Endless Summer 2013

Endless Summer 2013

Long before our latest collection hits stores, the marketing team starts developing the story behind the season. The Copywriting team gets together after their first glimpse at the collection to create a seasonal story — or “mantra” — which provides the inspiration, point-of-view and vibe for the rest of the season. Now that our Summer marketing is in stores and online, we wanted you to see the story that started it all.

 

This is Summer. Summer is about letting loose. It’s about sun-inspired style, coast-brightening colors, and the salty breeze blowing through your hair.

American Eagle Outfitters Summer 2013 Sayulita Mexico

 

No RAs, TAs, or GPAs. No cafeteria food or 6 a.m. alarms. Summer’s about beach bonfires in your favorite shorts.

American Eagle Outfitters Summer 2013 Sayulita Mexico

Warm days in surf stripes, tribal prints, and Ts.

American Eagle Outfitters Summer 2013 Sayulita Mexico

 

No rules. No worries. Just road, waves, and freedom. This is Summer. Your Endless Summer. Live Your Life.

American Eagle Outfitters Summer 2013 Sayulita Mexico

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AE Friends & Family: Preston K., Director of Styling

AE Friends & Family: Preston K., Director of Styling

We are excited to introduce our new Director of Styling, Preston K. Preston is responsible for creating the overall styling direction for each season. He partners with the designers early in the season to learn about their inspiration for the product, then makes it come to life in all channels of the business related to style – from styling the looks you see in store and online imagery, the PR showrooms, to the mannequins in store.

How did you discover your passion for styling and fashion?

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. My start in the industry was creating window displays and working in Visual Merchandising. I really started to enjoy pulling looks, pairing items together, and working with color and textures. Oddly enough, dressing mannequins ended up not being so different from dressing models – except the models are a bit more talkative.

How did you get your start as a stylist?

I was working retail in Boston during college and was recruited by an executive for a large, American luxury brand. What seemed to be a simple interview turned into almost 10 years of creating, styling, and learning the business. After years in the visual merchandising world, I still found myself wanting to do more…. at the same time, a stylist role became available at the company, and the rest was history for me.

What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled for your job?

The last brand I worked with was a British heritage brand, so I was lucky enough to travel to London almost every month. As much as I fell in love with London and considered it my second home to NYC, I would say Paris was the best place to work. The dining and shopping were obviously incredible, but the people and style watching was amazing.

 Who or what has been the most important influence in your life?

My parents have been a huge influence in my life, teaching me the rewards of working hard and staying dedicated. I had my first job when I was 14 working at an apple orchard in Pennsylvania. Although it seemed like a horrible idea that my parents had back then, it really taught me the important of work/life balance.

What is your dream job?

I love styling, creating, and the overall business of my industry. One day I’d love to work on my own products, whatever they may be.

What is next on your ‘To Do In Life’ list?

More travel to Europe!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Living in New York inspires me. I really take note of what people are wearing, from downtown kids to the uptown set – it’s all important.  Of course the shows and trend reports are always important, but I like to take inspiration from the city itself.

 

Preston on the streets of NYC.

How would you describe your style?

I grew up on the East Coast, living in Philadelphia, Boston & New York, so I’ve always been a pretty preppy guy. I like to mix my love for classic American dressing with some cooler, more trend driven elements.

How does your work influence your style?

Work & my style are one in the same for me. Working on different shoots, brands, locations, and trends always tend to influence the way I dress. The AE crew was making fun of me in Mexico during our summer shoot – I flew into town wearing chino shorts and a chambray shirt, and left wearing way too many neon bracelets, beaded necklaces and straw hats.

Preston took up the local style in Sayulita during our Summer 2013 photo shoot.

What trend are you most excited about this season?

For guys I’m still liking the interjection of camouflage into an everyday look. I think of it as kind of the  new leopard print for guys. Girls wear leopard bags, hats, jeans and shoes… we have camo.

What jean fit do you live in?

I’m liking the AE Destroyed Slim Straight Jeans. They’re slim without being too skinny and have just the right amount of wear & tear to give a cool, worn-in look.

What is your favorite look with jeans?

I like mixing textures: a ripped up jean with a more tailored suit jacket, or a clean selvedge jean with a vintage army coat.

Want to see more from Preston? Check back on Thursday for our first video in our Styled by Preston series. He’ll be taking your through all of the biggest trends for summer and how to wear them.

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Behind the Lens: Project Live Your Life Photo Shoot

Behind the Lens: Project Live Your Life Photo Shoot

Last week, 21 winners from Project Live Your Life headed off to New York City for the experience of a lifetime. These 21 inspiring people went from being American Eagle Outfitters customers and store associates to the cast on our Back to School photo shoot. Most of the photos in this post were captured by Project Live Your Life winners during the shoot.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

Project Live Your Life Back to School 2013 Cast. Photo by @hurricanekatrinac.

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The Back to School photo shoot was inspired by the place where American style thrives—New York City. From SOHO to the Meatpacking District to Brooklyn, the NYC landscapes—and the literally thousands of photos that were captured during the week!—will be the backdrop to the cast for the marketing you see in stores, on AE.com and on our social media channels.

All of our cast members also filmed a confessional style videos, where they talked about their inspirations, passions and personal style. The videos were especially fun to shoot because they were able to experience things that are quintessentially New York, including riding a water taxi from Brooklyn to Manhattan, skateboarding down the cobblestone streets of Brooklyn and eating the best slice of pizza in New York (Joe’s Pizza, according to video director Jenner).

Seth, Leanne and Jacob eating Joe’s Pizza. Photo by @americaneagle.

When they arrived at the airport on Saturday, winners received the star treatment. Each one found his or her name on white boards held by private drivers. They were then whisked off to Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side of Manhattan to get ready for a meet and greet with the cast and crew.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

Arriving at JFK in style. Photo by @brandoncastrox.

The photo shoot began on Saturday with hair styling for each cast member. They received haircuts, color treatments and some of the girls were even given hair extensions. Everyone (guys and girls!) had their hands pampered with manicures and were then fitted for their outfits. Being a part of the photo shoot gave the cast a special sneak peek at our Fall line that will be in stores and online this July.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

The cast showing off their manicures. Photo by @abbeyforddd.

After their fittings, the cast had the opportunity to explore New York City together before shooting began on Monday. They hit up famous NYC landmarks, including Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side, our flagship store in Soho and the bright lights of Times Square. All of their Instagram feeds were full of pictures with new friends all over the Big Apple.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

Luke captured this Intsagram pic of the Back to School cast grabbing sushi together after a day of fittings.

On Monday, the real work started. Shoot days began early at base camp, which was located at Highline Stages in NYC’s historic Meatpacking District. Our cast and crew fueled up on breakfast each day at the studio before the cast went in for hair and makeup. Food is never at a shortage on photo shoots, since craft services always offer meals and snacks throughout the day.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

Project Live Your Life Back to School 2013 Catering. Photo by @brandoncastrox.

The shoot consisted of four sets, which meant being bustled throughout the city during the week to capture photos and videos. Cast members were afforded the opportunity to work with renowned photographer, RJ Shaughnessy, and an all-star video team including Jay Silver, Jenner Furst and Julia Nason. Every cast member worked with our creative team and stylists and experienced a peek behind the scenes of one of their favorite brands.

On the last day of the shoot, the teams all wrapped the only way you can in New York City—with a rooftop dance party! The cast exchanged tearful goodbyes with the crew before heading into the city to spend their last hours together before leaving the next day.

Project Live Your Life American Eagle Outfitters Back to School 2013 Cast

Project Live Your Life winners with photo director Sean at the wrap party. Photo by @brigittemichelle.

After the shoot wrapped, two of the cast members shared their thoughts on the life changing experience.

Brigitte, Lauren and Elora pose while on set. Photo by @laurenarielday.

“Shooting with AE was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was working with the photographers and crew a blast, but getting to know the cast members was absolutely incredible. I had no idea we would all get as close as we did. I just want to say thank you to everyone who was involved in the trip, cast and crew. Without each and every person there it would not have been the same. You all are amazing and I hope to see everyone again soon! Love you guys!” – Brigette, ballet dancer from Rochester Hills, MI

“When I first got off the plane I was so petrified. I had no idea what this experience was going to be like. I had never really modeled for any big brands before so I was pretty nervous. Literally five minutes after arriving at the hotel, I ran into a cast member who was actually staying in the room next to me. As soon as we started talking we couldn’t stop… and that goes for everyone I met. All of our personalities really meshed well. I honestly fell in love with each and every person I had the privilege of meeting during this experience. All of the people who were involved in the creation of this campaign were incredibly kind and caring and it was nothing like I expected. Everyone was real, really real, and got along so incredibly well. All of the shots you’re about to see during this campaign were full of honest emotion. We loved being around each other and that will definitely show.” – Lauren, writer from San Diego, CA

Keep checking back to learn more about our Project Live Your Life winners and learn how you can be part of our next campaign.

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