Aerie, the American Eagle Outfitters–run loungewear line that’s committed to celebrating all bodies through airbrush-free campaigns and an inspiring crew of spokespeople, is growing its family of Role Models. The brand announced that three very, very cool women will be joining model Iskra Lawrence as ambassadors: U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Grown-ish actress and activist Yara Shahidi, and singer Rachel Platten.
Their careers — gymnastics, television, and music — may be different, but Raisman, Shahidi, and Platten are all major game changers in their fields. And across the board, these women have used their platforms to advocate for themselves and others, whether it’s in the form of an empowering anthem or a searing testimony in court. In a statement Aerie explained that it picked this trio, specifically, to appear in its spring 2018 campaign because of “their influential voices, unique stories, and self-made success.”
Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said: “Yara, Aly, Rachel, and Iskra truly embody AerieREAL and what it means to be strong, confident, and happy in your own skin…. Now more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful REAL selves.”
As Role Models, Raisman, Shahidi, and Platten will appear in the brand’s intimates, swim, and apparel campaigns throughout the year. With their combined achievements, the trio fit into the narrative of body positivity Aerie has been promoting for years, through its efforts to introduce more inclusive product, steer clear of Photoshop, and cast a range of women who don’t necessarily fit into the traditional “model” mold to appear in its ads.
You may remember that Raisman’s partnership with Aerie was first revealed back in November at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit. But the news of her being a part of a new class of Role Models also comes with another very special announcement: Raisman, Shahidi, and Platten will be designing some items you can expect to see in Aerie stores this spring.
Beginning in March, exclusive products dreamed up by the Role Models will drop at Aerie, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting a charity of their choice. There’s no word yet on which causes proceeds will head toward, but Shahidi gives us a hunch that these special items will support initiatives we can get behind: “I love supporting causes and movements that help perpetuate this idea of people rising together,” she said.
Aerie’s Role Models really started with Lawrence, and the model is psyched to see more young women see themselves represented in Aerie’s campaigns with the new additions to the crew. “I couldn’t be more excited for the #AerieREAL Role Model community to grow because we need voices,” she said. “We need diversity. I want every girl to feel like she has someone to look up to.”
The campaign and collaboration are just the beginning for these Role Models: You can also expect to see Platten, Raisman, and Shahidi make appearances at Aerie stores across the country this next year as part of a “Real Talk” speaking series, where they’ll discuss topics from body positivity to women’s empowerment, adding even more layers to (and ways to experience) the #AerieREAL movement.
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