Cheryl K. Lewin

June 5, 1953 - Oct. 6, 2012
Cheryl K. Lewin

    Cheryl K. Lewin, a graphic and interior designer who worked as a creative director for some of the country’s top consumer product companies, including Estee Lauder, died at home in Bridgehampton on Oct. 6 after a long illness with breast cancer.
    A longtime resident of Bridgehampton, Ms. Lewin had an “extended family” of hundreds, her friend Molly Channing wrote. She was, Ms. Channing said, “a huge-hearted advocate for animals and animal rights, and a fiercely loyal and generous friend.” She had “adopted and adored many strays over the years,” and had three dogs, Clyde, Willow, and Sofia, at the time of her death, as well as a “bionic cat, Lucy,” her friend said.
    Ms. Lewin spent a great deal of time at the Animal Rescue Fund’s Wainscott headquarters, and until she became too weak to make the trip, she could often be found there walking and playing with the animals. “She was relentless in her campaign to match people with pets and had an extensive portfolio of successful pairings, with an uncanny ability to make connections with people and animals,” Ms. Channing wrote.
    Born in San Francisco on June 5, 1953, to Elyse and Robert Lewin, she grew up in Los Angeles, one of three children.
    After her graduation from the University of California at Berkeley, Ms. Lewin moved to New York City on a journey toward a life in fashion and design. She mentored with Milton Glaser, and worked for several design firms before founding her own graphic and product design firm, Lewin Design Associates, whose clients included Tiffany & Co., Brunshwig and Fils, and Conran’s and Heller. Ms. Lewin and her then-husband, Bruce Nelson, lived in a loft in the garment district.
    Ms. Lewin became vice president and creative director of Estee Lauder in 1994, where she managed 15 art directors and production managers. She left in 1999 to assume the same title at Bloomingdale’s-by-Mail, where she created a nationwide marketing plan and oversaw a large staff that included art directors and copywriters.
    In 2001, she designed, developed, and brought to market a line of pet accessories. Two years later, she was lured back to the West Coast by an offer from Harry and David’s to overhaul its consumer packaging and promotion design, and became creative director for brand development for several years in Oregon.
    Ms. Lewin received numerous awards and professional recognition for her design campaigns from organizations and magazines, including AIGA, Communication Arts, Print, and the Art Directors Club of New York.
    Having maintained a house in Bridgehampton, she eventually returned to New York as a design consultant for Design Within Reach in East Hampton.
    Ms. Channing said she will be remembered as “a consummate professional, a perennially optimistic and enthusiastic spirit, and extraordinary intuitive individual, a fashionista, and an exemplary human being.”
    “No one who ever met her could resist her quiet charisma, her honest and forthright manner, her quick humor, and her genuine interest and concern for one’s well-being, no man nor beast,” Ms. Channing wrote.
    In addition to her large circle of friends, Ms. Lewin is survived by her mother, Elyse Lewin, and her mother’s husband, Lester Wertheimer, of Los Angeles, her sister, Lian Murray of Newport Beach, Calif., and her brother, James Lewin of Santa Cruz, Calif. Her father died in 2007.
    Contributions have been suggested to the Animal Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 901, Wainscott 11975, or online at arfhamptons.org.