Bringing the best to one of Estée Lauder’s own…

The world learned on Friday that Aerin Lauder — the up-and-coming granddaughter of late cosmetics magnate Estee Lauder, and still a board member and major holder of Estée Lauder Cos. (EL) — was branching out on her own. From what we can tell, most of the coverage (sparked by The New York Post’s Page Six and picked up by others around the world) centered on the fashion and style angles; one piece even said the terms of her departure and future collaboration with the company her grandmother cofounded “were not disclosed.”

Luckily for us, that’s not quite the case. Estée Lauder didn’t exactly publicize the details, but it did file them with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an 8-K filed late last week — and small wonder: It’s a sweetheart of a deal for Aerin.

Aerin Lauder, of course, has been senior vice-president and creative director at Estée Lauder since mid-2004, and before that headed global advertising and held senior marketing roles; she owns 9.3% of voting power in the company, according to its September proxy. Her new Aerin Ltd. business, the New York Post’s Page Six predicted ahead of the news, would focus on a “fashion and lifestyle brand that will include accessories, housewares, china and jewelry.” Later reports, including one at Forbes, mention “home goods,” as well as a beauty collection in coordination with Estée Lauder itself.

And that’s where the big bucks come in for Aerin Lauder. She gave up her job at Estée Lauder, of course — she made a $335,000 salary and $162,459 bonus last year, and stood to make $375,000 in salary and $175,000 in bonus this fiscal year — but more than makes up for it with a couple of agreements with Estée Lauder.

One is a Creative Consultant Agreement that makes her “a spokesperson for the Estée Lauder brand” and secures “a minimum of 35 full days of personal appearances worldwide per year,” as well as “the exclusive right to use Ms. Lauder’s name and image to market beauty products and related services of the Estée Lauder brand.” For this, she’ll be paid $700,000 a year, rising by 4% each year, through 2016 — plus $20,000 a day for each day she works for Estée Lauder, rising by $1,000 a day each year after 2012. She also gets an office “and access to an assistant in connection with her services.”

All in all, it looks like Aerin Lauder is getting paid more now that she’s quit the company, and that’s just in cash — the real bucks could well come from her licensing arrangement with Estée Lauder.

That would be the License Agreement Between Aerin LLC, Aerin Lauder Zinterhoffer and Estée Lauder Inc. Aerin Lauder can’t do much with her last name without permission from Estée Lauder’s chairman (a cousin of hers) and its chief executive, but she is licensing her first name and an “A” logo to Estée Lauder on an exclusive basis for “cosmetics, fragrances, toiletries, skin care, hair care, value sets and beauty accessories,” and on a non-exclusive basis for “cosmetics bags, tote bags and fragranced candles.”

For this, Aerin will get 5% of net sales for fragrances, and for everything else, 4% of net sales up to $40 million, and 5% after that. Estée Lauder also has to spend 20% of net sales to promote Aerin-branded products, falling to 15% after the first year (though the minimum varies depending how much Aerin LLC spends on marketing). Both sides agreed to “distribute Aerin-branded products only through prestige retailers.” (Tough luck, Wal-Mart.)

Meantime, now that she’s no longer an employee, presumably she’ll get paid as a director of Estée Lauder: $70,000 cash, plus $25,000 in Class A stock that is turned over the year after the director leaves the board, and options on 5,000 Class A shares. (Directors also get up to $1,280 in Estée Lauder products each year.)

One has to wonder whether Estée Lauder could have worked out a deal to keep Aerin’s brand in-house, at less expense to shareholders. Then again, given that family members own some 83% of the voting power of the company, maybe the question is irrelevant.

Image source: Estée Lauder website