AE ASSOCIATE SPOTLIGHT: FIGHTING MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA WITH LOVE

All across the country, young people like you are standing up for what’s important. Inspired by the launch of the AExME Council, we turned to our amazing team of store managers, stylists, and associates to learn more about some of the issues affecting their communities and the causes they’re passionate about


Meet Hannah from store #0392 in Towson, MD. She’s a 21-year-old body positivity activist who’s passionate about reducing mental health stigma and preventing suicide.

An eating disorder survivor, Hannah participates in National Eating Disorders Association walks with her AE coworkers – they’ve even taken home a top fundraising team award! – as well as American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walks. She believes in the power of being open and honest, and having conversations about the hard stuff… even or especially if they’re uncomfortable.

AE Associate Hannah

Q: How do you express your thoughts and beliefs?

A: I have always believed in being open and honest. While I was in the deepest part of my eating disorder, I kept so many secrets about what I did and why I did it. Through my recovery, I have become so much more open about my life in general and how I feel about the world. I’m always willing to listen to the beliefs of others and try to go in with an open mind when I meet new people and hear other points of view.

Q: What does AExME mean to you?

A: AExME means that I can be whoever I want to be and create my style to be something that I feel comfortable and confident in! Since my heart belongs to Aerie, I’ll say what #AerieREAL means to me, too! The entire concept of #AerieREAL reminds me that everything that has happened in my life has made me who I am, and that I am allowed to embrace that! #AerieREAL has helped me to embrace my quirks, wild mane of hair, mistakes, crazy laugh, journey with an eating disorder, and so, so much more.

Q: What’s a quote that inspires you?

A: I absolutely could not decide between these two, so here are two quotes I love: “You cannot change the world on an empty stomach,” as well as one that’s actually in our fitting rooms: “There is nothing more beautiful than a happy soul.” I love this one because I have always had a distorted view of what beauty is and how it should function in my life. I have learned over the years that it is my happiness and the way I serve others that makes me beautiful.

AE Associate Hannah

Fill in the Blanks

The future is uplifting!

The best thing about my community is the love & support I experience on a daily basis.

More acceptance would make the world a better place.

I believe in the pursuit of happiness.

My mom is my personal superhero.

If I could change one thing about the world today, it would be the stigma surrounding mental health.

 

 

End of Summer Refresh: 3 Ways to Style 1 Essential Duvet

The IDEA of summer is amazing, but it’s actually kind of stressful, right? Whether you’re working, studying, or graduation-party hopping, these past few months have undoubtedly been jam-packed with all kinds of obligations.

Before you head into August, why not slow down and reset by giving your personal space a little refresh? A new comforter or duvet cover can totally change your bedroom’s vibe and can be styled so many ways by swapping out accent pillows and throw blankets.

Start with an airy, white duvet cover – the epitome of sophisticated simplicity – then layer on the accessories to turn the place where you dream into your actual dream space. Get inspired with these mix-and-match bedding ideas from our friends at Dormify:

SHOP DORMIFY    |    SHOP AEO APT

Dormify Bedding

MODERN METALLIC

If sleek and clean is more your vibe, these modern, metallic (marbled!!) accent pillows are gorgeous to look at, and the cool gray tones are soothing and fresh.

Dormify Bedding

LUXE FEMME

 Go for a soft, romantic feel with lots of different lush textures and a pale, tonal color palette.

Dormify Bedding

VELVET CRUSH

Nothing sets the mood quite like navy blue crushed velvet. These deep hues and textured accents channel a real sense of midnight serenity.

 

 

 

AEO INTER(N)VIEWS: GET TO KNOW OUR SUMMER 2019 INTERNS

This summer, American Eagle welcomed over 50 interns to our Pittsburgh and New York offices. These stellar students from around the country have been hard at work in all areas of our business! We wanted to give you the chance to get to know them. And who better to share their experiences than the interns themselves? Insights and Strategy Intern Lisa Tripon and Design Intern Sarah Noll teamed up to interview their coworkers about what they bring to the AEO family.

EMMA BRUNO, AERIE MARKETING INTERN

Hometown: Bethel Park, PA

Studying: Marketing at Baldwin Wallace University

Describe your style: Vintage boho-ish.

What is a trend you love? I’m currently obsessing over our high-waisted cropped flare jeans.

Song of the summer? “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” by the 1975.

Favorite part of the internship so far? Getting to go to NYC on the jet for an Aerie REALTalk.

Favorite Quote: “Handle it with grace and choose kindness.”

 

PRACHI JHALA, TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION INTERN

Hometown: Originally from India, but I moved to Pittsburgh for school!

Studying: M.S. in Engineering & Technology Innovation Management at Carnegie Mellon University

Describe your style: Sophisticated utilitarian.

Coolest place you’ve been to in Pittsburgh? Allegheny National Forest.

Can you cook? What’s your specialty? I can make a mean pav bhaji. It’s a staple Indian dish.

What does AExMe mean to you? Individuality.

Fun fact: I am a jazz, blues, and classic rock vocalist. Back in India, I used to have my own jazz-rock duo. We were called Post.Script.

 

CONNOR PENN, FINANCE DEPARTMENT INTERN

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Studying: Finance at University of Dayton

One thing in your closet you couldn’t live without: Black jeans.

Favorite quote: “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” – Elon Musk

Favorite part of the internship so far? The challenges that come with the projects that we’ve worked on. I love solving problems and it’s super satisfying when something you’ve been stumped on for a few days finally comes together.

Can you cook? What’s your specialty? Steak done in rosemary, garlic, and butter, with buttery mashed potatoes and honey-roasted carrots on the side.

Fun fact: I can do a solid Mickey Mouse impression.

 

DANI RITTER, AERIE INVENTORY PLANNING INTERN

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Studying: Fashion Merchandising at Kent State University

Describe your style: I like to take everyday, basic, classic pieces and make them my own by adding statement pieces! I’m really inspired by vintage styles and street styles.

What is a trend you love? The fact that some vintage styles are making a strong comeback! Catch me in ripped Mom jeans and a vintage band tee looking like my mom from the ’80s.

Song of the summer? 100%, absolutely, “Juice” by Lizzo. Definitely a summer bop.

What does AExME mean to you? AExME is everything. A brand that not only cares about its customers, but stands behind and supports them. AExME wants everyone to be authentically, and unapologetically, themselves. That message drives my life and I could not be happier to work for a brand that feels the same!

Fun fact: I’m obsessed… and I do mean obsessed… with corgis. I legitimately cry anytime I see one.

 

ERIK AXELSON, INTERNATIONAL INVENTORY PLANNING INTERN

Hometown: Zionsville, IN

Studying: Finance and Accounting at Indiana University

Describe your style: Relaxed and casual.

One thing in your closet that you couldn’t live without: I have a silver MVMT watch that I wear all the time. I think of it as the finishing touch to most of my outfits as I can use it to dress up outfits for work, class, interviews, etc.

How would your friends describe you? Easygoing, loyal, and caring.

What does AExME mean to you? When I think of AExME, I think of it as an opportunity to contribute to the identity of our generation. I think of it not only as a voice for AE customers, but also a way for us to share ideas and learn more about one another.

Favorite part of the internship so far? I have to say the people/culture. People here care about me and my experience this summer.

 

TJ TURLEY, MERCHANSIZING (MEN’S BOTTOMS) INTERN

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Studying: Marketing and Entrepreneurship at University of Dayton

What is one thing in your closet that you couldn’t live without? Jeans. Wear them all year round and they match back to almost everything.

What is a trend you love? Future sportswear. The movement to more active streetwear.

What is the coolest place you’ve been to in Pittsburgh? Coolest place is hard especially being from here. I’d say top three must-see places are PNC Park during a game, North Shore in general for food and scenery, and the Andy Warhol Museum.

What does AExME mean to you? Your unique form of expression is supported by more people than you know.

Which member of the AExME Council do you resonate with the most? Joseph Touma. His work with Bridge the Divide is inspiring. And with the polarization of societal issues today, we need more young people driving the force of change to bring our nation and the world together.

 

 

Want to learn more about the AEO internship program and other job opportunities around the country? Check out http://aeo.jobs.

 

 

 

Get to Know AExME Council Member Edith Cruz

 

Immigrant Rights Activist

@thatweirdchild__

 

At age 6, AExME Council member Edith Cruz immigrated with her family from Aguascalientes, Mexico to Lexington, KY. Now a 19-year-old student at Bluegrass Community & Technical College, Edith is using her voice to advocate for immigrant rights and education equity for all.

 

How is “equity” different than “equality”? Edith explains that it’s all about getting students what they need as individuals, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all solution.

 

“My parents made so many sacrifices to get us to the United States to have a better future, so that really inspires me every day,”

says Edith.

“I remember the hours my parents spent working from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in order to have even food for us on the table. And just imagining the hard work they put in inspires me to keep going, and to give back to them by working hard.”

A brave and generous writer, photographer, speaker, organizer, and music fan (The 1975, Shawn Mendes, and Mexican band Zoé are some of her faves), Edith’s hard work takes the form of storytelling. Both her feature radio show, Sobre La Mesa, and episodes she contributed to her high school’s podcast, Lighting the Torch, have given refugees and immigrants like herself opportunities to tell their own stories.

 

“I don’t want to be the voice of everyone. I want everyone to be the voice of themselves,”

says Edith, who channels her voice into changing the world.

 

Looking for even more inspiration? Look no further than this excerpt from Edith’s favorite poem, “In Lak’Ech,” by Chicano playwright Luís Valdez:

 

Tú eres mi otro yo.

You are my other me.

 

Si te hago daño a ti,

If I do harm to you,

 

Me hago daño a mi mismo.

I do harm to myself.

 

Si te amo y respeto,

If I love and respect you,

 

Me amo y respeto yo.

I love and respect myself.

 

Meet all the members of the AExME Council here.

 

 

Get to Know AExME Council Member Samuel Getachew

 

Award-Winning Poet

@samuelgd 

 

Poetry should be heard, not just read, and to hear 16-year-old AExME Council member Samuel Getachew perform his poetry is to believe in the power of words. “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible,” says the Oakland, Ca,. resident, who we dare you to try to resist, quoting the artist Toni Cade Bambara.

 

The Ethiopian-American high school student’s poetry about gun violence, the immigrant experience, and racial injustice have garnered over half a million views online and landed his strong, vulnerable words in news outlets including NPR and the New York Times. In addition to co-founding his high school’s student activism club and serving as features editor of his school paper, Samuel is the 2018 Oakland Vice Poet Laureate and the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champion… for 2017 and 2018!

@samuelgd 

You’d think speaking at events with Zendaya (nbd) and members of Congress and the Senate (uh, kinda a big deal) would be life achievements unlocked for Samuel. But he swears his proudest moment came at a recent open mic night when he realized his poetry is inspiring other people to find and use their own voices. A girl who’d never before read her work in public shared that seeing Samuel perform his poetry inspired her to share her writing.

“In that moment I realized I’m not just saying words to open space. When I perform there are people watching and it actually is changing people’s lives.”

 

Samuel looks up to Barack Obama and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, he says, but his biggest role model is none other than the Queen herself, Beyoncé:

“The way that she creates for herself without really worrying about what repercussions are going to come of it or what people think, that inspires me a lot.”

 

Meet all the members of the AExME Council here.

 

 

Get to Know AExME Council Member Saaneah Jamison

 

R&B Artist & Body Positive Activist

@saaneah

 

If you don’t already recognize AExME Council member Saaneah from the summer AExME cast, you’re gonna recognize her soon. The rising R&B artist and body-positive activist is taking over big-time, using music and movement to transform hearts and minds.

 

She’s appeared on American Idol, opened for Ledisi, and created a series of mega-popular classes—called “Curvy Confidence”—that blend dance, fitness, and self-love.

 

“It’s about body gratitude, showing love for the body that you have because no one else has it… That’s how you bloom where you are,”

says the Tennessee State University grad who’s worked in her hometown of Nashville as an educator, including with students with disabilities.

@saaneah

Saaneah lives by the mantra that it’s an “artist’s duty to reflect the times” (words by the great Nina Simone), and her art reflects both the times and her unique take on them: everything Saaneah does it about eliminating self-hate, building self-confidence, and helping people find their voice.

 

“Spend some time alone,”

Saaneah advises anyone looking to find their voice.

“Listen inside of your soul and find the things that you may need to heal. Find the things that get you out of your comfort zone so that you can get to a place where you function in your freedom.”

Meet all the members of the AExME Council here.