CNBC Meets

Michael Kors: The Lauder family made New York

Known across the world for their beauty brand Estee Lauder, the Lauder family should also be recognized for their contribution to New York City, said fashion designer Michael Kors.

The city would be very different without the family's investment, according to Kors, with the Museum of Modern Art benefiting in particular from the Lauder family's philanthropic efforts.

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Designer Michael Kors walks the runway at the Michael Kors fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014, New York
Neilson Barnard I Getty Images for Michael Kors

"I grew up also in the New York area… Think about what New York would be without (the Lauder) family," Kors told Tania Bryer on CNBC Meets. "What would be the condition of the museums, what would be happening at the hospitals, what would be happening in the arts? And not just here in New York - all over the world."

Kors is an old friend of Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of Estee Lauder, who is now creative director of Estee Lauder Companies. The group's brands include certain Michael Kors assets along with numerous others including Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clinique and Tom Ford.

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The designer added that Ronald Lauder, Estee Lauder's son, had even started his own museum – the Neue Galerie in New York – as a result of his passion for Austrian and German art.

"I mean he's been involved with so many things, so many layers of philanthropy," Kors added.

William Lauder, currently the executive chairman of the cosmetic giant, said the philanthropic gene "runs deep and wide" in the family.

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He said he was very proud of Aerin Lauder's commitment to philanthropy. Her lifestyle brand, AERIN, launched in 2012, is supporting the current show at The Metropolitan's Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

"Aerin is able to do this because of her success. Philanthropy is something you are able to do only when you are successful," Lauder added. That gives you great pleasure to give back, and that's a value system that's been a part of our family for many generations."