Real Talk with Dormify

Aerie is breaking the rules of dorm décor with Dormify! This like-minded brand takes a fashion-forward approach to stylin’ small spaces & ONLY offers products they’re obsessed with.

We sat down with Dormify Co-Founder, Amanda Zuckerman, to ask a few questions about one of the newest brands we’re crushing on!

It’s no secret we love Dormify, can you tell our girls a little bit about the brand and how it got started?

When my mom and I were shopping for my freshman dorm room we realized first-hand that creating a space of your own, your first home-away-from-home, was a big deal. The problem, though, was that it was not easy to do so. We had a ton of questions – what exactly do I need for my dorm room? Where can I find it? What is the best way to maximize a small space? Can I decorate my dorm room in a way that is comfortable and affordable? How can I represent my personal style in my dorm decor?

It was during my dorm room shopping experience that the idea for Dormify.com was born: A brand and one-stop shopping destination carrying everything students need to easily and effectively style their small space. It was so important to me to be able to create a space that reflected ME, so we wanted to make sure that we could provide our customers with real ways to create a space that is uniquely theirs as well.

Real Talk with Dormify

How does your style advisor community work?

Our Style Advisor community consists of high school and college-aged tastemakers that act as style consultants and contributors to our content site, a destination for decorating tips, DIYs, and college advice. We love having real girls contribute real world ideas, whether through the content and images they create around their own small spaces or through consulting on product designs and initiatives we’re rolling out. It is so important to us to hear from those using our products and sharing their ideas with our customers too. We also work with our Style Advisors to help them build up their skills in design, social media, writing, and more—so that they take away some awesome experience to put on their resume!

What kind of trends are you seeing this season in dorm must-haves?

This season, muted tones are making a loud statement. The Misty Rose Bandana Print duvet paired with warm grey colors is the epitome of this trend. Another favorite of ours is incorporating texture into your look. For example, with a faux mongolian fur accessory—like a pillow or a rug—you can achieve a look that’s boho, girly, or luxurious, depending on how you style it! And last but not least, multifunctional pieces are SO important in a small space. Right now old school trunks are my favorite. You can create a chic nightstand or coffee table look, while still using the inside for extra storage.

Real Talk with Dormify

We’re so excited to offer Dormify on Aerie.com! Do you have a favorite item from the collection?

So hard to choose just one, but I’m obsessed with the ombre knit throws! And I definitely would’ve had the Reversible Mosaic Duvet Cover in my dorm.

Real Talk with Dormify

What advice would you give to those young entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?

Establish your personal brand. Start a blog, an Instagram account, a Twitter page—establish your online presence and talk about things that interest you.

Network. Stay in touch with people you have worked with in order to meet new people, you never know who could be of help to you in the future!

Be prepared. Whether you are at an event, networking, approaching someone in your industry, or finally getting that coffee meeting with someone you admire—do your homework so you are asking smart questions that can push the conversation forward.

Find a mentor. Learning from someone who has more experience than you can help you navigate your way as a young entrepreneur, and help you meet important people.

Stay humble. It is ok to not know everything! Listen to others, learn from them, get advice and opinions. Use what works for you, but do take the opportunity to listen to others.

Thank you, Amanda! Shop Dormify bedding, pillows & more now on Aerie.com. xo

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Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

Get REAL with Catherine Gignac, AEO’s Manager of Digital Creative! Read on to learn more about how she uses yoga to help balance the stress of everyday life, her favorite pose and what #AerieREAL means to her.

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

You’re amazing at yoga! How did you begin?
Haha, thanks! It’s fun to be able to go upside down and stand on my head. Those poses constantly push me to try new, scarier things. But really, that’s not why I do yoga. Work and life are stressful (so gross, right?) and yoga balances all that out. I can have a rough day, go to yoga and then feel completely decoupled from what was dragging me down prior to class. I get far fewer headaches because my back and neck muscles are stronger. I take myself less seriously because I’ve learned to goof around and take risks on my mat. I’ve felt my highest highs and my lowest lows emotionally while practicing, but it’s always healing and empowering to just be alone with my breath and my thoughts. Plus, no one can tell whether you’re dripping tears or sweat! Most importantly, like-attracts-like and the community of yogis at my studio has sourced most of my closest friendships in life. We support each other and often say, “Detox before you retox,” and go out together after my Friday night class.

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

What’s your favorite yoga pose? 
I have a love-hate relationship with double pigeon. It’s a crazy deep hip-opener that feels so good sometimes and so tense others. Yogis often say that we hold our emotional baggage in our hips. We run on them, sit on them, drive on them and they’re the biggest joints in our bodies. When we slowly open them up, we also peel away at layers of built up emotion that we haven’t let go of — kind of like peeling layers off an onion. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!

Real Talk with Catherine GignacGet Catherine’s Look: Pushup Seamless Sports Bra | Seamless Hi-Rise Legging

For somebody who is interested but hasn’t given yoga a chance, what would you say to them?
Just go and try it! Ironically, I hated my first class, but I found myself going to teacher training just a few years later. As a teacher, I always hear things like “I’ve thought about it but I don’t like the heat,” “I’m not flexible enough,” “Oh, I couldn’t do what you do!” but it’s not about that. I have students in my class from 11 to 72 years old (seriously!) of all different weights, health issues, and injuries. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace and do what they can. This week, a student of mine told me she’d been in a car accident and needs yoga to help rehabilitate her back. Another told me yoga helped her remain calm and get through the nightmare of having her newborn in the NICU for many months. Everyone comes to yoga for a physical experience, but if they stick with it, they end up having a total mind, body, spirit experience that few other forms of exercise can mirror.

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
My favorite quote is “You may think I’m small, but I have a universe inside my mind.” — Yoko Ono. I’ve loved this one for awhile because I’m pretty small in stature but I’m big in personality. Anytime I feel like I’m being underestimated or unheard, I think about this quote and remember we’re all pretty freakin’ powerful and expansive in what we can dream and accomplish. Another really great reading I love to share with my yoga class was introduced to me by my yoga mentor and it’s called the Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Check it out, it’ll move you!

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
Ah, so much! I’ve loved watching the #AerieREAL campaign grow from a wee idea into a huge movement over the last few years. It’s the best feeling to have friends of mine, all in their late twenties and early thirties, tell me they’ve discovered Aerie and love, not just our undies and bralettes, but what we stand for. I’m proud of be part of the organization who decided to take a risk and start talking to girls in a way that we all relate to and deserve. #AerieREAL has inspired me to be less curated…on Instagram, in relationships, with what I say in my yoga classes. I’m unapologetically me, even if it’s means I don’t please everyone or say and do all the right things.

Real Talk with Catherine Gignac

Be sure to follow Catherine on Instagram @catherinegignac and Snapchat at Cathgig!

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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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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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Follow Her Friday: Anna Martemucci

On Fridays, we like to do a special shout-out to #AerieREAL girls who seriously inspire. This Follow Her Friday, we’d like you to meet Anna Martemucci, who comes to us by way of Los Angeles/Brooklyn.  Between writing, directing, acting, producing, and founding Periods Films, Anna took some time to chat with us. Read more below!

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Multitasking at its best! Here, she’s on set in a moving car with her team, filming on location in Pittsburgh.

Aerie: Hi, Anna! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Tell us your story in a nutshell!

Anna: I grew up in small towns in North Dakota and Pennsylvania but my parents emigrated here from Rome, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. I became first a writer and then a filmmaker. I love telling stories that promote the notions of human equality and compassion. I also want to make people laugh and feel connected to the world. And I really enjoy hot tubs.

Aerie: What does #AerieREAL mean to you?

Anna: When I saw the Aerie Real campaign, to me it meant that [Aerie] was taking a step towards a better world! All through growing up, every woman I knew, no matter what she looked like, was obsessed with losing weight and striving to look perfect, including me. Often times this obsession was so huge it would be at the detriment of our physical and mental health.  I think a lot of that is because we’re sort of brainwashed by the constant images of airbrushed faux perfection we have flying at our faces constantly, and the fact that most of our movies and TV shows are populated largely with women who have very similar body types to each other.  I love the no airbrushing idea. If we can all admit that every single human being is a flawed little snowflake of gorgeous imperfection, and that imperfection can be just as beautiful (if not more so!) than our current, narrow idea of “perfection,” then maybe we’ll all feel more free! There are so many more interesting things to think about than losing weight or looking perfect, after all.

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Anna with Zachary Quinto at the NYTVFest panel for “The Chair” and “Hollidaysburgh”.

Aerie: What makes YOU #AerieREAL?

Anna: I really love what I do.

Aerie: Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

Making movies or a cinematic TV show, hopefully somehow involving puppets. Kidding about the puppets…kind of.  I hope I’m telling stories in some form. Maybe raising a small baby into a grown human. Feeding self properly. Traveling and living and loving, baby.*  (*said in a drawl like Matthew McConaughey).

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Anna doing press for her film “Breakup at a Wedding” with Zachary Quinto.

Aerie: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Anna: There are so many! But I love this one, it is so good for the creative types (which I suspect every human being is in some form):

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”  –  Martha Graham

Aerie: What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?

Anna: [My films] Breakup at a Wedding, Hollidaysburgh, and Periods.  These are the 3 movies I’ve made with my team at Periods Films, which includes my brother-in-law Philip Quinaz and husband Victor Quinaz. My biggest personal accomplishment has been learning how to be a team player after years of being an isolated writer. Other people are where it’s at.

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Say…cheese? Anna strikes a pose with Periods Films actor Brian Shoaf before shooting the Periods Film “FOPS”.

Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so, who is he or she, and why does he or she inspire you?

Anna: I have so many role models. I find life so much better and all of my big dreams more manageable when I focus on the people and artists that I love. So the concept of role models is big for me!  The Coen Brothers, John Hughes, Sophia Coppola, Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater, Lena Dunham, Wes Anderson, Louis C.K., Alexander Payne, Jill Soloway…they are all storytelling heroes of mine, among many others. I love the way that each of these storytellers has a very particular voice, one that can really only be theirs, and through the specificity of their voice, something universal is achieved. That’s what I strive for in my own work.

Aerie: What’s your favorite Aerie item?

Anna: This blanket scarf is super cute and I want it.

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Lights, camera…action! Some of the Periods Films crew get together on location for “Nam.”

Aerie: What are your three things you always have with you?

Anna: Shoes that look good but that I can walk in for at least 20 NYC city blocks, blotting papers (curse of the shiny face), a positive outlook.

Aerie: If you could pick any actress or actor to play you in your own movie, who would it be?

Anna: Amy Sedaris.

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Making doing it all look easy! Here’s Anna on the set of “Medal of Victory” in Wisconsin.

Aerie: Do you have a secret talent, skill or quirk? Do tell!

Anna: Badminton. The tiny rackets make me feel powerful and I just love saying “shuttlecock” as much as possible in this short life.

Thanks for chatting with us, Anna! To keep up with Anna, follower her on Instagram and Twitter   @AnnaMartemucci!

Xoxo,

Aerie

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Real Talk with Aerie Designers: The Holiday Collection

Let’s be honest – the entire Aerie Holiday collection is on our wishlist this year. This season, we can’t wait for you to meet a few of the #AerieREAL girls who made it all happen! We headed to our New York Design Office to chat with some of our design team to learn about what makes the Aerie Holiday collection so special, and the trends and styles they’re most excited about this season.

Lights, camera...action!

Lights, camera…action! We took over the Design office for a day of filming!

Beanies and trappers make a great gift for everyone on your list!

Jackie, Emily and Jennifer show that beanies and trappers make a great Holiday gift to keep ears and spirits warm!

The Aerie Blanket Scarf!

Jackie’s keeping cozy in one of our favorite trends of the season…the Aerie Blanket Scarf! With so many ways to wear it, it’s a unique piece you can really make your own.

Watch below to learn a little more about some of our Aerie designers, and to find out why you’re going to love our Holiday collection.

Xoxo,

Aerie

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