AEO Friends and Family: Lakwena, Street Artist

Meet Lakwena, the super-talented artist behind our Alternative Spring Break project at the Wynwood Walls in Miami, #HEARTTHISCITY. We spoke with Lakwena about how she got her start, what it was like to work with the AEO cast and crew and where she finds her inspiration.

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Lakwena with her team in front of our #HEARTTHISCITY mural. Photo from Lakwena’s Instagram.

When did you first discover your love for art?
I’ve always loved art. My earliest memory of art is learning to write in school when I was about 4. It was my first introduction to typography.

Did you attend university for art or are you self-trained?
I studied at the University of the Arts London.

Tell us a little bit about your style and work.
I like to play with typography, colour, and pattern. I love working on a large scale.

Who has been a mentor or inspiration to your career in art?
My mother. She always knew I was an artist and encouraged me and believed in me.

What piece of your work has the most meaning to you? Why?
Hard question. Maybe my recent piece in Wynwood, ‘I remember Paradise’. Being given the opportunity to paint on such a large scale is an actual dream come true. Regardless of what happens from here onwards, that’s something that I’m really proud to have accomplished.

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Lakwena’s “I remember Paradise”. Photo from Lakwena.com.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?
At least with commercial work, having to be creative on demand, often with very little time.

How did you get involved with the installation art at Wynwood Walls?
A friend who has a gallery in Los Angeles put my name forward to be involved, the curators liked my work, so I was invited out.

What was your inspiration for #HEARTTHISCITY?
The designs came from sketches that I’d been experimenting with, playing around with quite intricate patterns inspired by memphis patterns amongst other things. A friend described the original sketch works as ‘afro-futuristic circuit boards’, which I liked a lot.

What is your favorite memory of working with American Eagle Outfitters and Project Live Your Life?
Seeing lots of people working together on my designs.

What do you heart about your hometown, Bromley in the United Kingdom?
I love the trees there. What I love most about East London is the creative energy there.

What do you heart about Miami?
The creative community.

Tell us a fun fact about you.
I’m a wrestling champion!

Real Talk Interview with Kelsey A., of Altoona, PA

Today’s Real Talk interview is with Kelsey A., of Altoona, PA, an associate from the Aerie in Lehigh Valley Mall! Learn more about Kelsey, what #AerieREAL means to her, her must-have Aerie item, and what inspires her below!

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Kelsey’s favorite “going-out” make up and hair look.

Hi, Kelsey! Thanks for chatting with us. What does #AerieREAL mean to you?

There is no normal, there is no standard. Aerie girls don’t have to try to form to a mold, or try to be something they’re not. You can just be comfortable being you, in your own skin.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I’m not afraid to speak out for what I believe in, or to try things that others might shy away from. And I’m really outgoing and kind of outrageous and weird in my own way!

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Kelsey and her husband Seth loving the fall weather!

With festivals quickly flooding our schedules, we want to know - what is currently playing in your music library?

Florence & the Machine, Franz Ferdinand, and David Bowie.

What’s your favorite movie? 

Labyrinth, with David Bowie. I am huge David Bowie Fan…that’s my little quirk!

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Kelsey’s cat Nimbus!

What is one thing the world needs more of?

The world needs more generosity and kindness…that would definitely make the world a happier and better place!

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Kelsey getting her cake & eating it too on her wedding day!

What’s your favorite summer item from Aerie.com?

This summer, I can’t live without the Racerback Tank! It’s super cute with a bandeau underneath and comes in a bunch of fun colors!

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Kelsey and her husband visit the Rose Gardens in Allentown from the past Summer.

What’s your favorite bra? 

Jacklyn! It has the most comfortable mold to it, the wire is built in, and the wing is beautiful with lace detail. It’s the most beautiful bra and gives a little push without being too overdramatic!

What’s your must have item in your purse?

Lip gloss – I love Burt’s Bees Pomegranate balm! There are always chapsticks and lipgloss all around my store…and it is all mine!

 Thank you so much for chatting with us Kelsey!

Show us how YOU’RE Aerie Real and tag your photos with #AerieREAL for a chance to be featured on Aerie.com!

xo,

Aerie

#AEOStyle Roundup

We all know you thought we pulled your tail when we introduced American Beagle Outfitters in late March. At first, that was our plan, but thanks to your overwhelming response, we’ve decided to create a line exclusively for mans best friend and its coming this fall! Check out our launch on the Today Show and our #AEOStyle Roundup below featuring some insanely cute dogs…because who’s to say that only  humans can have great #AEOStyle?

Now Trending: Tropic Florals

Who doesn’t love flowers? And while they may not be new for spring (think of the famous line from The Devil Wears Prada), we’ve totally reinvented the wheel in bright tropical floral that grab everyone’s attention. We’ve paired our floral corset top with bright high-rise jegging crops and topped off the look with a straw fedora. To check out more of our tropic floral prints visit our dedicated lookbook on ae.com.

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Tropic Floral essentials for spring.

Shop the trend:
1. Metallic Straw Fedora
2. Short Sleeve Open Cardigan
3. High-Rise Jegging Crop Pant
4. Floral Corset Top
5. Gizeh Habana Sandal

Be sure to show us how you wear your tropic florals with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for a chance to be on AE.com.

Now Trending: Surf Florals

 

Lauren, our Manager of Styling, shows you how to give your spring break look a chill vibe with a vintage-inspired floral print tank and adding a pop of color with a knit beanie. Don’t forget to show us how you wear AEO with #AEOSTYLE for a chance to be featured on AE.com.

 

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Surf Floral essentials for spring.

Shop the trend:
Vintage Palms T-Shirt
Knit Beanie
Printed Sneakers
Denim Cutoff Short

Be sure to show us how you wear surf florals with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for a chance to be on AE.com.

#AerieREAL Panel of Amazing Women

We’ve seen an incredible amount of support for #AerieREAL and we love seeing the support spread from woman to woman as each shares their #AerieREAL story. Your kind words, open hearts, and courage are what inspired us to launch our new challenge, “What Do You Love About You?”.

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You’re invited to self-nominate or to nominate a friend that you believe is #AerieREAL. We want to feature their moments, celebrate them and their accomplishments in hope that they inspire others.

5 individuals will be chosen to receive the ultimate Aerie experience! They’ll be invited to join us at Aerie’s HQ and will be featured in an interview on the AEO blog (right here!) complimented by a mini shoot in our Photo Studio. Then, our winners will join Aerie’s style and fit expert, Jenny Altman, as they enjoy a $200 shopping spree and more!

We have a panel of amazing, REAL women who will read through the entries! Read on below to learn a bit more about each and what makes them #AerieREAL.

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Dana Seguin, Aerie’s Senior Director of Marketing has been in the retail business for over 14 years. The last eight years has been spent in brand development and marketing for Chico’s, American Eagle Outfitters and their intimates brand, Aerie. She has spent the last year working on Aerie Real and refuses to use retouched images and helps to promote positive body image.

Amy Levin is the founder and creative director of CollegeFashionista, a fashion website featuring content from college students at more than 400 campuses around the world. A Chicago native, she launched the website in 2009 after a semester abroad in London, where the growing importance of street style inspired her to create a community for fashion, photography and self expression.

Jenny Altman, Aerie’s Style and Fit Expert, is the go-to resource from how-to’s and bra quick fixes. As a fashion editor and stylist for InStylePeople Style Watch, and O, the Oprah Magazine, Jenny has helped dress some of the world’s most celebrated personalities and most importantly she helps transform countless REAL women on a daily basis with her website ILOVEAGOOD.COM. Celebrity or not, Jenny believes intimates are (literally) the foundation of a confident look for all women and her passion is helping women find the right pieces for their body shape by talking about it in a REAL way.

Lindsay Avner, the Founder and CEO at Bright Pink was the youngest patient in the US to bravely opt for a risk-reducing double mastectomy with reconstruction. During the experience, Lindsay was frustrated by the lack of resources for women in her specific situation. So, armed with optimism and dedication, Lindsay founded Bright in Pink in January 2007. Now in its seventh year, Bright Pink is the only national non-profit focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support to high-risk individuals.

Each day these women exemplify what being #AerieREAL means. It’s being true to you. Believing that imperfections are beautiful and believing that no one can change who you are.

Tweet us, tag us, or tell us your story today! We’ll be highlighting our favorites by April 6th, but you can always tell us your #AerieREAL story anytime on Twitter and Instagram by tagging us with #AerieREAL.

olapic

xoxo,

Aerie

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