How Aerie Transformed From American Eagle's Underwear Line

In the competitive world of retail, few transformations are as remarkable as Aerie's journey from being American Eagle's underwear line to becoming an iconic brand in its own right. This article delves into the factors that contributed to Aerie's success and explores how the brand has successfully carved out a unique identity and captured the hearts of its target audience.


Embracing Authenticity and Body Positivity


athleisure fashion clothing at an Aerie women's clothing store


Aerie's transformation began with a bold move to embrace authenticity and body positivity. Recognizing the need for change in the fashion industry, Aerie launched its #AerieREAL campaign in 2014. This groundbreaking initiative featured unretouched photos of models, celebrating diverse body types and encouraging self-acceptance. By challenging unrealistic beauty standards, Aerie resonated with consumers who were seeking more inclusive representation and empowered them to feel comfortable in their own skin.


Championing Diversity and Inclusivity


Aerie's commitment to diversity and inclusivity has been a key driver of its success. The brand expanded its range of sizes, offering a wide variety of fits and styles to cater to different body types. Moreover, Aerie launched campaigns featuring models of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, and abilities. By showcasing real people with real stories, Aerie created a sense of belonging and fostered a strong connection with its audience, positioning itself as a brand that celebrates individuality.


Establishing a Positive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy


Aerie's transformation also involved aligning its brand with a positive corporate social responsibility strategy. In 2018, the brand launched the #AerieREAL Role Models campaign, partnering with influential women who embody empowerment, activism, and philanthropy. By supporting charitable causes and promoting social awareness, Aerie demonstrated its commitment to making a positive impact beyond the realm of fashion. This approach resonated with socially conscious consumers, attracting a loyal customer base.


Creating an Inclusive and Inviting Store Experience


An Aerie store in a shopping mall


Aerie's success extends beyond its marketing campaigns. The brand recognized the importance of creating an inclusive and inviting in-store experience. Aerie stores feature diverse mannequins, inclusive signage, and body-positive messaging, fostering an environment where customers feel welcomed and represented. Additionally, the brand introduced a bra fitting program, aiming to ensure every customer finds their perfect fit. By prioritizing customer comfort and satisfaction, Aerie differentiated itself from competitors and built a reputation for exceptional service along with hot deals which enticed users.


Leveraging the Power of Social Media


Aerie recognized the influence of social media in shaping consumer behavior and effectively utilized various platforms to amplify its message. The brand actively engages with its audience on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, showcasing real customers and encouraging them to share their stories using branded hashtags. By leveraging user-generated content, Aerie created a sense of community and authenticity, sparking conversations around body positivity and self-love, and driving brand awareness.


Expanding Product Offerings


Aerie's transformation into an iconic brand involved expanding its product offerings beyond underwear. Recognizing the opportunity to cater to the lifestyle needs of its target audience, Aerie introduced a wide range of apparel, including loungewear, activewear, swimwear, and accessories. By providing a comprehensive selection of comfortable and stylish clothing options, Aerie became a go-to destination for young women seeking fashionable, inclusive, and body-positive attire for various occasions. They made it even sweeter with select holiday deals.


Collaborations and Partnerships


To further enhance its brand image and reach new audiences, Aerie strategically collaborated with influential individuals and organizations. The brand partnered with prominent activists, such as Iskra Lawrence and Aly Raisman, who shared Aerie's values and helped amplify its message of self-acceptance and empowerment. Aerie also joined forces with charitable organizations, such as the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), to raise awareness and support causes aligned with its mission. These collaborations not only brought increased visibility to Aerie but also strengthened its credibility as a socially conscious brand.


Evolving Marketing Strategies


Aerie's marketing strategies have continuously evolved to keep up with changing consumer preferences and trends. The brand has leveraged digital platforms and innovative campaigns to stay relevant and engage with its target audience. Aerie has embraced influencer marketing, partnering with social media personalities who align with its brand values and can authentically promote its products. Additionally, the brand has capitalized on user-generated content, encouraging customers to share their Aerie experiences and stories, which not only strengthens the brand's connection with its audience but also generates valuable social proof.


Rapid International Expansion


As Aerie's popularity and brand recognition grew, the company capitalized on opportunities for international expansion. The brand successfully launched in select global markets, catering to diverse cultures and embracing the body-positive movement on a global scale. Aerie's expansion into international markets not only increased its customer base but also allowed it to spread its empowering message and impact a wider audience.


Continued Innovation and Adaptability


Aerie's transformation into an iconic brand can be attributed to its ability to continually innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics. The brand stays ahead of the curve by listening to its customers, monitoring industry trends, and embracing new technologies. By incorporating sustainable practices, Aerie appeals to environmentally conscious consumers who appreciate the brand's commitment to ethical fashion. Aerie's ability to evolve and meet the evolving needs of its audience has played a pivotal role in its enduring success.




Aerie's journey from American Eagle's underwear line to an iconic brand is a testament to its relentless commitment to authenticity, inclusivity, and innovation. By embracing body positivity, championing diversity, establishing a positive corporate social responsibility strategy, creating inviting store experiences, leveraging social media, providing great discounts, expanding product offerings, collaborating with influential figures, and staying adaptable, Aerie has transformed into a brand that resonates with its target audience. Through its unwavering dedication to empowering women and fostering a sense of community, Aerie has solidified its position as an iconic brand that transcends traditional notions of beauty and promotes self-acceptance on a global scale.

Related Articles

Want to know who is giving the most cashback each day?

Sign up for our daily email to be the first to find out about new cash back offers and coupons.

Please type a valid email address!
Review our privacy policy.