Step into the world of Dylan Lauren for a day, and you’ll likely be walking—no, skipping—into a haute heaven of art, fashion, pop culture and rainbow-colored candy. As CEO and founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar (and daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren), Lauren specializes in creating happy experiences with her unique Wonka-meets-Warhol approach. With four U.S. store locations and a pop-inspired apparel and home décor line, she has created one of the world’s largest confectionery emporiums and lifestyle brands.
Lauren recently gave Previews® Inside Out a look behind her candy-coated life. The Manhattanite revealed a little bit of everything, from her favorite home collectibles (rainbow-colored art) to her favorite color (turquoise) and when she first had the idea of creating a high-end “candyland” of sorts (age six).
Previews Inside Out Coming from a family so immersed in the world of design, art and fashion, did it surprise anyone that you decided to lead—for lack of a better phrase—”the sweet life”?
Dylan Lauren Since I can remember, my family and friends have always known that I have been obsessed with candy and anything with a candy theme. From the moment I watched “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factor” at my sixth birthday party, I knew I wanted to create a special place that captured the magical candy world from the movie. I felt there was a need to bring together candies and lifestyle products such as candy-themed art, clothing, spa products and more. I knew at a young age that it was in my future to be an entrepreneur, and I followed my gut to pioneer my dream and open the world’s largest candy store. Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Previews Inside Out How would you describe your personal style (both in fashion and at home)?
Dylan Lauren Candy inspired with a touch of whimsy and fun, lots of colors, texture, eye-popping graphics, creativity, gorgeous patterns and distinctive shapes.
Previews Inside Out How has the aesthetic of your brand affected the design of your personal spaces?
Dylan Lauren The Dylan’s Candy Bar brand is about being happy, being optimistic and having fun. It’s whimsical, it’s colorful, and it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s the perfect combination of what I’m most passionate about: candy, fashion, art and design. This same colorful, hip, pop art feel can be seen from my office, complete with a gumball conference table, to my apartment, with splashes of color found throughout.
Previews Inside Out Dylan’s Candy Bar has quite a celebrity following—so much so that you created “Famous Favorites,” a hall of fame of celebrities who autograph a Dylan’s Candy Bar minibin and fill it with their favorite candy. Can you tell us which favorites are among the store’s most popular?
Dylan Lauren Dylan’s Candy Bar appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds, including celebrities and influencers whom we have fill and autograph a signature candy when they visit the store. Hundreds of stars, including Oprah, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, have bins. Even First Lady Michelle Obama purchased candy and candy clothing with her daughters at Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Previews Inside Out What was the most extravagant gift or event that Dylan’s Candy Bar has ever put together for a client or customer?
Dylan Lauren We are always putting together exciting and indulgent gifts and events at Dylan’s Candy Bar. There is an entire personal shopping and special events team dedicated to making any candy vision come to life. We once had a customer rent out the entire store just to surprise her friends! We have even hosted a few candy themed weddings, complete with a wedding dress made of candy wrappers and bouquets and boutonnieres made entirely of candy.
Previews Inside Out You’ve written a lot on planning the perfect party. What’s your advice for planning a party with sweets?
Dylan Lauren Don’t be afraid to make candy the theme of the party. Candy is perfect for any event or occasion because it evokes the kid in all of us. One of the things that I enjoy most about my store’s party room is watching how much fun customers, whether they’re two or sixty-two, have at parties when they interact with candy. For starters, you can create candy-themed invites and favors. These are much more memorable ways to share the details with guests. Then, go crazy when throwing the candy-themed bash. Incorporate candy games, activities, décor, desserts and more!
Previews Inside Out How do you incorporate Dylan’s Candy Bar products when entertaining your own family and friends?
Dylan Lauren To make any event more festive and memorable, I always use candy for the centerpieces and favors. Candy is so beautiful that I love to display apothecary jars and vases of candies throughout the space on shelves, coffee tables or even as a centerpiece on the dining table. My family has such an appreciation for art and color, and I like to inspire them to use candy in new and exciting ways.