Meet the Cast: Dannay

Meet the Cast: Dannay

Meet Dannay, an actress from Santa Clarita, California and winner of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life. We chatted with Dannay about how she stays motivated to keep active, who she looks up to as an actress and about her personal style. Keep reading to learn more about Dannay and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

You describe yourself as pretty active-what activities do you enjoy?

I really love to play basketball. I’ve been playing for about 12 years. I played on an all boys travel team and was a starter. I also played for my high school team and I still play here and there with my older brothers and some friends for fun. It’s always my workout during the week.

What motivates you to stay active?

My brothers motivate me. They are so active and they get me up and motivate me to stay active and healthy. Like I said, I love to play basketball. I also like to run, but I’d rather play basketball. Its the best feeling once your done with a pick-up game or just shooting around.

You’re an actress as well. When did you first get into acting?

I started to get into acting when I was 16. I did commercials for Nickelodeon, promos and campaigns. I did a lot of short films. I booked a feature film, Insidious 2…its a horror movie. It was my first big screen appearance. I am towards the end of the movie-I played Allison. Allison got in a bad car accident and is catatonic. It was so awesome to play that role.

Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to the acting world?

I have three: Jennifer Aniston, Rachel McAdams and Sandra Bullock. I would die if I had an opportunity to work with them. They’re all so different, but I take some advice and inspiration from all of them. They are natural and seem to be fearless when they have a role. I love that and I always copy that in my work-I give it my all.

What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to face while acting?

Some of the biggest challenges I face sometimes is just going for it. I hold back a lot because I actually think about how I would look like if I did a line in my head and so I hold back. You cant do that in acting because it means you’re not in your work, you’re over-thinking the script and you’re not in the moment. I always tell myself, if I’m doing a scene playing a person and that person was on set watching me play their life, I have to go for it and be fearless. In acting, you’re bringing someones life to LIFE and you have to portray that in those moments. I just think its an awesome feeling playing someone other than yourself.

You also love to style. How would you describe your own style?

I love old-school stuff. I always rock high-wasted shorts with my long socks or sometimes tights-they’re my favorites. I really love the Favorite Boyfriend Jean, they’re super comfortable and you can rock either boots or some cute sneakers with them. That’s my everyday style. Or tight high-rise jeans with boots and jewelry. Jewelry definitely puts your outfit together, like a cherry on top.

Do you feel that style is art?

It is because art is different, style is different. Everyone has their own uniqueness to how they dress or how they write, how they draw and how they take photos. Everyone is different and I love that. I’d rather be different with my own style rather than mimic someone.

What are some of your favorite trends for 2014?

I’m really digging the flannels. I was never really into flannel, I never liked them or the colors. Now, I’ve been wearing them around my waist with a cute crop and cute jeans. The flannel just throws a cool vintage look to it and dresses up your outfit.

Who are your style icons?

I don’t really have style icons, I really just like anyone who has cool look to them and I see how they look on me. I love the old school icon looks. I wish I lived back then, there clothes were so dam cool!

You’re from Santa Clarita, CA. What do you heart about your city?

I heart my city because it’s awesome.

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Meet the Cast: Stevan

Meet the Cast: Stevan

Meet Stevan, a soccer player from Elkridge, Maryland and a winner of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life. Stevan is currently featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. Learn more about Stevan and be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

You live in Elkridge, MD. What do you heart about your city?

I love the people in the area-everyone is so friendly. I also love the old buildings around it, abandoned ones are fun to go around and roam in but there are a lot that are still in use and they look so beautiful and pristine.

What are you most excited for about the Miami shoot?

I was most excited for doing something professional, the new experience and getting to travel to a new area in the world.


You enjoy soccer, that position do you play?

I play striker or center mid, always on the attack, trying to either make the play happen or finish it with a goal.

Who inspires you to play soccer?

My whole family inspires me because we all play whether it be together on a team, coaching or cheering each other on. It’s something we all have in common and can share together.

Have you ever been to a world cup?

No, I haven’t, but it’s one of my biggest goals in life to attend.

Who is your favorite soccer player?

My favorite player was David Beckham until he retired but now it’s either Daniel Sturridge or Frank Lampard.

Who is your favorite soccer team?

My favorite soccer team is Chelsea in the EPL.

What does it take to be a great soccer player?

To be a great soccer player you have to have determination and the will to do whatever the team needs to succeed, as well as good team work and chemistry.

What other activities inspire you?

I love to be active on a board, no matter where it is: in the snow, in the water, on the streets-I feel at home when I’m on my board.

What did you think of Wynwood Walls?

I thought that the Wynwood Walls were so creative and unique, not to mention beautiful with the terrific colors and designs.

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Meet the Cast: Adria

Meet the Cast: Adria

Meet Adria, an artist from St. Pete Beach, Florida who is featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. You may remember Adria from our Spring 2014 campaign as well as Episode 2 of Project Live Your Life: San Francisco, where she helped design a T-shirt to be produced and sold by American Eagle Outfitters. Read on to learn more about her.

How does it feel to be back for another AEO photo shoot?

To come back for another shoot is definitely a blessing. Knowing that more memories will be made with people that I have formed bonds with makes me smile. I’m so thankful to have been given these amazing opportunities and can only hope that there is more to come in the future.

What are some of the challenges and emotions that you have faced while being a part of Project Live Your Life? Was it a lot of pressure designing a T-shirt for us?

One of the biggest challenges I faced while being a part of Project Live Your Life was getting past being shy. Everyone has a blast just being their crazy selves, so it’s nice to know that you can let go and be yourself without feeling judged. In the designing aspect, I would say that it was stressful feeling like I had to conform my art to fit what I thought the brand was about. However, when I realized that they still wanted me to show myself through my designs it was a freeing and relieving feeling.

Is this your first time in Miami? How does this city differ from your home town?

This was my first REAL trip to Miami. The other times I’ve been in Miami were for only a day or so. St. Pete Beach is such a chill relaxed beach town, whereas Miami is full of life and color.

What do you heart about your city of St. Pete Beach, FL?

I heart going to the beach where I can forget all my worries and have fun with friends and family.

What inspires you to draw?

I never really thought about what inspires me to draw. It sounds weird saying it, but I think my drawings are sparked from a feeling. Whether it’s a song I hear, or a person I meet, something about that moment makes me want to pick up a pen and create.

What has been the most challenging piece of art that you’ve created?

Every drawing is a challenge. If I’m not pushing myself in each piece, what’s the point? I think that challenging yourself helps you get to where you want to be.

How do you feel when you’re doing art?

To explain how I feel when I draw is like asking someone to explain what love is. When I draw, I lose myself. I can escape reality, and run away with each stroke of the pen. Knowing that I can create something amazing while doing something I love is a feeling unparalleled.

We’ve heard you want to travel and do unexpected things. Where do you want to travel first?

I’m a strong believer in thinking that you learn the most through travel and experience. I would love to go somewhere in Europe. The culture, history and food… it  would be a dream destination!

What is your process when staring at a blank canvas?

I think the first thing I would do when staring at a blank canvas is find an emotion. Finding an emotional connection between you and what you want to draw makes it all the more real. I also prefer to use only black and white in my drawings. I feel like using color is cheating. When you look at certain colors, your emotions change. I want people to find their own emotion in my drawings and not be influenced by an outside force.

What makes you real?

You can’t live your life dependent on what others think of you. If you want to be happy, be happy. If you want to do something, do it for yourself and not because someone told you to. I think being myself, as well as doing what I love and doing it for the right reasons, is what makes me real.

Who or what empowers you to take on the day?

The fact that I have full control over who I become and where I go in life empowers me to take on the day.


Want to learn more about Adria? Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram and check out her Pinterest board.

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#AEOSTYLE: Matchbacks

#AEOSTYLE: Matchbacks

The matchback trend is inspired from both the runways and the street. It is the idea of wearing a top and bottom piece in the same pattern or print – consider this look a new way for you to wear the current floral and tribal print trend. See how our Director of Styling, Preston, helped Maria with the matchback trend on our Spring Break 2014 photo shoot in the video and check out other pieces to help you get the look below.

Get Maria’s look:

Embroidered Sweatshirt

Embroidered Shorts


Mix and match with matchbacks.

Mix and match with matchbacks.

Get the look:

Silky Crop Topped T-Shirt

Floral Corset

Soft Cutout Bralette

Slouchy Cinched Pant

Soft Pant

Floral Aloha Tank

Soft Printed Circle Skirt

Be sure to show us how you wear matchbacks with #AEOSTYLE on Twitter and Instagram for a chance to be on

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Meet the Cast: Akeel

Meet the Cast: Akeel

Meet Akeel, a photographer, sports fanatic and Project Live Your Life winner from Brooklyn, NY, currently featured in American Eagle Outfitters Spring Break 2014 campaign. Read on to learn more about Akeel and his experience on an AEO photo shoot.

You’re from Brooklyn, NY- what do you heart about your city?

I definitely heart the different cultures and people that I see every day. NYC is a huge melting pot and I learn something new every day.

Have you ever been to Miami? What about this city inspires you?

I’ve only been to Miami once before. The whole laid-back and chill environment of this city inspires mem as well as the art that I saw at Wynwood Walls.

You enjoy photography. What is your favorite thing to capture behind the lens?

Living in NYC, I love capturing pictures of tourists, but my favorite thing to photograph are the streets and skyscrapers in the city.

You’re a sports fanatic- what sports do you enjoy most?

I love soccer, baseball, volleyball and track.

Who is your favorite athlete?

My favorite athlete would probably have to be Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s one of the best soccer players right now.

You also enjoy reading. What have you read recently that you really enjoyed?

I have recently read a series called Eragon and The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven.

Favorite book of all time?

Harry Potter.

What author inspires you?

J.K. Rowling inspires me because her writing not only is interesting, but it brings out my imagination and keeps me a kid at heart.

Cooking is another passion of yours. What is your specialty?

Italian food. I love making pasta, chicken parmigiana and pizza to name a few. I also make a mean bowl of cereal!

What is your motivation behind your drawing in the mural?

The art I saw around me at Wyndwood Walls and New York City were a big motivation behind my drawing.

Follow Akeel:

Instagram: @akeelrkhan

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Meet the Cast: Bailey

Meet the Cast: Bailey

Meet Bailey, a photographer from Port St. Lucie, Florida who is featured in our Spring Break 2014 campaign. You may remember Bailey from our Spring 2014 campaign as well as Episode 1 of Project Live Your Life: San Francisco, where he helped shoot photos for an American Eagle Outfitters campaign. Read on to learn more about him.

This is your second shoot for AEO. How do you feel about being back?

Meeting creative people, working and playing hard for a week in Miami, what’s not to like?

You got to take some pictures for AEO on the last photo shoot. Explain how you felt when you were given the opportunity.

Amazing! I am a photographer so I grab any opportunity to take pictures. It’s what I enjoy and what I hope to turn into a full-time career.

What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced while photographing, specifically your challenge with taking pictures for the AEO shoot?

The AEO shoot was different than what I typically do. The particular challenge I faced was the lack of time to keep working to get the perfect shot. There are tight deadlines on a shoot like this one. The experience taught me quite a bit about highlighting the clothing as well as the model.

Who or what inspires your photography?

This one is tough because someone always gets left off the list so I won’t name names. I am mostly inspired by a group of photographers I have connected with on social media. I meet up with other photographers from all over the country to spend a few hours, a few days or a week taking photos. My latest trip was to Seattle. It can be a crazy time photo adventuring, hanging out and sleeping on floors.

You love Polaroids. What is the best Polaroid that you’ve ever taken and who did you give it to?

I try to take Polaroids whenever I meet new people and either give them away or keep them as memories of our time together. I don’t think I can pick one, but I took a shot on the river road near my house of a passing train. First one I took with a Polaroid I found in an old antique store. I gave it to my mom, but she let me have it back. I also took a sweet one of a lake near Wichita, Kansas while I was with family.

What makes you unique? What characteristics help tell your story?

I am just a regular guy. I really like coffee, but I’m not sure that makes me unique. HA! I feel connected to the visual revolution my generation is creating. I look for ways to tell other people’s stories through photographs. I always look forward to the possibilities ahead.

Is this your first time in Miami? What about the city inspires you?

I am in Miami a few times a week for work so it’s actually feeling more like home than Port St. Lucie. Miami has its own rhythm. The art and culture here are vibrant. The Miami Design District and South Beach keep me inspired when I’m not working.

What about your hometown of Port St. Lucie do you heart?

I am from St. Louis and still consider it my hometown, but I’ve lived in Florida for over 10 years now. Memories of growing up and the group of friends I grew up with in Port St. Lucie will be what I carry with me.

You’ve seen Wynwood Walls transform from an all-white space to an art instillation filled with color and life. How were you feeling during this transformation?

The people who paint these walls are true artists in every sense of the word. Many of them started out using whatever they could find as a canvas, when this type of street art was only considered a crime. I admire anyone willing to follow their dream through, even if they need to break a few rules. There is nothing like seeing a vision come to life.

What does “art” mean to you?

Art means the world to me.

Want to learn more about Bailey? Be sure to follow him on Twitter, Instagram and check out his Pinterest board.

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