Real Talk with Lilly Cepull

This #AerieREAL artist is all sunshine! Lilly Cepull gave us the scoop about her work and what being #AerieREAL means to her. Read on to see why Lilly was inspired to join our latest #AerieREAL bra photoshoot!

 

We love your designs! What inspires your creativity?

Ah, thank you so much!! I feel as if most of my creativity stems from everyday life around me. I get inspired anywhere, and I mean anywhere! I will be out to eat at a restaurant and love the font of the menus, take a pic, and try and draw the font by hand later (I am a complete lettering nerd, I know!!) Or love the way certain colors on buildings go together. I always try to view the world around me with a creative eye and it makes life even more magical. There really is so much beauty everywhere! That being said, I make sure to have my iPad pro with me at all times so that I can sketch an idea out or create a new color palette on the go.

Real Talk with Lilly Cepull

What’s your favorite media to create with? Why?

So my old self would respond with just the good ole pen and paper combo. But my new high tech self would have to say any digital media. I got my iPad pro this past March and it quickly changed the game for me. Although I still recommend to all letterers, and artists in general, that paper and pen (most people would say pencil but I really have the “just go for it” mentality,) is the best way to start. But eventually lugging around pens, sketchbooks, paints, and all the things to every local coffee shop got old. My iPad really allows me to not strain my arm muscles carrying so many supplies and makes creating digital artwork for clients one thousand times easier. Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of work on paper, chalkboards, canvases, jackets, etc. but digital work is my jam at the moment!

What made you want to join this #AerieREAL bra photoshoot?

OMG a million things! I have adored Aerie for as long as I can remember. But the main reason why is because growing up I never really saw petite gals modeling. Or REAL gals for that matter. Pictures were always retouched and made picture perfect. I would look at them and be so upset that I was short or that my skin broke out on the daily. I often felt that I was alone and that no other girls struggled with the problems I did. Well, news flash- we are all in this together!! So being a part of this campaign meant the absolute world to me. I want all girls to realize that you are an absolute babe just the way you are! No retouching necessary.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I am #AerieREAL because I am not afraid to accept myself exactly the way I am. I realize it is so challenging to be a girl nowadays. Everywhere we look we see retouched photos of societies example of the “perfect woman” and we instantly compare ourselves. The never ending cycle of comparing your body or life to models on billboards, girls on Instagram, or the random gals at the grocery store is exhausting. I have been there and done that. But you have to realize that your “flaws” make you, YOU! They tell your story and represent all you’ve been through and await all that is left to come. All of this being said, it is so important to be yourself and never dare apologize for it. Wear no makeup for the Instagram picture- you’re so dang beautiful without it. Sing and dance as much as you want- life is more fun that way. Wear your sweatpants out to go get tacos- because guess what? Ya look GOOD! So I am #AerieREAL because I am unapologetically myself no matter the time or place. There is only one me and there is only one you. So let’s show the world who we REALLY are by keeping it real.

Want to learn more about our newest #AerieREAL photo shoot? Read about it here!

 

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Real Talk With Danielle Candray

Danielle is an advocate and mentor for those with alopecia, a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. She’s also a camp counselor with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and one of the stars of our latest #AerieREAL bra photoshoot. Read on to see how the NAAF has impacted Danielle’s life and what makes her #AerieREAL!

Real Talk With Danielle Candrey

How has alopecia impacted your life?

I’ve had Alopecia since I was 2 and a half and I’m now 19 years old. Growing up with it was extremely difficult for me because kids made fun of me for years. I didn’t know anyone who had Alopecia so that caused me to feel isolated.When I was about 14, I attended an Alopecia conference hosted by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) and it changed my life. I met amazing people who were just like me and the conference helped me get the courage to wear my wig less. I’ve gone to the conference every year since, so about six years and I have completely transformed. I made alopecia become something positive that could benefit me. I’ve met the most amazing people through alopecia and I have been given the opportunity to inspire other alopecians to embrace/accept themselves which is incredibly rewarding.

What would you like to share with those who are not familiar with alopecia? 

For those who are not familiar with alopecia, we are not sick. Most people assume that we are very sick and feel the need to treat us differently. Alopecia is not life threatening but is life altering. Alopecia is an auto-immune disease that causes the immune system to attack our hair follicles thus causing hair loss. There are different types of alopecia, I have alopecia areata which means my hair grows/falls out in patches. If you see someone who you think might have Alopecia, try not to stare too much, it makes some of us a bit uncomfortable. Everyone deals with their alopecia differently. Some are very open about it and like to talk about it like myself but some are still shy about it and feel embarrassed when asked questions. My tip for when meeting someone new who has alopecia would be to wait to ask questions until they mention their aloepcia themselves!Real Talk With Danielle Candrey

What’s one of your proudest moments?  

My proudest moment just happened in late June! I was working as a kid’s camp counselor for the NAAF Conference. My group started out with about 4 teenage girl campers but by the end of the conference, I ended up with 12 girls. I guess our table was the popular table! Throughout the conference, I talked to some of the girls and gave them advice, shared my experiences with alopecia, and even encouraged a few off them to take off their wig/hat! On the last day of the conference I was thanked by many of the girls’ parents because I helped their daughters come out of their shells and the girls were grateful that I was their camp counselor. Although I was there to make the conference a great experience for them, I believe they made my experience unforgettable and I thank them for that. So yeah, this past NAAF conference as a camp counselor was my proudest moment!

What makes you #AerieREAL?

I’m #AerieREAL because I’m not letting my alopecia or weight prevent me from doing the things I love!

The beauty about #AerieREAL is that it doesn’t mean we are “perfect” or love every inch of ourselves every day. To me, it means that it’s okay to have bad days because that’s what makes us human and real. As long as we remember to accept ourselves the way we are and treat our bodies with respect, then we can all be #AerieREAL.

 

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Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

This year, we more than doubled our #AerieREAL Ambassador universities from 10 to 25! The goal of the program is for every girl to feel good and know that the REAL you is the best you. We feel that one of the best places to do this is on campus!

We spoke with Laurie Mattock, Manager of Brand Experience, about the new and improved ambassador training. “This summer, we brought in over 45 of our newest brand ambassadors from college campuses across the country who will be sharing the #AerieREAL love all year long!  We definitely wanted to give the girls an experience to remember.” Read more about their time at Aerie HQ below.

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Ambassadors began their day with yoga and team-building outside of Aerie HQ. Namaste #AerieREAL!

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Ambassadors underwent training and became BFF’s (bra fit finders!) so they can help other girls on campus feel real good, too! This Aerie-exclusive way to measure helps you find your new best fit.

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

“So many girls have told us they’d love more support as they transition from home to school to their first jobs—so we’re spreading the #AerieREAL love across the US with the help of these AMAZING ambassadors!” said Laurie.

Introducing Our Newest #AerieREAL Ambassadors

Keep an eye out for #AerieREAL ambassadors on your campus!

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Real Talk With Grace Ross

Grace is a student, aspiring cosmetic scientist and #AerieREAL! She’s heading back to school at Pace University in NYC after a summer of sharing the #AerieREAL love at our bra photoshoot. Read on to see her tips for shining at school and what #AerieREAL means to her.

Real Talk With Grace Ross

What made you want to join this #AerieREAL bra photoshoot?

Aerie is at the forefront of a great wave of change. This campaign is about being your genuine self and loving every piece of who you are. This campaign is for anyone who ever thought their insecurities made them any less worthy of self love. Aerie is representing every girl and giving them role models that actually look like them. They show case beauty at every angle and every size. I wanted to be a part of this campaign because Aerie actually cares about spreading a positive image that represents everyone. Aerie is genuine and really REAL about portraying people as they are! I feel so honored to be one of these faces and be a part something so inspirational and empowering.Real Talk With Grace Ross

What tips do you have for your other students heading back to school this week?

My advice would be to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. College is your time to be your most authentic self and explore areas of your own personality independently. Take time to focus on your own mental and physical health and realign yourself to manage stress. Getting through school is all about balance. Balancing responsibilities, work, friends, and family can be a lot to take on. Try to find your own balance and see what works for you. Also, never pay full price for text books! Trust. With enough dedication, you can find a free pdf, a used copy, or a rental for way less.

What is your dream job after graduation?

My dream job is to be an entrepreneur and market my own cosmetic line. I am working on a Chemistry degree and after I graduate I am want to be a cosmetic scientist. Once I kickstart my brand, I will be able to develop unique and fun makeup and skincare. My creative mind, love of science, and passion for discovery will fuel my dream and make it a reality.

Real Talk With Grace RossWhat makes you #AerieREAL?

Being real with myself is what makes me #AerieREAL. Taking a step back and realizing that my reflection has been warped by someone else’s ideas and constructs about beauty. Seeing my feelings and emotions not as weakness, but as the strongest part of who I am. Forming my own definitions and erasing every negative perception I have about myself. Allowing my inner beauty to shine through and sharing that light with everyone. A candle doesn’t lose anything by lighting another candle, it just spreads more light. That’s real, that’s beauty.

 

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#AerieREAL Talks

Our newest #AerieREAL faces came from all across the country (and Canada!) for a bra photoshoot unlike any we’ve ever done. Over 10 days of shooting, 10 groups of women came together to shine and share their stories.

And this is what #AerieREAL is all about.

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Real Talk with Mercy Nyangau

Aerie store associate Mercy was an #AerieREAL girl from day one. That’s why her managers at Aerie knew she had to join the team! Two years later, Mercy is one of the newest members of our fall bra campaign.

Read on to learn how Mercy went from storefront to photo studio in our latest bra photoshoot.

MercyNyanguaWhat made you want to join the Aerie family?

I applied to American Eagle the first month of college while I was looking for a job super last minute and AE just happened to be hiring! I honestly knew nothing about Aerie and very little about American Eagle but I still applied in hopes that I would get hired haha. Well I got hired into American Eagle and was selling jeans for like a month before one of the managers in Aerie was like “I want her. She needs to be an Aerie girl” and every shift I worked, they put me in Aerie for like two hours until eventually I was reporting straight to Aerie. Aerie family is a great way to describe the environment. The women I have worked with are all so supportive and loving and they genuinely care about you as a person not just as a co worker or employee. Two years later I have the best Aerie family. Some days I question if my job is real because I’m basically working with all my girlfriends! If someone told me about the #aerieREAL message, the work environment and that I would be surrounded by strong confident women, I would have applied to Aerie directly and I would have done it sooner.

What can Aerie girls expect when they visit an Aerie store for a bra fitting?

The biggest thing Aerie girls can expect when they come in for a bra fitting is support from the team. A lot of the time that I’m fitting someone for that perfect bra, I like to get input from other bra experts on what to recommend and how to problem solve. To the Aerie girl, it’s a one on one experience with a well trained bra expert but behind the scenes there’s like three other girls recommending styles they like and fit alternatives. Although we are all well qualified to individually fit our girls, we all try to ensure the girls leave confident and comfortable! A lot of the time we’re recommending styles, it’s not always for sale purposes but to make sure our girls are leaving happy and comfortable. My favorite days are when I get to put a customer in a completely different size than what they have known because I know it made their day.

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What is your favorite bra from the new collections? Why?  

Do I have to choose? Real Me lightly lined will forever have a place in my heart. I own 4 now and two are the same exact shade! I call it the bra for people who don’t wear bras but sometimes have to. It’s so comfortable and light that I can wear it all day without ripping it off as soon as I get home. Another unique feature that Real Me has and I love is the nude shades that match a range of skin tones. thats pretty neat 😉

What makes you #AerieREAL?

My go to response would be my level of confidence that has gradually increased through the years but I feel that there are other things that make me more real. Defying society’s expectations of me and how I should behave, speak and react are things that I believe make me the most #aerieREAL. I see myself as unique and someone who can’t be put in a box.

 

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