Introducing… An All-New Aerie Store Design!



Get in here, beautiful! Our brand new store design brings the feel of an indoor market to your mall. With personalization on our extra-special printers and more DIY fun, our new stores are Aerie like you’ve never seen it before. Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC is home to the first all-new Aerie, and there are more new designs coming soon! We talked to the brains behind our amazing new store design—Senior Director of Aerie Visual Lauren Cabral and Senior Director of New Store Design and Fixtures Michael Smith—to get the story behind our new design and her ideas for future Aerie homes. Read on for more!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Yes, our new stores come with an Insta-ready wall!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

How would you describe Aerie’s new market store design? 

LC: Our overall concept is based off of an indoor market…it’s BRIGHT, comfortable, open and welcoming.

MS: All stores are designed to showcase product and should at the very least provide a pleasant and convenient  shopping experience. However, in my opinion, the best stores designs are an embodiment of the brand, reflecting the aesthetic and attitude of the product while engaging the customer at an emotional level. We want our Aerie girl to feel at home in the store. It should be her oasis at the mall – a place to hangout, relax and shop with friends. After all, the space was designed for her.

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What is your favorite part about our new stores? 

LC: I need to pick the top 3— it’s too hard to pick just one.

  1. The storefront! Our experience bar in the window brings a fresh & fun approach to the leaseline that we hope our customers will LOVE!
  2. The fitting rooms! They are designed to feel like a really cool mid-century modern apartment. It’s very cozy in there. ☺
  3. DIY and personalization!  We’re excited to bring seasonal concepts to life in a new way through custom printing on the Anajet printer and our DIY market table.

MS: If I have to pick one, I think it’s the fitting room area. I hope that we have provided a place that, while still integrated into the sales area, feels like a sanctuary. We combined the architecture with visuals to create a more relaxed space where our customer can interact with her friends and the sales associates. It’s a space where she is encouraged to try new things.

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What do you hope to bring to Aerie stores in the future?

LC: Creating new, exciting DIY opportunities and events are at the top of the list! Oh, and can’t WAIT to ADD more Aerie stores!!

MS: I’ll wait for our Aerie Girl to tell me. The nicest thing I heard about the new design was from a sales associate in our Crabtree store. She overheard a customer say that she wanted her first place to look just like the store.Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in visual design?

LC: Good design is all about problem solving; it needs to be beautiful and functional.  Attention to detail is super important too—working through a project to understanding symmetry, color and contrast are all key—but must be carefully curated to avoid clutter and overload.  Lastly, be prepared to be wrong; you never know till you try!

MS: Inspiration is everywhere; never stop looking, never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you see something you like, make a note or take a picture. You don’t know where the next great idea is going to come from – and you never know when something that you saw 10 years ago is going to inspire the perfect fixture.

Also, it’s not just about going to a good design school. Sometimes it’s about real work experience and learning from the people you meet along the way. I spent 5 years in design school but never felt like a real designer until my first season as a Christmas extra in a large department store. I was surrounded by incredibly talented people who had limited budgets and a deadline. Best experience ever….

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

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Aerie Friends & Family: Andrew G., Aerie Web Designer

Aerie Friends & Family: Andrew G., Aerie Web Designer

Meet Andrew, one of the web designers on Aerie’s brand team. Andrew spends his days at the AEO home office concepting and creating the emails that hit your inbox daily. Read on to learn more about his perfect tee shirt style and how he found his way to AEO.

Andrew and his adorable nephew!

Andrew and his adorable nephew!

How did you discover your passion?

I would say that I discovered my passion at a very young age. While growing up, I was around a lot of creative people. Most of my family has impacted some part of my respect for the arts. The memories that stand out most to me are: having my lunch packed for elementary school and my dad drawing cartoons on my brown paper bags,  my mom always being artistic and drawing as a hobby, and my uncle teaching me how to silk screen t-shirts for our annual croquet tournament. The event that steered me towards graphic design as a focus for my studies was a class in high school. I was lucky enough to have two graphic design and two graphic arts classes. My teacher for the Graphic Design class made a point of pulling me aside and telling me he saw potential in me even then. He was a graduate of La Roche College and provided me the information about their curriculum. Naturally I took his advice and attended La Roche to study Graphic & Communication Design.



Andrew having fun with his parents and sisters.

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

I cannot pick any one person to be the most important influence in my life. What I can say is that my family is very important and very influential to me. I have very close relationships with both my parents and my sisters. They have my back and have always supported me with everything in my life. Not sure where I would be without them. These are the people that have inspired the three tattoos that I have to hold tight to myself forever.

What songs are playing on your iPod?

I am currently listening to a lot of Yellowcard and Fall Out Boy. They are oldies but goodies. However some of the most played artists on my iPod are Rise Against, A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years, Jimmy Eat World, Forever The Sickest Kids, Foo Fighters, Cartel, The Summer Set, We Are The In Crowd, Punchline and Hanson (Yes, the three “Mmmbop” brothers. Not ashamed to admit that one. Everyone I work with knows this.).


Andrew looks forward to rocking out at Warped Tour every summer.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?

This is a tough one for me. I am one of those people that goes to a concert and it is usually the most recent concert I have gone to that is the best because it is freshest in my mind. That concert would be Fall Out Boy this summer. Some of my favorites are: Green Day American Idiot Tour, Rise Against and A Day To Remember last summer, Yellowcard, The Wonder Years and We Are The In Crowd last fall and Cobra StarshipHit The Lights, Forever The Sickest Kids and Sing It Loud when I was in college. Another favorite of mine is to go to Vans Warped Tour every summer.


What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh?

I am Pittsburgh born and raised. I love the city that I have grown up in. I think anyone I work with would know that my favorite spots in Pittsburgh are Heinz Field, PNC Park and CONSOL Energy Center. I live and breathe Pittsburgh sports. Can’t help it.


You can catch Andrew wearing one of his many tees any day of the week.

You can catch Andrew wearing one of his many tees any day of the week.


How would you describe your style?

Simply put, shorts and a tee. I have quite the collection of t-shirts and sports attire. I wear A LOT of black and gold. One of the things I would say people notice is my attention to detail. I try to match from head to toe (minus the shoes. I wear one pair until they fall apart). The things that I would say tie my outfits together are always wearing a flat brim baseball hat and the matching ear plug gauges (I have as many colors as some people have shoes.).


How does your work influence your style?

Until I started working with American Eagle, I never owned a single pair of AE denim. In fact, I rarely wore long pants. I never feared the cold weather and wore shorts daily. However, this past winter I invested in some AE denim – that is probably work’s biggest influence on my style. The other impact work has on my style is that I can really wear what makes me comfortable at work. That is why my collection of t-shirts has grown so large.


How did you get your start with Aerie?

My start with Aerie actually came through working for the American Eagle brand. While in college I interned with the American Eagle stores marketing team. During this time, I interviewed for an opening on the team. The rest is history. Since January of 2012 I have been a web designer for the Aerie brand designing Aerie emails and other experiences on the website.


Andrew poses for a group photo with his Aerie co-workers.

Andrew poses for a group photo with his Aerie co-workers.

What is the best part about working for Aerie?

A lot of my friends think that I have the dream job being a guy working for a lingerie brand. I wouldn’t consider them completely wrong but I honestly think that the people I work with on a daily basis are the best part. The group of people that I collaborate with are very creative, constructive and personable. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.


What is your dream job?

I don’t know that I necessarily have a dream job or position. Being able to do what I love, day in and day out, has always been my dream. I can honestly say that thinking creatively and designing for a brand like Aerie is my true passion. Searching the web and print for inspiration and being able to apply creative thoughts to my own work is a great feeling (hence my passion).

Andrew hopes to crush the competition at his family's croquet tournament. He also wants to print t-shirts from home.

Andrew hopes to crush the competition at his family’s croquet tournament. He also wants to print t-shirts from home.

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

This summer I plan to win my third Troutbeck Croquet Classic Championship (an annual family competition that gets pretty serious). Just kidding (but I am going to win it this year). In all seriousness, I would really like to get the four color screen printing press that I got last summer up and running so that I can carry my passion for design from the office to my house. There is a lot I want to do with printing my own graphic t-shirts and posters. The ideas are there, I just have to find the time to get it going.

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