Real Talk With Fo Porter

This Pilates powerhouse was made for our new Aerie Studio faves. Read on and find out what makes this freckle-faced beauty #AerieREAL!

Real Talk With Fo Porter What music are you currently listening to?

Forever Jeff Buckley and Gwen Stefani.

Lover or fighter?

Passionate, so both.

Breakfast in bed or dinner out?

Dinner out!

What are you reading?

I read graphic novels. I’m a huge comic book nerd.

What makes you really laugh?

My fiancé, when he’s not stuck in his head and being a hard ass all the time. I like when he’s goofy.

Real Talk With Fo Porter

Shop Fo’s Look: Hi-Neck Sports Bra | Outta-Sight Shine Mini Boybrief Undie

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Celebrity tabloids, but the real stuff, not the weird stuff you see in The Enquirer. The “real” stuff!

What does the world need more of?

Love and equality.

How does it feel to know that you won’t be retouched?

It’s empowering because it’s real. It’s something that people take for granted when they look in a magazine.

Do you think retouched images have an impact on young women?

I think a lot of kids don’t even know what retouching is. It’s sad because they don’t get it, and they get older and think it’s ok. Just being comfortable in your own skin is a really big thing that should be happening.

Real Talk With Fo Porter

Shop Fo’s Look: Tank (Similar) | Lightly Lined Strappy Sports BraLoungey Jogger

Yea, I knew this girl who had a crooked tooth, and that “made” her.

Yea! Me having my freckles, people would always say “Did you not like your freckles when you were younger?” They would always try to put it down.

Because that’s how they deal with things.

Yea! But no, I’ve never been insecure with my freckles. Ever. I’ve always embraced them.

Real Talk With Fo Porter

Shop Fo’s Look: Satin Sleep Romper

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I feel like as I get older, I’ve grown into a more womanly body and that makes me #AerieREAL. “I’m a woman, hear me roar!” kind of a thing. I like my curves and I like being able to look at myself in the mirror and not feel like “Ugh, I wish I could do this and this.” We all have our insecurities, but I’m definitely comfortable in my skin.

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One More Unretouched Beauty…Sonoya Mizuno

Born in Tokyo and raised in London, this Royal Ballet School graduate is the new face of #AerieREAL! Sonoya’s inner strength, talent and beauty have taken her from the ballet stage to the big screen, where she debuted in thriller Ex Machina and the soon to be released films High Strung and La La Land. Read on to learn more about our newest #AerieREAL girl!
One More Unretouched Beauty...Sonoya Mizuno

How long have you been dancing?

Way too long! I’ve been dancing for 20 years. Whoa! I used to dance really professionally in ballet companies. That’s a lot different than what I do now. Now I just dance, I take class for myself, and then I do videos and smaller projects here and there.

What do you love most about dancing?

I love the feeling of physical expression through your body and the connection that you have with the music. It’s the most cathartic thing I experience in my life.

One More Unretouched Beauty...Sonoya Mizuno

Shop Sonoya’s Look: Luxe Legging | Luxe Wrap Bralette

How did you start modeling and acting?

I was very lucky when I was dancing to also be exposed to the modeling industry, because it gave me another avenue to explore. When I was living in London or Tokyo or other big cities, I had the chance to dance and start acting and do modeling, so it was more invigorating for me. Now when I dance, I’m sure I’m not technically as good as I used to be, but I’m really doing it from an authentic place.

One More Unretouched Beauty...Sonoya Mizuno

Shop Sonoya’s Look: Crop Tee | Boyfriend Jogger

What music are you currently listening to?

FKA Twigs.

Lover or fighter?

Fighter!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

India.

Who would you go with?

All my brothers and sisters.

 Breakfast in bed or dinner out?

That’s really hard! Can’t I have both?

What makes you really laugh?

My friends and family.

What is one thing you think the world needs more of?

One thing? There’s so many things! Communication.

How did you feel when you found out you wouldn’t be retouched?

First I thought, that’s a really cool concept. Then I went into, what about my legs and this and that? After I got over that, I think it’s really empowering. It’s a great message for younger girls to look up to.

One More Unretouched Beauty...Sonoya Mizuno

Shop Sonoya’s Look: Real Soft Hi-Rise Undie | Lace Racerback Bralette

What makes you #AerieREAL?

Being who you are is being #AerieREAL. My look isn’t defined by a particular place or country, and I’m really proud of that. I’m so many things. I’m just me.

Dancing, modeling, acting. What’s next for you?

Acting! But dancing, modeling, acting, they’re all who I am, so they will continue to be all of who I am.
One More Unretouched Beauty...Sonoya Mizuno

Shop Sonoya’s Look: Cocoon Cardi | Aerie REAL Bodysuit

Any advice to girls who are working hard to follow their dreams?

Just keep working hard and keep following your dreams. Do what is in front of you with all your might, and you’ll get there. That’s it. It will happen.

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#MusicMonday: Interview with Ellis Ludwig-Leone from San Fermin

When we visited Texas last month for Austin City Limits, we met up with San Fermin. And now, we’re excited to collaborate with San Fermin this holiday season on a holiday inspired playlist, which you can hear in stores from 11.21-12.1 and on Spotify. Want to see San Fermin play live in New York City? Enter our AEO x San Fermin Sweepstakes! Check out the Official Rules to win a pair of tickets for their December 17, 18 or 19 show.

We loved talking with San Fermin so much that we extended the conversation later with Ellis Ludwig-Leone, keyboardist and founding member of the band. We talked about everything from the inspiration behind their newest song, “No Devil,” to the band’s most embarrassing moment on tour. Check out our interview with Ellis below.

Ellis/San Fermin

Ellis on the keys during a show.

AEO: You’re embarking on your next European Tour soon, but by the time this publishes you’ll have finished it. What are you most looking forward to during that tour? 
Ellis: It’s our fifth or sixth European tour, so we kind of know what to expect when we get there. One of the things that’s so great about going to Europe is that there’s a sense of history there. Every venue you play is historic in some way. Every city you go to, you’ve heard about. That’s a thrill. It’s a real cultural experience. In particular, I always love when we play France. France is my favorite country to play outside of the U.S. We always get really good crowds there & the food is great.

AEO: So France is your favorite international country, but what is your favorite U.S. city to play?
Ellis: It’s hard to compete with New York because that’s where we’re from. We’ve played some really memorable shows there. I guess if I had to choose somewhere outside of New York… I really like playing San Francisco. That’s been a great place for us.  I love being in the city.

San Fermin

AEO: We met you & the band at Austin City Limits this year. How was your time in Austin? 
Ellis: Austin is definitely one of my favorite cities to play, although it’s actually funny because we’ve now been to Austin five times, and every single time, it’s been for a festival. We’ve never done a headline show there. This time we were touring with Alt-J, so we played ACL Fest, and that night we played a show with them at Austin Music Hall, which was one of the last show’s they’ll ever have at that venue. It actually might have been my favorite show we’ve ever played.

AEO: You mentioned you love playing in NYC a lot, so we’re wondering what makes a show there more memorable for you?
Ellis: One thing that makes NYC different is that our friends & family are there, so it really is a different energy when you there are people who you love and care about are going to be there. Because we started here, we’ve played here more than other places. We have more of a track record here. We’ve done some really cool shows. We’ve played with St.Vincent at Prospect Park, which was awesome because I live across from Prospect Park.

AEO: Is there a certain place or festival you dream of performing?
Ellis: I’d love to play Primavera Sound in Spain. That festival is sort of known as one of the most fun places to play. In terms of a headline show but Barclay’s Center or Madison Square Garden would be a real thrill. Maybe someday!

San Fermin

AEO: You’ve toured with and played with other big names like the Arctic Monkeys. What are some things you take away from playing with or opening for other bands?
Ellis: When I started the band, I wasn’t even thinking about it being a touring band. I really just wanted to make a record. It’s been a cool and unexpected thing that now that we tour all the time, we get to see all these bands up close and play with them. I found my musical influences have really opened up. I know contemporary music a lot better than when I started the band. After playing with Alt-J, I basically have all of their music memorized. Stuff sort of seeps in here and there, when you pick up a nice harmonic motion or an interesting live thing that they’ll do. You pick those things up along the way, and that’s what makes you a complete and professional band.

Ellis

AEO: Considering now that you’re an eight-piece, touring band, it’s interesting that you only wanted to make an album when you first started. How did you get to where you are now as an ensemble?
Ellis: When I wrote the first record, because I wasn’t thinking of it as a touring band, I basically just wrote for whatever I wanted. I’d have, like, all these horns and strings. My background is in writing instrumental music. I studied classical music in college, so I knew how to do that stuff. Our label said I had to figure out how to make this thing work on the road. From there, I whittled it down from twenty-two musicians to eight, which is still a huge band, but it’s the minimal number of instruments you can bring and still make this music sound big and lush. That process was when it turned from a solo project to a real band.

AEO: Is there anyone you’d love to perform or collaborate with in the future?
Ellis: If we’re talking pipe dreams, I’d love to play with Paul Simon. He’s always been someone I’ve looked up to. It would be cool not only from a personal standpoint but also an historical standpoint. I’d be playing with someone who’s really done so much for music.

San Fermin

AEO: Were you friends with the other band members before this?
Ellis: Allen, who sings lead guy vocals, and I have been really close since we were fifteen. We met at a summer songwriting/music camp at Berklee College of Music, actually. The brass players I knew from college, and everyone else I recruited when I got to New York.

AEO: When you’re creating music now, do you write as a whole band or are you still mainly doing the writing?
Ellis: I still do all the writing because it’s sort of how we started. There’s a little more room in the live show for people taking liberties. Everyone kind of knows the structure of the band, and it kind of eliminates that drama where everyone has a song.

San Fermin

AEO: Do you know you want to feature a specific instrument or does that happen organically for you?
Ellis: At this point I know the musical personalities of all these people. Often we’ll be learning and practicing a new song, and I’ll just be like, “Hey Steve (who’s the sax player), I’m thinking of extending this part a little bit, could you do something like a low growl?” and then it develops into a groove. That’s how the second half of our song Parasites was born.

AEO: Could you speak to how you feel San Fermin is different from other bands?
Ellis: One thing that really makes us stand out is that I write the parts but I don’t sing. That’s kind of weird in the indie world. People are used to staring at the singer thinking they wrote the songs. Because I write the songs and stand off to the side by the keyboard, audiences are little more interested in watching the whole thing. It’s a little more equal that way.

AEO: Speaking of forming the band, how did you come up with the name San Fermin?
Ellis: It’s actually the name of the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona. I like the image of running from something, it resonates with me, especially when you’re running from something that you put yourself in the way of. You’re running from something just because you want to.

San Fermin

AEO: What inspired you to be a musician?
Ellis: When I was in high school, I had a string of very unsuccessful bands – a metal band, a cover band. I played classical piano on the side but I didn’t tell any of my friends because I thought it was kind of nerdy. When I got to college I tried to put that stuff together. I started writing arrangements for my bands and use my skills as a musician with my desire to write songs. That’s when I thought I could do this as a real job.

AEO: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into music?
Ellis: Treat music like it is your job, not something you do after whatever it is you do to make money. When I was in school, I would write music before I would do my homework. Think of it as your profession even before you’re making money doing that, because otherwise it can take a backseat to whatever else you’re doing, and suddenly you’ll have missed your shot.

San Fermin

AEO: Are you starting to work on your next album now as you’re touring?
Ellis: I’m actually waiting on purpose. I’ll probably start writing in the spring. In the meantime, I’ve been writing other music like orchestra pieces and ballets. When I come back to the band, I’ll have a fresh slate.

AEO: The band recently released “No Devil.” Tell us more about the inspiration behind the song.
Ellis: That’s the one song I’ve written since the last album came out. We were on the road, and that song sort of has a road feeling to it. Whenever I’m gone on tour, I find that I start feeling guilty about being away from home. It’s about thinking I’m running from some demon but it’s alright, it’s okay to be doing what I’m doing.

San Fermin

AEO: Do you have a funny or embarrassing moment on tour?
Ellis: I hold this moment very dear to my heart. We were playing in Paris, and we walked on stage and our trumpet player John had a habit of raising his arms as we walked on stage. He was one of the first guys on stage as we walked out, immediately tripped on a monitor and went sprawling across the stage. He landed on all the guitar equipment. It was truly horrendous. We couldn’t start the show for at least a minute because we were all laughing.

AEO: How would you describe your on-stage presence?
Ellis: If you’ve only hear the recordings, the live show is surprisingly active. It’s a really energetic show. The brass players are jumping around and going out into the audience. It’s engaging and complicated because there’s always something going on. I try to stay to the side and let the live show be a moment for everyone else in the band. I like to think of myself as Larry from School of Rock. The shy keyboardist. That’s me.

San Fermin

AEO: Can you describe the band’s everyday #AEOSTYLE?
Ellis: It’s definitely evolved. When we first started the only word you could give it is “scattered.” Everyone came into it with their own look. At this point, we generally wear dark colors, a lot of black. Some navy and dark greens. The girls tend to be more adventurous. Charlene wears a lot of jumpsuits. Rebekah has some really cool leather dresses. Allen has a lot of very small patterned t-shirts and denim overshirts. I generally wear a black denim jacket, a black t-shirt and black skinny jeans. When you’re on the road it helps to have layers.

Don’t forget to check out San Fermin’s Holiday Playlist online & listen for their picks in stores! Let us know your favorite San Fermin song in the comments below.

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Real Talk With Katie Berger, Swim Buyer

It may be getting colder outside, but our buyers are already thinking spring! Get REAL with Katie Berger, #AerieSWIM Buyer! Read on to learn more about how she helps to plan Aerie’s line each season, her forecast for spring swim and what #AerieREAL means to her.

Real Talk With Katie Berger, Swim Buyer

What are the responsibilities of a buyer? 
A buyer is responsible for strategizing the number of styles we can have in the store and online, along with the types of silhouettes and fits we would like to offer. Buyers work hand-in-hand with a design team that is specific to swim (though they dabble in other areas as well), who designs into our style requests. We then collectively build an assortment that we believe our customer will have to have in her closet (or swim drawer!).

Buyers track the sales trends of the business from week-to-week (and on occasion, day-to-day) to give us insight for future deliveries – if the customer doesn’t love it today, will she love something similar in a few months? A lot of the job comes from instinct, and knowing what your sales history tells you along with new trends you see coming our way! This job uses both sides of the brain… and I LOVE it!

What trends are you forecasting for swim in ’16?
We are still in love with strappy swim, but we also LOVE the 70’s vibes in swim – ruffles and crochet, one-pieces, crops and teeny tiny bottoms. I want to wear a one-piece with AEO denim shorts, head to the beach, and be ready for dinner in a snap!

We can’t WAIT for swim! Let’s talk about our current collection…what’s your favorite item for Holiday?
I love the fun accessories, including our gifting ‘grab and go’ collection! Great for gifting your friends, sisters or yourself! But really the bralettes are GORGEOUS. The laces are so feminine and the stylings are so great for any day of the week. I already bought 5 of them! And wait until you see the PJ pants…they are so cozy and cute! My Christmas morning look = aerie PJ’s.

Real Talk With Katie Berger, Swim Buyer

Love Katie’s look? Shop her blanket scarf here.

Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Neither?! I can get up consistently early on the weekends, but why can’t I get up during the week? I could say I’m definitely a napper!

What is your favorite city that you’ve either traveled to or want to travel to?
In February I went to Tulum in Mexico, and I have to say it is easily my favorite place I’ve ever been. The relaxed, non-commercial vibe is perfect for a getaway in the sunshine. We stayed at the Hotel Mezzanine, where they brought you coffee to your door every morning, and you could take the basket out to a hammock and enjoy your coffee while looking at the ocean. I have never been so relaxed in my life! I loved it so much, I’m going back in December. Next stop, I’m thinking Iceland! Have you seen the pictures of that island? It looks so beautiful.

We’re so jealous! That sounds amazing. What’s 1 item you can’t live without?
Chapstick (and Spotify). Oh, and actually a hair tie. Yep, definitely a hair tie too.

What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
I think this can mean so many different things to different girls. For me it means being and loving yourself and not apologizing for it. We recently talked as a buying team about how girls apologize constantly when speaking their minds, and I think that’s part of what this is about – learning how to stop apologizing for who you are or what you think and embracing and owning it!

We love that! Thank you Katie for sitting down with us!

Tune in to our Snapchat today (handle: aerie) as Katie gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her day at Aerie!

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Follow Her Friday: The Curvy Blogger

This week we’re inspired by blogger, photographer and model, Mandy Holesh from The Curvy Blogger. We sat down with her to talk about blogging, style and learning to love your curves. Read on to learn more about this bold and beautiful powerhouse.

We love your blog! What inspired you to start the Curvy Blogger? 
“I stand for style at all sizes, when I started my blog in 2010 there weren’t many bloggers who were in between straight and plus sizes. So my goal was to inspire girls who were a bit curvier to wear what they want and disobey the rules.”

Your style is so fun! What three words would you use to describe it?
“Eclectic, bold, fun.”

Follow Her Friday: The Curvy Blogger

You have been very open about past insecurities and learning to love your curves. What advice would you give to girls who are struggling with body image?
“Ignore what everyone else is saying. I know, easier said than done. Many people will try to make you feel bad about how you look or who you are, and 95% of the time it is because they have no confidence in themselves. I find that liking the way you look is sort of a rebellious thing to do, which is the best way to be a rebel in my opinion.”

Follow Her Friday: The Curvy Blogger

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you? 
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” -Maya Angelou

What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?
“It means to be fearless, to be who you are and not apologize for it. Be you.”

Follow Her Friday: The Curvy Blogger

 Thank you, Mandy! Be sure to check out her blog and follow along on Instagram.

xoxo,

Aerie

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Real Talk with Ban.do

When we set out to bring you some of the cutest gifts around, there was no question that Ban.do was a perfect match! Between their fun, cheery products and positive message, it’s no secret why we’re obsessed with this LA-based powerhouse. We sat down with our friends at Ban.do to talk inspiration, staying organized and what it means to be #AerieREAL.

Aerie: Tell us about Ban.do! How did the company get started?

Ban.do: We started making one-of-a-kind hair accessories (think: flower crowns before they were a trend) that sold out pretty much immediately. The thing is, since they were one-of-a-kind, once they sold they were gone. So we began to make things in multiples, which allowed us to create accessible price points for every girl, and ban.do was born! We’ve evolved a lot since the beginning, but we’ve always been built on strong branding and the desire to bring fun products to all girls everywhere. We’ve always been very serious about fun!

Real Talk with Ban.do

Aerie: We’re obsessed with ban.do’s bright, fun aesthetic. What inspires the team on a daily basis?

Ban.do: Why, thank you! We find inspiration in a lot of places: Pinterest, Instagram, and our spectacular ban.do girl gang, to name a few. Connecting and collaborating with artists is one of our favorite things. We’re also inspired by our Los Angeles office, a.k.a The Ban.do Party House! There’s a disco ball wall, glitter wallpaper, and a pop up shop in the back: major creative fuel. When we’re not at the office, we love to explore LA by checking out museum exhibits, catching a movie at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, or treasure hunting at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Real Talk with Ban.do

Aerie: Staying organized can be tough at times! Do you have any tips for how to step up your desk game?

Ban.do: Totally! Our latest product line is all about creating the ultimate dream desk. The goal is to make your desk a place that totally works for you AND that you love looking at. Because if you’re not inspired, what’s the point? We love putting the “fun” in functional with cute desk accessories like pretty file folders and notebooks, bright markers and washi tape, and extras like colorful prints and tiny disco balls. Disco balls definitely increase productivity. Or at least remind you to have regular dance parties.

Real Talk with Ban.do

Aerie: Our ban.do collection is amazing! We know it’s hard to choose, but is there one product you’re REALLY excited about?

Ban.do: You guys, that’s basically impossible. But OK! We’re super excited about the I Am Very Busy Agenda, which is packed with magical things like compliments, stickers, a secret code language, and fun, weekly to-dos. People are obsessing over our agendas and interacting with them in really cool ways (see: #omgbandoagenda on Instagram), and we want to pop champagne and jump up and down about the whole thing!

Real Talk with Ban.do

Aerie: It’s no secret we’re excited to partner with a REAL company like ban.do! What does being #AerieREAL mean to you?

Ban.do: To us, being #AerieREAL means being who you are without apology and with a lot of celebrating and confetti-throwing. One of the phrases in our agenda is “Do whatever, be weird, it’s OK!” and we pretty much live by that. We can’t get enough of the individuality of our customers, who are sparkly, edgy, preppy, and everything in between. We’re all about inclusion, because that’s what makes things fun. And we just really want to be friends with everybody.

Show us your favorite Ban.do products with #AerieREAL on Instagram and Twitter for a chance to be featured on our Style Gallery! xo

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