WWD: Aerie Debuts Anti-Shapewear Shapewear Collection

By: Kellie Ell | Link to article

The expanded assortment arrives just weeks before Aerie’s annual Real campaign.

Aerie is getting into the shapewear market — although there’s a twist. 

The innerwear and swimwear brand, which is owned by American Eagle Outfitters, is launching Smoothez by Aerie, an “anti-shapewear” shapewear collection, today. The expanded assortment arrives just weeks before Aerie launches its fall campaign, on Aug. 8, which will also add a few new ambassadors to the Aerie Real lineup, such as Selma Blair, Alexandra Daddario and Danielle Brooks. 

Actress Alexandra Daddario joins the list of Aerie brand ambassadors and stars in the brand’s fall 2022 campaign. 

“This product does not shape or change you,” Andrea Jagaric, chief design officer for the Aerie, Offline and Unsubscribed brands, told WWD exclusively. “Traditional shapewear has made women feel that they need to change their bodies to feel comfortable and confident. We wanted to change this perception. Women shouldn’t feel like they have to squeeze into any sort of mold to feel beautiful. We believe that everyone is perfect the way they are.”

Jagaric added that the new collection — which includes bras, tops, underwear, shorts and leggings across 18 styles and multiple colorways that can be mixed and matched — “has been designed to embrace you in an easy, comfy body-hugging kind of way. It’s colorful, smoothing, soothing and simple. [It] just makes you feel your best. This is anti-shapewear done through the Aerie lens. Gone are the days that women feel the need to squeeze into tight, body constricting shapewear.”

Smoothez by Aerie also includes the launch of “Bra-ish,” a new “hybrid” bra that “features floating cups that “mold and move as your boobs change,” according to Jagaric.

The collection launches as the world continues to reopen and in-person events once again gain traction, increasing the opportunity for more shapewear options. Many competitors have gotten into the act as a result. But Aerie’s version stretches the limits.

“We are incredibly excited to introduce a much-needed update to shapewear with Smoothez by Aerie to set women free with first-layer, second-skin intimates that don’t shrink, squeeze or hold you back,” said Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of the AE and Aerie brands. “Aerie makes products that support the real mission and we believe no one should ever hide or contain who they are.”

“Aerie’s vision for the intimate apparel industry is a community where women accept their truth, love and real selves and wear clothes that make them feel good,” Foyle continued. “Every day we are inspired by our customers and associates who remind the world that there is nothing more powerful than being real.” 

Selma Blair is now an Aerie brand ambassador.

It’s only fitting then that Smoothez is making its debut just in time for Aerie’s annual Real campaign. This year’s version — dubbed the “We Are Real” campaign — features the brand’s signature assortment of unedited product shots on a diverse group of women.

But this year’s ambassador lineup also includes actors Alexandra Daddario, Charithra Chandran, Danielle Brooks, Saniyya Sidney and Selma Blair, as well as models Bridget Malcolm, Hunter McGrady, Lauren Scruggs and Selita Ebanks. Some existing brand ambassadors will also return, such as Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman; Paralympic snowboarder Brenna Huckaby; and singer, songwriter Kelsea Ballerini. 

Danielle Brooks is now an Aerie brand ambassador. 

“The We Are Real campaign is a tribute to all of those that have put in the work [to be authentic],” said Stacey McCormick, senior vice president of Aerie brand marketing. “While social media can sometimes be a negative place, we also love to see the inspiration that so many continue to share. We’re inspired every day by the unfiltered images and unscripted stories that people share on social media. So we chose to use our platform to create a campaign that celebrates some of the authentic voices of those that have bravely shared their ‘real’ with the world.  

“We look for [brand ambassadors] who are unapologetically their real selves inside and out; those who show up in unique ways, sharing their vulnerabilities to create the change they want to see in the world,” she continued. “They all have different passions and inspire, support and empower their communities. Embracing the Aerie lifestyle, they were chosen for continuously sharing their unique real stories and commitment to living in an inclusive, empowering world.” 

The Smoothez by Aerie collection is available in 51 sizes, from 2XS to 2XL, or 32A to 40DD cup sizes. Prices range from $13 to $50 each and can be purchased online or in Aerie stores.  

“Many other brands have followed suit of being ‘authentic’ and ‘real,’” McCormick said. “And while we are flattered, the difference at Aerie is that we always show up for our customers — not purely for marketing purposes — but because we believe that our customers want to see themselves reflected in our brand. While unachievable standards of beauty still exist today, we’ve continued to listen and support our customers on their journey’s of accepting their truth and loving their real selves.”