Love our Legend T-Shirt? So do we! We had the chance to interview our Sr. Design Director for Men’s Knits, Stacey Lange, who works out of our New York Design Office. Here’s what she had to say about the T-shirt we all love so much!
Name: Stacey Lange
Occupation: Sr. Design Director, Men’s Knit Design
Can you tell us where the idea originated for the Legend T-Shirt?
“The Legend T-Shirt was born from the passionate vision of [American Eagle Outfitters founder] Mr. Roger Markfield. At a time when no one believed that we could sell a solid T-Shirt, Roger had a strong intuition that just the opposite was true. So, under Roger’s direction to build the best T-shirt in the market, we began our process. [From 2010 until now, we went from [the speculation of] not being able to sell a solid T-shirt, to selling millions of units in multiple necklines and two fabrications. Roger’s vision continues to grow and is one of the most successful programs in the history of our brand.”
What makes the Legend T-Shirt unique to American Eagle Outfitters? Give us the history.
We “eagle-ized” [the T-shirt] by finding the perfect lightweight slub fabric – our guy loves texture. We garment pigment dyed the colors to achieve a great wash and character- that is our brand heritage. In 2010, the Legend T-shirt was introduced in 10 colors and two necklines, the crew neck and the V-neck. In 2011 the program grew to 20 colors in the same two necklines; in 2012, the Henley T-shirt was added to the Legend system. In 2013, we added a second fabrication to the mix – a super soft/cotton [polyester] blend that is single dyed for a heathered color effect. And most recently, this spring we introduced the Legend Tank. In addition, based on current trends we have colorblocked ideas in for this spring season. We are currently up to 30 colors in chain stores and up to 47 colors on ae.com (with a plan to increase to 67 colors for summer! )
What colors is the V- Neck T-Shirt available in?
White, black, heather grey, tidal blue, merlot, petal blue ,firefly, neon yellow, bright neon red and aqua mist.
What colors is the Crew-Neck T-Shirt available in?
White, storm heather, fleet navy, red dust, dream blue, Henley white, black, red dust, indigo tank gravel heather, bright neon red, storm heather and firefly.
What is your favorite Legend T-shirt design?
I like all of them, but my current favorite is the new tank… They are really fun!
If you could recommend the one T-shirt that every guy should have in his closet this season, which one would you suggest?
I would say the Henley. It is an important and prominent trend currently in the men’s market [men's fashion trends].
Stacey reviewing fabrics for the Legend T-shirt at our New York Design Office
Now we would love to learn a little about you…
What made you want to pursue textile design?
Like lots of young girls, I was always intrigued with fashion. I was obsessed with Elle magazine. Especially the September issue because it was so big. I loved NYC and all I wanted to do when I graduated was come to NY and go to FIT… that was my path into design.
What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?
Collaborating with the creative design team building the line and working cross functionally with our merchant partners and production partners developing American Eagle Outfitters product.
Five words to describe you…
Conscientious, loyal, hard working, compassionate, health-minded
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Charles R. Swindoll
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Say Less, listen more.
And the advice you’d offer aspiring technical designers?
Keep a beginner’s mind so there is always room to learn new things. Learn as much as you can about all aspects of the business so that you better understand how your part affects the whole process.
How do wear your favorite AEO Legend T-Shirt? We want to see your #AEOSTYLE on Twitter and Instagram and you could see your look on our blog or AE.com style gallery!