What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

Whether you’ve already began packing or you’re still anxiously scrolling through Pinterest to find the perfect back-to-school looks, it’s not too late to pick up those last minute must-haves. Leave the stress behind and let us show you how easy it is to ace cute and comfortable!

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

We think you’ll agree that one of the best parts of going off to college is the freedom. Not just the freedom to stay up until midnight, eating oreos and laughing with your roomie (okay, that’s awesome, too) but the freedom to dress how you want, when you want. You have the rest of your life to be an adult, so for now rock that effortlessly chic look like it’s going out of style.

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

Whether you plan to spend afternoons doing yoga on the quad or lounging with your besties, our Crop Yoga Pant is something you can’t live without.  Between the soft stretch cotton jersey and lace print waistband, you’ll own multiple pairs by the end of the semester. Yes, they’re that good. Pair with our über-comfortable Seamless Bra to achieve that level of zen you’ll need right before your intense mid-term.

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

For all you busy fashionistas running (literally!) from one class to the next, you’re going to love the Best Basics Shop. Throw on our Hide & Peek Plunge Bralette, Scoop Neck Tank and Varsity Jacket Sweatshirt to achieve that simple, yet stylish #OOTD. And the look wouldn’t be complete without our Jogger – a skinny fit that can be dressed up or down. If that doesn’t sound like sweatpant bliss, we don’t know what does.

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

Once your #OOTD is picked out, you’ll want to add a little something sweet. Our Hidden Love line of Body Lotion, Body Cream, Body Mist and Perfume offer a pretty mix of fresh fruits, sensual florals and creamy vanilla. Grab a Rollerball to throw in your bag for those late night study sessions!

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

Every girl on-the-go will appreciate our adorable Baggu Backpack! With its floral print, double strap and (washing machine-friendly!) cotton canvas, it offers the perfect harmony of cute and functional. Now all that’s left to do is grab your monogrammed notebooks and head to class in style!

What to Pack: Dorm Essentials

After a long day of class, you deserve to unwind in style. We may be a little biased, but our sleep sets are some of the absolute cutest around. Let’s start with our Softest Modal Bralette and Mini Boyfrief. Not only are they made of the softest (you guessed it!) modal, they have the sweetest scalloped lace trim. Throw on a Sleep Top and a pair of Boxers, or one of our Softest Sleep Robes, to drift off to dreamland.

Now that your dorm essentials have been picked out, are you ready for class to begin? The answer: You were born ready. Good luck – we know you’re going to do great! xo

Need more #OOTD inspiration? Check out our How To: Throw the Perfect End of Summer Party post!

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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 AE.com, 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!

Name
Coco Yokoyama

Occupation
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.

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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 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!

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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 AE.com. 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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