I’ve been shopping at Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie branch, since I was just a youngin’. Victoria’s Secret had always intimidated me because due to the obvious air-brushing and 6-inch heels. Let’s not even get into the stigma surrounding the VS Fashion Show. Aerie felt a little bit more obtainable to a middle-school aged Gillian.
When they announced #AerieReal campaign, their pledge to do away with any and all photoshopping in their advertisements, I was elated. Finally! They were doing away with the supermodel standard. For the past year and a half or so, I’ve seen girls who look more like me in advertisements. And it’s freakin’ awesome.
Now, as the summer of 2016 rolls around, the campaign seems to have finally *paid* off (literally). According to this Huffington Post article, Aerie’s sales have grown 20% in the 2015 fiscal year which is an incredible feat.
Maybe it’s the fact that the models, like the popular Iskra Lawrence, use their social media as a mechanism to celebrate their bodies and connect with buyers (her Insta is straight fire). Maybe it’s that celebrities like Emma Roberts have joined in on the campaign. Or, maybe it’s the fact that the merch is just plain awesome.
#AerieReal has turned around Aerie, in both sales and image, and it shows no sign of slowing down. And for that, we are grateful.