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The Candy Queen

Culture Watch

By Tali Jaffe

Dylan Lauren—daughter of fashion icon Ralph Lauren and author Ricky Lauren—is at the helm of a budding empire herself. Dylan’s Candy Bar, a fantasy-filled candy emporium with outposts in in New York, Florida and Texas, continues to expand its sugar-coated reach into new territories. Dylan, who has been dubbed the Candy Queen, will be at Books & Books this Saturday to sign copies of her new book, Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life and share some of her company’s goodies. We caught up with the Candy Queen to discuss fashion, art and her endless supply of inspiration.

What led you to write Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life?
Many people wanted to take the fun and creative experience of the Dylan's Candy Bar stores home with them so the book was the perfect medium. Also I wanted people to see the way I see the beauty of candy and how artistic its colors, shapes and textures are. I feel the photography captures that. I also found people loved to learn how we incorporate candies into special occasions and holidays to make favors, tablescapes and gifts.

What was your absolute favorite candy growing up?
Loved red licorice and Bazooka original gum. Still do and consume even more candies like these as an adult (scary!)

What is your favorite recipe from the book?
Dirt cake. It’s a great hostess gift for spring as you can present it in a pot with a flower.

The book is filled with Pop Art-inspired imagery. Can you tell us who are your favorite artists?
I love Romero Britto, Burton Morris, Warhol, Jeff Koons, Murakami, Will Cotton.

What other inspirations do you draw from when developing new products?
Fashion, particularly swatches of fabric in materials like silk, as well as vibrant colors and patterns. It gives me ideas of ways to package candy more hip and creatively. I get very inspired in art supply stores where the colorful paints and markers are eye candy. I also love supermarkets as the food packaging can be innovative. I love window shopping for the store displays, especially at hip stores like Barney's, Collette and the MoMA Design Store.

Can we look forward to any new Dylan’s Candy Bar locations?
Actually, I’ll be looking into potential locations in Miami on my trip down there for my book signing. And, we’re opening a new store in LA very soon, and hopefully many more in cosmopolitan cities. We also have shop in shops in many high-end department stores now like Neiman Marcus and Macy's.

How would you describe your personal style?
Colorful, athletic and chic.

What's on your "must" list for Spring?
I must find comfortable shoes that are like high heels but feel like sneakers and don't give me blisters! I also would love to travel to adventurous and scenic places like Vancouver.

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