Female apparel brand Aerie by American Eagle has opened its doors within the AE store in Dubai Mall. The brand creates active wear, intimates apparel, lounge wear, sleep wear, active wear and more designed with a view to make its wearer feel good about themselves, in their own skin, regardless of shape and size.
Aerie’s mission is to empower all people to love their real selves. It started with the launch of the first #AerieREAL campaign in 2014, in which the brand made a bold commitment to stop image retouching. Since then, #AerieREAL has grown into a leading social movement that challenged the fashion industry’s ideas of beauty, empowering women around the world by promoting self-love, body positivity, inclusion, and diversity.
The brand ethos is all about harnessing your power, body positivity and zero retouching when it comes to their brand imagery. Aerie is amplifying its mission and expanding its community by tapping into new influential voices, rooted in positivity with its “Role Model” program. In the UAE, Aerie hand selected influencer, comedienne and skin-fluencer, Ascia, Hadeel Marei and Logina Salah, to be the region’s Role Models for their influential voices, unique stories and self-made success.
AboutHer.com took a moment to chat with Aerie’s inspiring Head of Marketing & Digital, Shazia Hussain about how the brand is using its expansion in the Middle East to spread empowering and uplifting, messages of self-love, wellness and body positivity and how its pushing women to embrace their true selves…
With Aerie having opened its store within the Dubai Mall, please tell us about the brand and what it represents….
We love what we do! Aerie makes intimates, apparel, activewear and swimwear with every single piece designed to make its wearer feel good. Aerie’s mission is to empower all people to love their real selves. It started in 2014, when Aeriemade a bold commitment to stop image retouching. Since then, the brand’s #AerieREAL platform has grown into a one-of-a-kind social movement that challenged the fashion industry’s ideas of beauty, empowering women around the world by promoting self-love, positivity, inclusion, and diversity.
What can you tell us about your chosen Arab role models and what was it about them that you felt resonated with Aerie?
We’re proud to be partnering with Ascia, Hadeel Marei and Logina Salah for our #AerieREALMENA program. We chose each of these incredible women for their influential voices, unique stories and self-made success. Through the work they do and the content they create, they empower others and give people the confidence to embrace their real selves.
Ascia is an unapologetic business owner, influencer, and mother, who uses her platform to not only showcase her unique style, but also bring light to issues facing Middle Eastern women. By challenging gender stereotypes, she breaks down society's expectations, empowering women and encouraging others to do the same. By removing the pressure to be perfect, Ascia strikes a balance that enables her to juggle many roles.
Hadeel Marie is a vibrant comedienne making her way in a male dominated field. She began by creating a space for herself and using her social platform to make witty content. Her strong work ethic and resilience have enabled Hadeel to build and maintain success over a multitude of platforms and countries. She is also an advocate for the plus-size community, giving a voice and visibility to Middle Eastern beauty, regardless of size.
Logina Salah is the skin-positive influencer and vitiligo advocate who is known for being a trailblazer in the industry. She breaks down beauty standards by proudly showing her skin, encouraging others to do the same.
In a world of social media where, to a point, everything is filtered or photoshopped, what is Aerie doing to move away from these unattainable standards of beauty?
We're proud of the work Aerie has done - we were one of the first in the industry to redefine the standard of beauty by eliminating retouching on our images, and started this incredible #AerieREAL movement that gave so many women the confidence they need to embrace and celebrate their REAL self. While there is always work to be done, the filtered and photoshop narrative has certainly made incredible strides over the years and Aerie continues to push for more inclusivity, furthering the brand’s commitment to self-acceptance and well-being.
How is Aerie changing mindsets when it comes to a consumer's mental attitude towards their bodies?
We spend so much of our time on various social platforms and so much of that content can be toxic and negative. This season, Aerie is doing its part to flip the social media algorithm and bring that positive REAL energy Aerie is known for to our communities’ feeds. Our focus is to share positive messages to help create a safe and happy place for content consumption. We're tapping into incredible voices such as Ascia, Hadeel and Logina to help spread this important message and encourage their audience to join the movement!
Who is the Aerie customer? Is Aerie opening any more stores across the Middle East?
The Aerie customer values positivity, inclusion and diversity. They are empowered and committed to uplifting their chosen community. We are! We’re very excited to be opening more Aerie stores across the region. We will keep you posted. Customers can shop the brand online across the region, and we have standalone stores in Dubai, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as representation inside some American Eagle and Debenhams stores.