AEOBetterWorld Community Day

This past Tuesday, Nearly 1,300 associates from American Eagle corporate offices volunteered their time to give back to their local communities in Pittsburgh, New York City, and San Francisco, as well as in Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong. Some associates planted trees, created park benches, spent time with children, while others attended animal shelters and food banks. Associates volunteered for over 30 community projects to make a positive impact. Check out the photos below and start volunteering in your community today! Want to see more photos? Follow #AEOBetterWorld on Instagram to see over 500 photos!


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Get to know Coco Yokoyama, AEO Stylist

Do you ever wonder who helps Preston and Lauren put together #AEOStyle concepts per season? We sat down with the hilarious and smiley Senior Stylist for, Coco Yokoyama to talk about her day to day job, style and trends for upcoming seasons. Want to know what her favorite memory of Preston is or what emoji she would be? Check out her rapid fire interview below to find out!

Coco Yokoyama

Senior Stylist for AEO Direct

What does your day to day look like at the office?
On shoot days, I arrive at the studio early to make sure the model is in hair and makeup, then Bri (my lovely assistant) helps prep the clothes for the model. After hair and makeup are complete, we do a quick fitting with the model. Then, we go on set and shoot our product all day until we get the perfect shot. We jam out to great music, laugh at each others goofiness and just have fun!

Favorite photo shoot that you’ve been on?
For AEO, I love every shoot that I’ve been on! The campaign shots for every season have been amazing and I’m so blessed to travel to such amazing locations with a rad team of people.  Another one of my all time favorite shoots that I’ve been on was when I was a little girl, my family shot for GQ for Fathers Day back home in Cali! It was a blast.

AEO Interview with Coco Yokoyama

Coco poses for a picture during the AEO Spring photoshoot in Miami.

Challenges that you’ve faced in your occupation?
Everyday is a challenge…it’s called life (haha)

How do you come up with outfits for each season?- What’s your strategy/process?
Preston and Lauren usually have insight on what the design team has in store for the upcoming seasons and base the styling from working closely with these teams. Once Preston and Lauren have a concept, they relay that info to me and I execute!

Best advice you’ve been given to handle this role?
Be a leader, not a follower.

AEO Interview with Coco Yokoyama

The AEO Styling team takes a selfie moment at the movies.

What big trends are you seeing for summer/BTS?
A good denim selection with a twist of street and hipster key pieces.


Shop the look: ( 1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 )

Are there any trends that you don’t want to come back?
Most trends come back and they usually have a twist to its original standards, so to me its something new to look at.

Favorite staple in your wardrobe?
Anything black! I ALWAYS wear black!

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Merchant Interview: Laura Khan

Some may say that a girl’s best friend is a great pair of shoes. Now, imagine getting to work with shoes all… day… long.  For Laura K., Merchandise Manager for shoes and accessories, this is reality.  We sat down with Laura to learn more about her amazing job as well as a little bit about her, too — she is quite the fashionista, gals!  Check out the interview below.

Name:  Laura Khan

Occupation:  Merchandise Manager

Where are you from:  This question is always tough for me because I grew up moving around a bit.  I lived in Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio before moving to Pittsburgh.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do… I’m a Capricorn, a dog lover, married to a smarty pants and a new mom of the coolest kid in the world.  I’m obsessed with interior design and party planning for any one of my friends — our accessories team is famous for office birthday parties!  I manage the men’s and women’s shoe and accessories buying team for our website.  We work with the store merchants, design and production teams to develop amazing AEO product and then buy styles from other brands (New Balance, Birkenstock, Timberland, etc.) to build an awesome assortment online.

What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?  Our team manages four seasons at once, so we are analyzing sales, tracking shipping, buying or hind-sighting on any given day.  Right now we are working on buying our Holiday 2014 collection, so I am spending a lot of time checking out new vendor assortments to see if we want to buy any of their product.  There will be a lot of fun gifts in accessories this year and you are going to want to update your closet with at least five new pairs of shoes.

What do you love most about working with shoes?  I like being able to shop the market, going to different trade shows to see product from our vendors AND working with our fantastic AEO shoe design and production teams.  That gives us a lot of options to make sure that our collection is trend right and ties back to the apparel assortment.  Shoes complete the outfit!

What made you want to pursue merchandising?  I kind of fell into merchandising.  I started out at AEO allocating skirts and dresses to all of the stores eight years ago.  After about a year, I moved over to the web merchandising team because there was a lot of growth potential and I could get creative merchandising the web site and be focused on product.  I started in web when there were only five merchants and now there are 30!

Who are some of your favorite artists?  If you know me, you know I like slow R&B jams.  My favorites are John Legend, Miguel, Trey Songz and Bruno Mars.

What are you obsessed with lately?  Watching my son grow up.

Associate Interview- Laura K.

Check out Laura’s adorable son on her Instagram.

On your playlist?  Beyoncé, Beyoncé and JayZ!

Any upcoming vacations planned that you are excited about?  Headed to Nags Head, Outer Banks in 2 weeks with our family!  I can’t wait to sit my bum on a beach chair and watch the kids play and listen to the waves crash.

Five words to describe you:  Sparkly, Neon, Happy, Smiley, Yes.

Favorite destination:  St John, USVI.  We went in January with some friends and every beach there was ridiculously gorgeous.

Favorite quote:  If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely – Roald Dahl

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?  Be kind. Work hard. Stay humble. Smile often. Stay loyal. Keep honest. Travel when possible. Never stop learning. Be thankful always. And love

And the advice you’d offer aspiring buyers?  See above!

Three items on your AEO wish list.  AEO thick strap sandal in gold, AEO Crocheted Romper in black and the AEO Boho Embroidered Bucket Backpack in multi.

Three tasks on your bucket list.  Travel the world, have a garden and ride horses.

What are your fashion rules to live by?  I live in jeans, I make sure to purposefully wear white before Memorial Day and I can never have too many pairs of shoes.

What AEO pieces are topping your list this year?  Overalls, rompers and all of the shoes I buy of course.

If you were accidentally locked in AEO HQ overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?  I would seriously have to call the AEOHotline if this happened to me, but luckily the Aerie team sits two rows down from me and they normally have a few samples lying around.  And I’d have to hit up our AEO sample closet for a dress.

AEO Associate Interview

Laura’s purse contents. We know where we’re going if we want a sweet snack!

Favorite style of shoes?  Booties. They look perfect with almost any outfit all year round.

Favorite accessory?  Jewelry.  I always have a watch, stacks of bracelets, stud earrings and some sort of necklace on.

Are there any accessories or shoes coming out this summer that you’re loving?  Stacking earrings up your ear, I was surprised to see that I still had my second earring holes! I’m even contemplating getting more — crazy!  Birkenstocks are back in a big way this year, I still have my Arizona’s from middle school, but I also have the Gizeh in black and Kairo in white. And now I want to buy baby Birks for my son.

What trends are you seeing with shoes and accessories for Summer and BTS?  This is definitely the year of the sneaker.  There’s a lot of print and pattern to spice up a basic outfit.  Bandanas are a fun multi-use accessory to wear as a headband, bracelet, bun wrap or tie around the strap of a bag.

What trends would you like to see gone for Summer and BTS?  Skorts!


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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

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!

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AEO Friends and Family: Cara McLeay from A Fashion Love Affair

In case you hadn’t guessed it yet, we’ve been blogger-crushing on Cara McLeay from A Fashion Love Affair for years. We were so thrilled we had the chance to partner with her for spring break and feature her favorite pieces from our latest collection in a shop on Read on to learn more about the girl behind the blog!

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Cara McLeay from A Fashion Love Affair.

When did you discover your interest in fashion and writing?
I have always loved fashion for as long as I can remember and I really got into writing and reading in high school, and then went onto study English in University.

What prompted you to start A Fashion Love Affair?
I started A Fashion Love Affair to share my daily inspiration and love of fashion and style. I had no idea what an amazing community I would find–it is so much fun to connect with people who share your same passion!

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Blogging offers so many amazing experiences and opportunities–but my favourite thing by far is the people it allows me to meet.

cara mcleay a fashion love affair american eagle outfitters spring 2014

Cara in Florence.

What are you doing when you’re not blogging?
I love being outside so I try to spend as much time as I can walking my dog, swimming, hiking and running. I also love to travel and am always planning my next trip.

What is your favorite fit of AEO denim?
The Tomboy Jean. I love dressing them up with heels or looking casual with a t-shirt and flats. I am a big fan of the boy-meets-girl look.

What trends from AEO do you love most for Spring?
Floral prints.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Traveling, Pinterest, music, movies, magazines–and everywhere in between!

What is the last song you listened to?
Drunk in Love by Beyonce–on repeat!

Where is the coolest place you have ever traveled?
I try to travel as much as possible so have been lucky enough to see some pretty amazing things! I think the coolest places have been South Africa, Vietnam and Turkey.

cara mcleay a fashion love affair american eagle outfitters spring 2014

Cara in Hawaii.

What fashion trend do you hope to never see again?
Wedge sneakers & Uggs!

What fashion trend do you hope comes back in style?
Off the shoulder tops! I was a big fan of the Flashdance off-the-shoulder sweatshirt.

Tell us a few fun facts about you.
I have a 7 year old beagle named Gus
I have a Bacherlor’s Degree in Women’s Studies.
My favorite fruit is pineapple.

cara mcleay a fashion love affair american eagle outfitters spring 2014

Cara with her beagle, Gus.

What’s next on your life to-do list?
More traveling! I really wanted to visit Peru and climb Machu Picchu.

Follow Cara:

Blog: A Fashion Love Affair

Twitter: @carajourdan

Instagram: @carajourdan

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AEO Friends & Family: George E., NYFW Photographer

AEO Friends & Family: George E., NYFW Photographer

Did you catch our coverage of New York Fashion Week with Preston and Lauren? They hit the streets with photographer George Evan to capture some of the awesome street style they spotted while attending the fall shows. Read on to learn more about the photographer behind the lens and follow him on Instagram at @thevagabound.

american eagle outfitters new york fashion week spring 2014 george evan photographer

George in the Premium Slim Jean and the Denim Jacket.

How did you discover your interest for photography?

When I was young, I encountered the pinhole effect, which is a lighting phenomenon discovered in the times of Aristotle, and became fascinated with the way lighting could create and manipulate a mood. My parents had a film camera I would use. I began using it as a bridge into other people’s lives and using it as a way to portray a person while expressing ideas and opinions.

How did you get your start as a professional photographer?

I attended photography school in Santa Barbara. While I was there, I interned for David LaChapelle and then started working for him at his studio, which was an invaluable education in itself. After a while, I came back home to the East Coast and settled in. New York has been a home base for me ever since. Photography, like life, can be an exciting journey.

What is your favorite style of photography?

I am drawn to conceptual portraits – images that convey who a person is in an aesthetically moving way. Fashion and adventure photography also have their own beauty to me. I’m obsessed with learning about new styles, new cultures and meeting new people.

What is your favorite camera to shoot with?

I grew up shooting film and later printing in the darkroom and I still use many alternative techniques in some of my work. In addition to shooting digital, I usually will use a few different vintage cameras that I’ve gathered over the years. Each has its own advantages and unique way of seeing.

What is something surprising about being a photographer that people don’t usually know?

It feels more like a lifestyle than a job. One that provides both freedom and challenges. For me, starting out has been a balance between left and right brain.

Where is the coolest place you’ve ever traveled for your job?

I recently spent a few weeks working in Zambia and I had the opportunity to meet and work with some incredibly inspirational people.

american eagle outfitters new york fashion week spring 2014 george evan photographer

George captured this photo of Victoria Falls during a recent trip to Zambia. Click through to see more of his photos on his website.

What is your favorite style of AEO jeans?

The Slim Jean is cozy and durable. The Denim Jacket is great either on its own or with other layers.

Does your work influence your fashion? How?

Absolutely. Fashion, like photography, is a way of expressing myself. I’m thankful to have worked with amazing brands and stylists and I hope some of that style has rubbed off on me.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I can find ideas and inspiration inside myself as a result of looking everywhere: in clothes, cultures, nature, memories and most of all, love.

What was the most fun part of shooting New York Fashion Week with Preston, Lauren and AEO?

The entire experience with AEO, Preston and Lauren has been really productive, which is always inspiring. Working with a great crew to photograph amazing people and cool clothes has been a dream come true.

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