiration,” explains Fieg. “She taught me a lot about the value of quality products, and throughout her life, Este?e Lauder was the brand she always used. That stuck with me.” So, when the possibility of a Kith x Este?e Lauder collaboration first came to the fore, Fieg immediately saw it as an opportunity to pay tribute to Lauder’s boundary-breaking legacy.
Nodding to the brand’s rich heritage while adding Kith’s distinct stamp of cool, the limited-edition collection includes five of Este?e Lauder’s timeless skin-care staples—the Advanced Night Repair serum, Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist, Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme, Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask, and Lip Conditioner—co-branded with the brand’s archival logo, which hasn’t been used since it launched in 1946.
What’s more, the retro-leaning products are presented in a reimagined, ultra-modern dopp kit, featuring a gilded acrylic case and canvas bag with a built-in mirror. “It’s supposed to represent old and new,” explains Fieg of merging the aesthetics of both brands for the packaging. “We wanted to tell a classic story with the dopp kit [concept], but represent the modern woman with the plexiglass box.” Unsurprisingly, the translucent top-handle case, which can easily be repurposed as a mini handbag, is primed to be coveted as a street style statement. That is, after all, Fieg’s specialty.
Upon launching the collaboration later this month, Kith will be taking the narrative a step further, recreating Estée Lauder’s office—including wallpaper, furniture, and special fixtures based on the original design of the space—on the third floor of its Soho store. For Fieg, setting such a milieu was essential in paying proper homage to the beauty icon. “We wanted to tell the story of Estée’s life to make people feel for what they’re purchasing.”
The Kith x Este?e Lauder Collection releases in-store and online on March 15.