Parkour Time: 10 Questions with Paul Joseph

We’re introducing AEO Flex/Denim, an innovative new denim technology that moves with you in three different levels of flexibility — Core, Active, and Extreme — and we wanted to really put it to the test. So, we partnered with the amazing athletes of WFPF to showcase the revolutionary versatility of these jeans and what you can do in them. We featured three parkour athletes in our latest Flex/Denim video and were so impressed by their talent that we wanted to get to know them a little more. Read on for our second interview with Paul Joseph.

Paul Joseph AEO WFPF

AEO: Who are some of your heroes? They do not have to be athletes.
PJ: Some of my heroes are Tony Hawk and Dave Mirra as they got me into extreme sports when I was younger.

AEO: When did you become interested in Parkour?
PJ: I became interested in Parkour after seeing David Belle in the rush hour commercial on TV.

Paul Joseph AEO WFPF

AEO: How much time do you spend practicing in a week?
PJ: I practice parkour maybe 3 days a week and on the other days I do things like calisthenics, tennis and slacklining.

AEO: What was your favorite part about shooting the AEO Flex Video?
PJ: My favourite part was during the stills shoot where we performed somersaults off of the trampette in the corn field, it looked amazing.

Paul Joseph AEO WFPF

AEO: What was the most dangerous Parkour move you’ve done to date? Any injuries?
PJ: I did a big running precision jump at IMAX in Waterloo and ended up slipping off a high wall and shattering my elbow, that’s the worst injury i’ve ever had.

AEO: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
PJ: I play piano, produce music and enjoy the occasional bit of knitting!

Paul Joseph AEO WFPF

AEO: Greatest advice you’ve ever received in Parkour? And any advice for aspiring Parkour athletes?
PJ: The best advice I could give is just to keep training at your own pace. Don’t try and show off and do things just to impress others, and just have fun.

AEO: What was your favorite thing about the Flex Denim?
PJ: The flex denim jeans are the best jeans I’ve ever wore, they look and feel amazing. The flexibility in them is better than any other jeans I’ve tried, and I would even wear these jeans for training.

Paul Joseph AEO WFPF

AEO: Where else would you wear AEO Flex Denim to?
PJ: These jeans are so comfortable I would wear them for any occasion. I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans to train in for quite a while, now I’ve found them!

AEO: Top 3 songs you are listening to right now?
PJ: No top 3 songs at the moment but currently listening to hip hop/dubstep mixes which gets me pumped for training.

Follow Paul’s daily adventures here, and make sure to check out our previous interview with Max Henry, another WFPF athlete featured in our video.

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Parkour Time: 10 Questions with Max Henry

We’re introducing AEO Flex/Denim, an innovative new denim technology that moves with you in three different levels of flexibility — Core, Active, and Extreme — and we wanted to really put it to the test. So, we partnered with the amazing athletes of WFPF to showcase the revolutionary versatility of these jeans and what you can do in them. We featured three parkour athletes in our latest Flex/Denim video and were so impressed by their talent that we wanted to get to know them a little more. Read on for our first interview with Max Henry.

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot intense Parkour


AEO: Who are some of your heroes, and they do not have to be athletes?
MH: I have a lot of heroes! Most of them are fictional (lol) but as far as actual human beings go…I’m a big reader, so I have a lot of respect for my favorite authors and poets (J.R.R. Tolkien, T.S. Eliot, Jim Butcher, E.E. Cummings, and C.S. Lewis to name a few). I’m also quite into music, particularly bluegrass and hip-hop, so I’d call people like Shad (Shadrach Kabango) and Noam Pikelny heroes as well. And of course my mom and dad on the day-to-day level for always being there for me and encouraging my strange jumping habits!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot NYC

 

AEO: When did you become interested in Parkour?
MH: I found out about parkour through my best friend when I was 14 and started training later that day. I haven’t stopped since then so I suppose I’ve been interested since 2007. When I was really young I did gymnastics and constantly jumped around on everything I could see so I guess you could also say I’ve been into it even longer than that. I just didn’t know it had a name!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot action beachAEO: How much time do you spend practicing in a week?
MH: It depends on lots of variables but in the summer I try and train 5-6 days a week for a few hours a day. When you’re traveling and teaching it can be hard to stay consistent with it but ultimately it’s what I’m most passionate about so I always find it pretty easy to make time for training! But in the winter I usually go into hibernation mode and focus more on strength development through olympic lifting and other forms of cross-training. So it’s very seasonal!

AEO: What was your favorite part about shooting the AEO Flex Video?
MH: I had a really great time shooting the video so it’s hard to say! But the best thing to me was probably the general sense of camaraderie between everyone on set. It’s always great to work with people who are passionate about a project but also flexible and open to collaboration. It really seemed like everyone on set was willing to listen to other opinions to try and create the best video possible. That kind of atmosphere has been really rare in my experience, and was amazing to be a part of! The scenery was also really amazing.

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 2

 

AEO: What was the most dangerous Parkour move you’ve done to date? Any injuries?
MH: Well, I definitely try to keep the danger level down in my own training since being injured takes away from the time I can practice doing what I love. I’ve done some jumps at height with serious consequences most people would see as being dangerous but since I know my own abilities I wouldn’t say they are particularly dangerous for me! The whole concept of danger is something that’s really subjective, so something that seems life-threatening to someone who’s never done parkour before might seem simple to me because of my training. But yeah, I never go out with the intent of doing jumps I perceive as being dangerous because my own health and safety is ultimately my top priority!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 5AEO: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
MH: Hmmm…well, I have a B.A. in Mathematics from Hofstra University. I also play banjo and sing baritone part-time with several professional choirs near my home on Long Island. Aaaaand I’m a huge comic and sci-fi/fantasy geek! But if you’ve ever seen me when I’m not training you probably already know that…

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot banjo Max the consumate musician

 

AEO: Greatest advice you’ve ever received in Parkour? And any advice for aspiring Parkour athletes?
MH: Fear is something that is always present in parkour when you get to a certain level and can be hard to overcome for a lot of people. But I’ve really learned from some very good friends and fellow athletes to trust my judgement and accept that you never have complete control in any situation. Being able to have faith in yourself and your will and preparation is important in parkour and life in general. Just ask Batman!

AEO: What was your favorite thing about the Flex Denim?
MH: I love how well they stretched and still maintained their fit, which seems super obvious, but is 100% true. I’ve had some other stretch jeans in the past that I’ve tried to train with and after a session or two of heavy training they always turned saggy or ripped. Not so with these bad boys!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 1

AEO: Where else would you wear AEO Flex Denim to?
MH: Well, besides my pair of Flex jeans and some dress pants, my wardrobe consists mostly of sweatpants and basketball shorts so I wear them pretty much everywhere! Church, the mall, restaurants, bus/boat/plane rides…you name it!

AEO: Top 3 songs you are listening to right now?
MH: #1. Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive because I’m in love with Rachael Price.
#2. Tell Me True by Sarah Jarosz because she’s amazing.
#3. Seasons by Chris Cornell because it makes me strong when I squat!

Follow Max’s daily adventures here.

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The Inside Scoop with Parkour ‘star’ Jake Johnson

Have you seen the latest Funny or Die video with Jake Johnson attempting to duplicate amazing parkour stunts? If you haven’t, it’s a must see, so watch it now or re-watch it again!

Read on to learn more about how Jake prepared for the parkour video in an exclusive interview with Men’s Journal.

How did you prepare to do a live parkour video? Have you ever parkour-ed before?
JJ: I prepared for this parkour video by doing months of parkour throughout all the major cities. I did a national tour with the other parkour guys in my parkour gang. We went from Dallas to Seattle to New York. New York was crazy. Parkoured all throughout Manhattan. Got halfway up the Empire State Building just parkour’n. The preparation has been extensive. Its been over six months so I hope we make some magic today.

Parkouring takes a certain amount of fearlessness, and a whole lot of core strength. Do you have both of those things?
JJ: Tenfold. I’m nothing but core strength. I hide it. I think true strength is not meant to be shown off, so I put a layer of fat over my strength to camouflage it. If I were an animal, I’d be an animal who could play like I was dead, so that when you go to strike me, I could attack. That’s my layer of fat over my core strength. Fearlessness? Hell, when I was a baby I was doing parkour. As an infant my mother was throwing me up onto buildings and I was climbing down. So, born fearless – and over 30 years of building core strength.

What’s the best apparel for parkouring? Why did you choose American Eagle stretch denim?
JJ: You need your apparel to be able to stretch, so you can do what you need to do. But I’m also not looking to look like a schlub in sweatpants. In case I’m climbing up a building and there’s a beautiful lady up there, I’d like to look handsome – so I want pants that actually looks like jeans. But, given my flexibility, I also need to be able to possibly do the splits. I can’t have a pair of jeans ripping up the middle making me look like a clown. I need a nice in-between.

Would American Eagle stretch denim have helped you escape angry dinos in Jurassic world?
JJ: Well, considering I was the control room nerd in Jurassic World, the answer is yes.

Is parkour your way of preparing to run from dinosaurs in the next film?
JJ: Yes, the way that I prepare for all the movies I do is I prepare to run from dinosaurs while doing parkour. The movie I’ve got coming out in August, a smaller indie movie called Digging For Fire, made by the director of Drinking Buddies, is about a relationship. My wife in it, Rosemarie DeWitt, and I have a small baby together. We take a weekend apart; she forms a weekend romance with Orlando Bloom, I hang out with my friends in it – Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. The only way to prepare for that kind of adult indie is to do parkour and pretend I’m running away from dinosaurs. So 100% yes.

Is this outfit a direct nod to Nedry from the first film?
JJ: Is that Wayne Knight? Newman? No, if anything it’s a nod to Samuel L. Jackson in the first film. But, no, we’re not going after a Newman look. The goal of this campaign is not to look like Newman from Seinfeld circa ‘91.

What is your normal fitness regimen?
JJ: I actually go to the gym a couple times a week. And my friend (Steve Berg) and I take hikes at least twice a week. Because you’ve gotta get that cardio going or you’re going to get in some trouble.

Why do this Funny Or Die video?
JJ: I’ve been working with Funny Or Die for a lot of years now, on projects here and there, and I find them to be very funny. The talent that comes out of there – from the creatives to the actors that get involved – it’s just top of the line talent. American Eagle contacted me, I know the brand, I like the jeans and I like the clothes. My character on New Girl wears this stuff so I do know it. I read the Funny Or Die script and thought it was very funny. I think it’s funny to parody a parkour video while also doing some actual parkour, because it looks cool. And I was able to get a good friend and collaborator, Max Winkler, to direct it. He’s done over 10 New Girl episodes and we did a movie together. Amanda Lund, who is really funny, is also in the video. She was also on New Girl and we are going to improvise and have fun. So, it just seemed like it would be a fun afternoon.

 

Love is Love 2015

Pittsburgh, Toronto, New York City and San Francisco are not only some of the greatest cities in the world – they also happen to be just a few of the many cities that support a cause that is near and dear to our hearts… Love.

For the third year, American Eagle Outfitters is proud to be a supporter of Pittsburgh Pride on June 13th taking place on the streets of downtown close to our Headquarters. Following Pittsburgh, a series of events will take place starting on June 19th to make up the WorldPride Festival in Toronto.  On June 28th, New York City will kickoff it’s pride events with a rally and on June 27th-28th, San Francisco will host it’s annual themed Pride Celebration. We wanted to support the cause too!  So we designed limited edition tanks and t-shirts for men and women and are selling them online and in select AEO stores!  To help ensure that these events continue to take place all over the globe, we will be donating 15% of the proceeds from every purchase to InterPride. Read on to learn more about InterPride, what they stand for and the amazing work that they do.

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Shop the rest of the designs at ae.com

InterPride is the international organization that ties Pride together globally.  Members of their organization are dedicated volunteers who organize and work to put on Pride events all over the world.  InterPride’s Vision is a world where there is full cultural, social and legal equality for all.  InterPride’s Mission is to increase the capacity of their network of LGBTI Pride organizations around the world to raise awareness of cultural, social and legal inequality, and to effect positive change through education, collaboration, advocacy and outreach. InterPride acts as a source of education and a stepping-stone to elevating community interaction for PRIDE events worldwide.  They promote Pride on an international level and increase networking opportunities and communication among Pride Organizations. Learn more at interpride.org.

If you are going to one of these events or live close by, check out the following United States and Canada stores that are selling the shirts: SoHo, Times Square, 34th Street, Union Square, San Fran Center, Ross Park, South Side Works and available in the following Canada locations: Queens Street West, Eaton Centre and St. Cats.

Going to a Pride event? Tell us where in the comments below.

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7 things we love to bring in 2015

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Happy new year! Our 2015 is off to an awesome start and we hope yours is, too. These are some of our favorite things to kick off the year. How are you heading into 2015?

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: INTO THE WOODS
Whether or not you know or have ever seen the show, this movie is a must see. The all-star cast (led by Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Meryl Streep) take you through some of the most well-known fairytales (including Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella)… but, as you’ll soon find out, everything is not as it seems. As Cinderella’s Prince, Pine’s rendition of Agony (sung with Rapunzel’s Prince, Billy Magnussen) is especially hilarious.

WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO: BORNS
We can’t get enough as of late with this Michigan born and bred (but now LA dwelling) singer, whose blend of folk, glam and electro rock makes us feel like we’re living inside a dream. (In the best way possible, of course.) Make sure to download his EP, Candy.

WHAT WE’RE READING: BLOGLOVIN’
Need a way to keep all your blogs under one online roof? Bloglovin’ is SO the way to go. This blog reader organizes every post into a feed that you can scroll through all together or break up by individual blog, making it super easy to read all your favorite sites at a glance. (Plus it’s such an easy way to follow both this blog and our Tumblr, meaning you’ll never miss out on anything happening right here at AEO.)

WHERE WE’RE GOING: LOS ANGELES
The City of Angels is calling our name right now (probably because as we type this it’s only 17 degrees outside at our Pittsburgh home office headquarters). But in all fairness, L.A. has tons of awesome stuff to do and see. Catch a game or a concert at the Staples Center, go shopping on Abbot Kinney in Venice, stroll along the pier in Santa Monica, catch the waves in Malibu, be super touristy and go to Graumann’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame… there’s something for everyone (and tons of neighborhoods to explore).

WHAT WE’RE DOWNLOADING: HYPERLAPSE
In a word? O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. Turn all of your videos into a work of art with this app, which make it so easy to create time lapse videos (and to upload them to Instagram). Truth be told, we’re pretty much spending all our free time making them.

WHAT WE’RE EATING/DRINKING: DETOX SMOOTHIES
Whether your NYE was full of debauchery or you just hit the cookies a little too hard over the holidays, there’s no time like the present to do a little detoxing. And what better (and more delicious) way to do that than with a detox smoothie? We’re especially loving the idea of a blueberry and avocado smoothie. Just blend it with a banana, cucumber, spinach and coconut water and voila: instant refreshment (and good for your body antioxidants to boot).

WHAT WE’RE WEARING: DESTROYED JEANS
Really want to break into 2015? You need a new pair of destroyed jeans. Ripped, repaired, mended, stitched, faded, distressed, patched… the more destroyed your jeans are this year, the better.

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7 things we love: Holiday Edition

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We’re getting in the spirit with a holiday-themed edition of 7 Things We Love. So grab a glass of eggnog, settle down in front of the fireplace and check out our top picks for the season (and be sure to let us know your favorite holiday things, too).

Wake Up In Fun PJ’s
There’s nothing better than waking up on Christmas morning (or, okay, any winter day really) in a set of really fun pajamas. For girls, we’re totally loving our Fair Isle Knit Legging (currently sold out online, but check your closest AEO for availability), especially when it’s paired with a too cute for words sequined penguin sweatshirt. And for guys, we can’t get enough of buffalo check this season (the “Iced Out” graphic on the T just adds to the festive feel).

Give An AEO Gift Card To Someone Special
Still stumped over what to buy for your brother/sister/mom/dad/BFF/etc? Why not give an AEO Gift Card? Whether you choose a traditional card, an E-Gift Card or a Mobile Gift Card, they’re always the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We’ve created tons of fun designs for them this year, and you can even personalize a digital greeting for the recipient! Just visit ae.com/giftcard from your phone to include a voice or text message with the card.

Download The Elf Stickers on Facebook Messenger
Want to make the Facebook messages you send a little more fun? The Elf stickers (yes, inspired by your favorite human elf) will have you laughing and messaging up a storm. All of the best lines from the movie are included, from “Santa! I know him!” and “I just like to smile!” to “You sit on a throne of lies!” and “I’m a cotton headed ninny muggins.” The only problem? You might get addicted to sending them.

Listen to “That’s Christmas To Me” By Pentatonix
Honestly? It’s hard to even choose a favorite song from this album. The intricate harmonies and awesome voices of this five-person a cappella group soar over some of the most loved Christmas songs and give them a fresh new twist. We’re especially digging “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”—but, really, you can’t go wrong with any of the songs on this album.

DIY A Hot Chocolate Bar
Come on, who doesn’t love hot chocolate on a cold winter day? We know we do. We scoured Pinterest this year for ideas on how to turn an empty space into a hot cocoa wonderland. Buy some marshmallows, cinnamon and peppermint sticks, some fancy mugs and maybe a stocking or two (oh, and lots of hot cocoa, of course)… and get ready to do some serious chocolate drinking!

Read How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Is it really the holidays without this gem by Dr. Seuss? It’s one of the most loved Christmas stories for a reason. So travel to Whoville with the grouchy, grumpy Grinch and go along on his journey toward discovering what Christmas is really about.

Watch Love Actually
We don’t know about you, but the holidays really haven’t begun until we watch this star-studded movie of intersecting plots and characters, filled with the spirit of joy, giving and love. (Not to mention a killer dance scene by Hugh Grant.) It warms our hearts more and more every year!

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