Behind the Seams: Fleece

Behind the Seams: Fleece

Everyone needs a few key fleece pieces in their closet, whether they’re out for an adventure or just kicking back on the weekend. We spoke with Senior Design Director Jaime K. about the design process of our signature fleece… get ready to gear up for cooler temperatures.


american eagle outfitters holiday 2013 behind the seams fleece

Jaime K., Senior Design Director

What are some of the biggest trends in fleece for Holiday 2013?

Fleece is great because it is so so comfortable—but really it’s so much more than that for this holiday season. If you check out the fall runways, almost every big designer was showing cool looks with the sweatshirt as the IT item. This holiday you should really mix it up and know that our fleece assortment can be worn for day and night.

If you want to be cool and casual, we have our amazingly cozy Fair Isle Polar Fleece and our Graphic Resort Fleece to wear on the weekends, hang with friends or warm up when staying inside. You can also dress fleece up! Have you seen our new Cute Animal Sweatshirt? These cuties look great paired with a jegging and heels to head out to a fun holiday party. And don’t forget the match back! For those who aren’t shy, try rocking one of our incredible Real Soft Heritage Fleece with their matching sweatpants. This really gives you a cool sporty look and is also an awesome, easy gift for the holiday season.


american eagle outfitters holiday 2013 behind the seams fleece

The fleece design team with an assortment of our holiday fleece.

What is the design process of a fleece from start to finish? How long does it take from concept to being available in store?

It may seem crazy but so much heart and passion goes into creating the perfect fleece collection each holiday season. First and foremost it needs to be super cozy—so Stacy M., our awesome Senior Designer, spends a lot of time developing fabric with innovative washes to give our fleece that authentic vintage feel. Color is the next step. We work with our concept team to create the perfect color palette that has all the optimistic color we know you love, but we balance that with great neutrals that can really be outfitted with almost anything. We can’t forget about the graphics! Adding graphics is the last but most fun and creative part of our process. I work alongside our awesome graphics team to create fun, cool, heritage graphics for the collection.

There is much more to it than that. Creating, designing and producing clothing is a pretty long process. We start working about nine months before each season. It is a huge team effort—many people behind the scenes work very hard to produce the product that the design team envisions. I always think it is cool to know that there are probably at least 30 people who contribute their expertise to make our fleece collection perfect. There are buyers and our production team, technical designers and planners to name a few and they are the best team ever! It never would happen without the team collaboration and we have a lot of fun along the way.


american eagle outfitters holiday 2013 behind the seams fleece

Color swatches and examples of the design process.


Which fleece for Holiday 2013 is your absolute favorite?

Personally I’ve been pretty into sporting the match back, so I will definitely be buying the bright red Real Soft Heritage Fleece and Real Soft Heritage Sweatpant for myself and my besties this winter. I also LOVE the crew necks in the Real Soft Heritage collection. As my fellow designers know, I mostly wear black, so I will definitely be buying the black crew! I love that it has an edgy black foil graphic on it. It’s easy to dress up with booties and a black leather jacket, perfect for a night out with the girls.


american eagle outfitters holiday 2013 behind the seams fleece

Senior designer Stacy showing off Jaime’s favorite fleece for holiday.

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