Real Talk with Aerie’s Undie Buyers

Sun’s out, buns out! Show off your cutie booty even more with the new Mini Cheeky! The Mini Cheeky is a hybrid of your favorite undie fits. If you’re a fan of our Cheeky, but love the no-line benefits from a thong, Aerie’s new Mini Cheeky could be the best fit for you!

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Sun’s out, buns out! Show even more cheek with the new Mini Cheeky undie!

We had the opportunity to sit down with 3 of the Buyers behind this hot new arrival! Meet the women behind-the-scenes…Kristen L., Ta Jane’ P., and Rebecca H.!

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Meet Undie Buyers: Ta Jane’, Rebecca, and Kristen!

Hi, girls! Let’s begin with learning a little bit more about you. What University did you attend and what did you study? 

KL: I attended the University of Pittsburgh and was a Dual Business/ Communications Major.

TP: I went to Georgetown University and I studied International Business and Marketing.

RH: I went to Miami University in Oxford, OH and majored in Marketing with a minor in Sociology.

We’re sure you get this question a lot, but we are curious…what’s the difference between a buyer and a merchant?

KL: At AEO a buyer and a merchant are synonymous. Whatever terminology you choose, you are an integral part of the cross-functional team. A buyer works with their design, production, planning, allocation, strategy, visual/marketing and store ops teams weekly if not daily to keep your department moving forward. You are a key player in mastering the competitive landscape to identify trends that are relevant to our customer, and helping to strategize/plan upcoming seasons from concept to in-store and analyze business weekly in order to chase upside or mitigate risk within current or future seasons. No matter the callout/challenge at hand, the merchant is usually the center of communication.

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Meet Kristen L., Aerie’s Associate Buyer for Flirty Undies!

What is your favorite part about the new Mini Cheeky? 

TP: I absolutely love that I can still get adorable prints on the back without having to go for a fuller coverage fit! I’m a thong girl but I love a cutie booty so this fit is perfect for me!

RH: The Aerie lace at the waistband and leg opening, it’s super soft and doesn’t give you muffin top! I also think the prints are really fun and the colors are pretty and feminine.

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We love these blue hues in the new Mini Cheeky!

What is the difference between the Cheeky and the Mini Cheeky? 

KL: The Mini Cheeky is exactly what the fit name denotes—a miniature cheeky. The Mini Cheeky has a lower rise, shorter side seams and extra cheek peek. Our Mini Cheeky fit bridges the gap between our Cheeky and Thong fit offerings. If you are looking for a little more cheek peek but not to the total cheek peek extent of the Thong—the Mini is your go to.

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Which Mini Cheeky print is your favorite? Comment and tell us below!

Do you prefer printed, solid, or lace undies? 

RH: I prefer all 3! It honestly depends on what mood I’m in.

KL: All the above!?! From neon bright laces, classic dots/stripes, to our everyday basic solids—there’s no need to discriminate. You can pick up an eclectic mix of all style offerings in your 7/$26.50 bundles! :)

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Meet Rebecca H., Aerie’s Assistant Buyer for Favorite Undies!

What’s your favorite type of undie? 

TP: I love undies with flirty details. A few bows or lace trims can go a long way!

RH: I’ve actually really grown to love our Seamless and Outta-Sight collection. The fabrication is so soft and buttery and I can pretty much wear it under anything. It’s very versatile.

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Our hearts race for lace!

What’s the first thing you do when you start off your day at work? 

KL: My morning cannot begin without my Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte. I love the ritual of going up to the café every morning, then again at 2:30 PM for my afternoon caffeine pick me up. Yes, I realize I have a slight coffee addiction but at least I recognize I have a problem, that’s the first step right direction. :)

TP: When I first get to work, I start up my computer and grab my tea and oatmeal. Have to have my energy drivers.

RH: Clean up all of the undies that are usually on my desk. :) I typically go straight to my email but sometimes it’s nice to do a little bit of competitive or trend analysis before I dive into my work.

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It’s hard to choose just one, which undie is your favorite fit?

Let’s talk trends. What’s summer color trends are you excited about? 

RH: I absolutely love the coral and turquoise we have in our assortment, they’re really feminine colors and go great with a tan.

TP: I am all about the saturated pinks and purples right now!

KL: Every season, I am a sucker for saturated neons—fuchsias, grapes, pinks, turquoises, aquas, acidic greens…I don’t discriminate! Adding a pop of color to any ensemble instantly brightens my mood….

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Kristen and Rebecca organizing the new summer assortment!

No wonder our summer assortment is so colorful! :)  What are 3 words to describe your personal style? 

KL: Feminine. Colorful. Stylish.

TP:  Casual, sometimes quirky.

RH: Classic, simple, and tiny bit preppy.

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Meet Ta Jane’ P., Aerie’s Assistant Buyer for Direct Undies! (all the undies you see at Aerie.com!)

Instagram, Twitter, or neither? 

RH: Instagram! Find me @Hammonrj.

TP: Instagram, too! Find me @InTaJicated.

KL: Definitely Instagram! @Klaut727.

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Sun’s out buns out! We love these pinks and corals. Is it summer yet?

We love Instagram, too! What’s your best advice for a student looking to pursue a career in fashion? 

TP: If you want to pursue a career in fashion, I’d say the best thing you can do is research! Know what the competitors are doing or know what’s happening on the runway. You can’t assort to what you don’t know and understanding how these pieces interact is one of the best things that you can do. It’s all about knowing the business.

RH: Make connections and build relationships. Whether you search for someone at a company you’re interested in on Linked In or meet someone at a career fair, don’t be afraid to reach out as often times it’s the relationship that will get you through the door.

KL: If you show immense passion for whatever it is you want to do, I’m talking the type of enthusiasm and drive that is contagious to those around you, you are half way there. Passion is something that can’t be taught and is immensely valued; so pursue whatever it is that you are passionate about in life and good things will be in store for you. :)

MINI_CHEEKY_BLOG_INTERVIEW_738Thank you so much for your time and behind-the-scenes look Kristen, TaJ, and Rebecca! Click here to learn more or shop the new Mini Cheeky Undie!

xoxo,

Aerie

#AerieREAL 

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Music Monday: El Ten Eleven Interview

We called up LA post-rock duo, El Ten Eleven, to chat about Star Wars, cell phones and skinny jeans. Their song “My Only Swerving” was featured in our in-store style videos and our American Beagle Outfitters campaign. Get to know the double neck guitarist, Kristian Dunn, after the jump.

 

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 Kristian and Tim of El Ten Eleven

AEO:  People usually want to know what any artist’s influences are. But we’re going to make you narrow that down to the one album that truly affected your path in music.

Kristian Dunn:  The soundtrack to Star Wars. I’m not joking. That’s one of the most influential records of my life. It still holds up too. I was actually listening to it today because it was Star Wars Day. And it’s just really brilliant. It’s hard to hear it with fresh ears because you’ve heard it so many times before. But even as a film score, it’s really different from all other film scores.

AEO:  Being a musician means traveling to a lot of different cities and playing to a lot of different crowds. Which place was your favorite and why?

KD:  It’s hard to pick one. Austin, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, LA. We just went to Europe for the first time and that was cool because we went to a lot of places that we wouldn’t have really chosen to go like Moscow, Athens, Croatia, Slovenia. So that’s kinda one of the cool things about being in a professional band – you end up going places that you wouldn’t expect.

AEO:  Where was your first show together and what was it like?

KD:  It was at a place called the Whistle Stop in San Diego, it’s a bar. And we were nervous. We didn’t know if we were quite ready. We only played 4 songs. We were opening for, actually, we were opening for ourselves. We were in another band at the time and we were opening for them.

I was pushing us to play. Tim, my drummer, was thinking, “I don’t know if we’re ready for prime time.” There were about 40 or 50 people there or something and they reacted really positively. And that kind of vindicated the feelings I was having that we were onto something that was kinda cool.

AEO:  If you could bring just 3 things on tour, other than your equipment, what would they be?

KD:  Laptop. Phone. Actually, I guess I could live without laptop. Clothing. I was going to say toothbrush but you can get those on the road. Phone is the most indispensible thing. I remember touring – this is how old I am – without cell phones because they didn’t exist at the time.

My main thing is I miss my daughter and my wife and that’s what the phone’s for. I can Facetime with my daughter.

AEO:  At AEO, we love our denim. What’s your favorite fit or wash and how do you style them?

KD:  I like skinny jeans. I don’t like them as skinny as I used to like them. I look back at pictures of me from 2, 3, 4 years ago and those jeans are so freakin’ tight. And I’m like, ohmygod what was I thinking? But I still like the cut – the tapered cut. Right now I’m barefoot, but I just got some high tops that I wear with them and I’m wearing a collared shirt, untucked. But El Ten Eleven is pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kind of band.

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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.

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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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Men’s Prep Shorts Interview with Ben. T

We sat down with Ben T., Assistant Buyer of Men’s Pants, Shorts, Swim and Fleece Bottoms, to talk about one of the most popular short fits of the season: the Prep Short. Read on to learn more about Ben and his recommendations on how to style the Prep Short.

Name:
Ben T.

Occupation:
Assistant Buyer of Men’s Pants, Shorts, Swim & Fleece Bottoms

Can you tell us about the history of the Prep Short?
The Prep Short was first introduced in the 2010/2011 Season. Since then the fit has evolved from a knee length, boxy fit to a trimmer fit through the leg that hits above the knee. This year we have introduced a noticeably different fabric with a small amount of stretch content for maximum comfort and wear-ability. We have also included a belt on the short this year for no extra charge to the customer. It’s been souped up.

Interview with Men's Assistant Buyer, Ben J.

Prep Shorts from Aqua to Floral

What are the new fits for the Prep Short?
Just one new and improved fit. The leg is slimmer and tapers slightly towards the hem. The short is meant to be rolled to an 8″ inseam, although you can style it however you please (rolled once to ‘’9 inch just above the knee, or unrolled at 10″ right on the knee).

The fabrics have changed, can you tell us why and how the new fabric feels?
This is my favorite fabric in our entire line. It is a dense twill with stretch in it. It feels really compact/ light and at the same time has a little give which makes it great to move in. It’s a perfect Summer short.

Any cool colors that you love this season?
Really excited for the Bright Rhubarb.  It’s a reddish fuchsia that you will not be able to find anywhere else. Imagine a lobster blushing. We also have a couple of really cool prints coming in, including a grey camo and a brown tropical that emulates a very cool Havana Yacht Club type look.

How do you wear the Prep Short?
The great thing about this short is the versatility. Like I said, you can cuff it or unroll it to suit your style. I love wearing them cuffed with a plain tee and a good pair of sunglasses. Super easy for anyone to get into.

Bens go to look

 

Shop Ben’s Go-To Look:
1. Legend V-Neck T-Shirt
2.Icon Sunglasses
3.Prep Short

Can you take the Prep Short look from day to night? If so, what do you recommend?
Switch out the T-shirt for a short sleeve woven or layer on a solid long sleeve oxford for versatility. Unbutton a few buttons and remove the sunglasses, unless you’re really trying to make a statement…

Why do you recommend the Prep Short?
Again, it’s versatile. You can wear it many different ways and fit it the way you like it. It is also currently our only short (aside from swim) with stretch. It’s basically the short design of the future.

Now we would love to learn a little about you!

What made you want to pursue a career in Merchandising?
I was always interested in big business but not so interested in working strictly with numbers and finances. With merchandising, you get to be very creative and hands on with your product. Your performance is not only measured by your bottom line, but also on the style and perspective you are infusing in your assortment. Great clothes are ultimately what creates brand loyalty and an excited customer base.

What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?
Most of what I do revolves around how to drive and evolve the business. If something is working well, I am asking why is this working? What can I do to get more? And, what do I have coming down the line that is like this? If something is not doing so well, I am brainstorming the opposite and making sure I don’t make the same mistake twice when building future seasons.

Five words to describe you…
Team player, risk taker, pizza lover, driven and adventurous.

Favorite destination:
Portland in the summer. That’s East Coast.

Favorite quote:
“Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”

First thing on your bucket list?
Travel for a year with a backpack and no itinerary expect for a list of must try street foods. (Try not to end up on the show Locked Up: Abroad.)

Favorite Band:
The Boss

Fun fact about yourself?
In my youth, I rocked both a mullet and a bowl cut for three years… each.

What does your iPhone say about you?
I organize my apps like a nerd. Not very exciting.

 

Ben's iPhone

Ben’s iPhone Home Screen that he sent us after our fast track interview

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Designer Interview: Tamarah Ghourdjian

Bright, bold and colorful prints grab our attention every season. This season’s print… Global!  We wanted the inside scoop on what influences our design team to create these fun and trendy prints, so we caught up with our Senior Director of Women’s Concept, Tamarah to learn what things and places sparked her team to conceive this season’s collection.

Name:
Tamarah Ghourdjian

Occupation:
Senior Director of Women’s Concept

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 Tamarah in our New York Design Office concept work space

Where did you draw inspiration for the global prints?
We pulled inspiration from everywhere — Vintage [finds], traveling the world, blogs, books, paintings and more!

Can you tell us how you wear the global print trend?
I wear our black and white print mix jumpsuit with a military jacket.

What are your three favorite global print pieces from this season’s collection?
I love the black and white floral jumpsuit, the tropical romper and the black and white zig-zag soft shorts.

If you were to share what global print piece that every girl must have in her closet right now, what would it be?
My favorite is a jumpsuit or romper, whether it be an ethnic print or tropical. Both are on trend this season.

skateboards with AEO spring global prints

 A few skateboards that our design team had printed with some of our global prints for Spring 2014.

How cool, right?

Now we would love to learn a little about you!

What made you want to pursue fashion design?
I grew up in a crafty family. My mother and grandmother taught me to sew, knit, dye fabrics, make jewelry, weave—you name it, they can do it all.  I started making clothes at a very young age, first for my dolls, and then later for myself and my friends.  As far as I can remember it’s always been a part of my life and I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather be doing.

What kinds of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?
Everything and anything — No one day is the same, but research is always part of my day.  I am always looking for new inspiration; a new brand, [fashion] blogs, [street] style, silhouettes, boutique finds, prints or a color that inspires me.

What three items will we always find in your purse?
Chapstick.
A hair tie.
My passport.

What inspires your style and how would you describe it?
Anything vintage, authentic, lived-in and casual inspires my style.
You could say it’s boy meets vintage girl or somewhere in between.

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Designer Interview: 10 questions with Natalie Malcolm

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We had a rapid Q&A with Senior Designer Natalie Malcolm of Men’s Swim and Outerwear. We fired off 10 questions to Natalie to learn what inspired this season’s swim trends and get a brief insight into her personal life.

Ready.Set.Go.

1. Where are you from:
Manchester, England

2. What are the trends for men’s swim this spring?
Neon brights, color blocking and shorter inseams lengths. Favorites include; beach photo real and galaxy prints.

3. Where did the inspiration for these trends come from?
California beaches, from festivals and runway shows.
We also loved the color and energy from the 90’s vibe.

natBeach, Festival and Street Style Inspiration

4. What do you love most about working in a creative field?
Endless boundaries and ever changing trends, keeping up with the latest and greatest.

5. Five words to describe you-
Honest, grounded, sarcastic, fun, optimistic.

6. Favorite destination:
Cote D’Azur with my family and friends.

cote

Cote D’Azur  (Photo Credit: smarttravelinfo.com)

7. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Keep your head up and put your best face on.

8. And the advice you’d offer aspiring designers?
Be open to criticism, accept advice, have thick skin and of course, dress to impress.

9. Three fashion staples every girl should have for spring:
Rompers, printed sundress, and shades.

natalies_closet

10. One swim trunk every guy should have on his wishlist?
Colorblocked Swim Trunk!

 

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