The sweet life of Dylan Lauren
BY JEFFREY SLONIM
DYLAN LAUREN, FOUNDER of the popular Dylan’s Candy Bar franchise, is a living example of how good things happen to nice people. Yes, her father is Ralph Lauren, which does give her an advantage. But unlike some entitled scions, she didn’t simply get grand or self-destruct. Her parents encouraged her to pursue her passion, and Dylan, who has an unusually sunny personality, seriously indulged her sweet tooth.
One of her earliest memories is of losing a tooth while chewing taffy at the old candy store in East Hampton. It’s now the location of a mini Dylan’s Candy Bar. She has stores in Houston and Orlando in addition to the 15,000-foot flagship store on the Upper East Side and a concession stand at Yankee Stadium. She also worked with Warner Bros. to help with the launch of 2005’s remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She partnered with Hasbro to create her own version of Candyland, and there will soon be a Candy Barbie (in the image of Dylan). “We’ve also worked with M&M (Mars), Bazooka (The Topps Company) and Juicy Couture,” she says.
In October, Clarkson Potter will release Dylan’s first coffeetable book, Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life. If you can’t afford the calories in the sweets, the colorful images in the book are nearly as satisfying, and they recall all the candy-filled memories of youth. In the sugarcoated trip down memory lane—which also suggests ways to decorate parties with sweets—Dylan admits to buying “king-size tubs” of Bazooka in high school. Her cherry gumball fetish turned into a licking—er, liking—for cherry gummy bears. And along the way, she picked up a sticky marshmallow habit. We learn that yellow-colored confections are one of the top three best sellers in the candy world. (Red is a best seller at Dylan’s.) The first bride to marry at Dylan’s Candy Bar wore a dress made of Hershey candy wrappers. Even Oprah has touted the queen of candy on her show.
So how does Dylan keep her slender figure? “I work out a lot,” she says. “I have a trainer. Before I did this, I qualified as a spinning instructor.” While summering in Montauk, she occasionally rides her bike all the way to Southampton. “I play volleyball, run, kayak and play tennis,” she says. “It’s like camp.”
This writer’s favorite childhood candy was wax bottles. But Dylan says adults tend to appreciate the gross stuff, like chocolate with jalapeño, or potato-chip and bacon-bits flavors. For bachelorette fêtes, she sells gummy bras and handcuffs; her idea of a perfect house gift is “a bouquet of flowers with fudge jelly beans.” And what has dad taught her about business? “He follows his gut,” she says. “We’re building a lifestyle,” says Dylan. “Candy clothing, pajamas, stationery—it’s not just about eating candy.” 52 Main St., East Hampton, 631-324-6181; dylanscandybar.com
FROM TOP: Candy Icon, the Duck; the cover of Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life; a sweet proposal as seen in Lauren’s book; a picture-perfect party setup
PHOTOGRAPHS REPRINTED FROM DYLAN’S CANDY BAR: UNWRAP YOUR SWEET LIFE