Aerie looks to role model ambassadors to drive change
Aerie, the lingerie brand owned by American Eagle, recently added eight new role model ambassadors — including actors, scientists and activists — to its current roster in support of its 2020 #AerieREAL campaign designed to help influence change in the world.
The 2014 launch of the “Aerie Real” campaign, featuring the use of regular-looking models without airbrushing, has become a core driver of the brand’s appeal. Many of the chain’s 13 ambassadors embrace body positivity and inclusivity as well as other empowerment messages.
The role models include:
- Molly Burke, a YouTube star who lost her sight as a teenager;
- Manuela Barón, a zero-waste blogger and fashion enthusiast;
- Keiana Cavé, a scientist who has developed patents for carcinogen detecting technology;
- Lana Condor, the Vietnamese–American actress;
- Beanie Feldstein, a plus-sized actress;
- Brenna Huckaby, a paralympic snowboarder champion who lost her leg to cancer as a teenager;
- Jenna Kutcher, the founder of the Goal Digger podcast supporting female entrepreneurism;
- Iskra Lawrence, a plus-size lingerie model;
- Tiff McFierce, a wellness advocate and DJ;
- Hari Nef, the first transgender model to sign with IMG Worldwide;
- Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnast who has become known for her efforts to raise awareness about child sexual abuse;
- Ali Stoker, the first wheelchair user to win a Tony;
- Dre Thomas, founder of Smile On Me, an organization providing inner-city girls with a safe space to receive sex and health education.
“We have open conversations with our customers around who and what inspires them,” said Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, according to Forbes. “The Aerie community is diverse, so it’s important to be representative of the different backgrounds and beliefs of our customers to ensure they feel their voices heard in everything we do.”
This year, Aerie will also run a social media contest to give away $400,000 in grants to 20 women making positive changes in local communities.
Aerie’s role models contrast to Victoria’s Secret’s “Angels,” featuring slender supermodels often seen in hyper-sexualized poses. Nike, The North Face and other active brands have athletes as ambassadors who are often vocal on causes. Brand ambassadors for fashion retailers are less common.
- Aerie Introduces Eight New #AerieREAL Role Models to Inspire You to Make 2020 the Year of Change – Aerie/Business Wire
- Meet The New AerieReal Role Models – WWD
- Aerie Continues To Include Authentic Disability Representation — Ali Stroker Joins #AerieREAL Role Model Family – Forbes
- Aerie Role Models Inspire Others to Make 2020 the Year of Real Change – Cheddar
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Aerie’s role model ambassadors program amplify or confuse its “Aerie Real” campaign message? Have the factors that make a brand ambassador aspirational for fashion and sports brands changed?