WWD: American Eagle Features Cast of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ in Campaign

By: Lisa Lockwood | Link to article

School may have just ended for many students, but American Eagle is gearing up for the back-to-school season. On Wednesday it will launch its latest seasonal campaign featuring the stars of Amazon Prime Video’s hit show “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” which stars Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno and Lola Tung.

In addition to the campaign, American Eagle will introduce an exclusive collection with the TV show just ahead of the season two launch. The collection will be available on AE.com and in stores starting Wednesday. Consumers can shop The Summer I Turned Pretty collection on Amazon.com/shopthesummeriturnedpretty and directly from season two episodes via Prime Video’s X-Ray feature.

The three castmates will be going live on American Eagle’s TikTok on Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST to show how they will be styling the new AE collection with their favorite #AE Jeans for the season ahead. Consumers can ask questions about the show and the individual actors’ styles.

“American Eagle has been a favorite back-to-school destination for decades,” said Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of American Eagle and Aerie. “This year we are very excited to deliver a collection inspired by the laid-back spirit and carefree vibes of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ and the unmistakable style of the cast.” She also revealed a Prime Video collaboration “that offers a new, unique shopping experience allowing us to connect with our customers’ diverse interests and lifestyles.”

In an interview, Craig Brommers, chief marketing officer of American Eagle, said, “I like to say if you’re Gen X, it was ‘90201,’ if you’re Gen Y it was ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ and quickly ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is becoming Gen Z’s, due to the high school romance.” He said he and his two daughters started watching it last year and it took off with Gen Z, becoming the number-one show last summer on Amazon Prime.

“We’re really excited to work with the cast members on this season. Obviously we have a collaboration, and I think this will definitely be the hottest show of the summer,” Brommers said. He noted that much of Taylor Swift’s music is in the show and in the trailer for season two. “She has been posting about the show on her social media channels as well, which is just turning up the heat for season two,” Brommers said. Season two drops July 14.

According to Brommers, American Eagle has had success partnering with streaming shows before, with probably the biggest success being with Netflix’ show, “Outer Banks.”

“This show, ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty,’ is essentially tailor-made for our brand and tailor-made for our customer base. There’s no bigger adventure in a high school or college student’s life than the summer, it’s the moment that you get out and have these new adventures, and you do it in the brightest, most optimistic time of year. The style for the characters is very much American Eagle — denim shorts, tiny tops, resort shirts, swim trunks,” Brommers said.

Asked how involved the cast was in creating the collection, he said they were very involved. “Talk about great chemistry. These three definitely have great chemistry on screen, and they also have great chemistry off-screen. They’re a fun bunch to be around. They picked their own looks for the shoot,” he said.

The campaign was shot in Southern California over several days, and the creative lead was Keith Keegan. It will run mostly on TikTok, along with Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat over the next four weeks.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty,” is about a girl caught in a love triangle between two brothers as she deals with her first love and first heartbreak during the perfect summer.

The AE + The Summer I Turned Pretty collection is inspired by the summer feels of Cousins Beach, a fictional town in the show. For women, there are floral flare jeans, baby T-shirt, crochet crop top and a mini. For men, there are trekker and cargo shorts, swim trunk, pocket boxer, poolside shirt and graphic tee. Retail prices range from $19.95 to $69.95.

The seasonal mix features cargo, relaxed straight jeans, shirts, polos and T-shirt for men, and midi skirts, baggy wide-leg jeans, denim tube top, lace trim cami and seamless cropped tee for women.

Briney, Casalegno and Tung will also showcase the seasonal assortment on their social channels, along with their must-haves from AE + The Summer I Turned Pretty collection.

He said the cast doesn’t wear the collaboration in the show, but AE’s seasonal products are integrated into the wardrobes on the show.

“Summer fashion plays such a big role in ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ and we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with American Eagle to create a collection inspired by the show,” said Jamie Kampel, head of licensing and merchandising at Amazon Studios. “The brand alignment here is spot on and we know fans of the show love AE.”

Whether this collaboration continues into the future is yet to be seen. “Let’s see what develops,” Brommers said. “If you watch the show, the viewer can actually buy the collaboration on something called X-Ray. The X-Ray feature you can toggle for additional content and you can also shop the AE collaboration as you watch the show.”

It’s the first time AE has had this feature for people to watch the show and actually buy the collaboration.

Asked how he expects the collaboration will perform, Brommers said, “Because it’s a cultural phenomenon for Gen Z we have high expectations. It’s a collaboration drop, it will be limited edition, people will be very excited about it, and we have a lot of high hopes for it.”

He expects graphic T-shirts will be bestsellers. “We’re having a lot of success in the marketplace right now with graphic Ts, and these ones are quite clever with some fun graphics.…I think they’ll be particularly popular for us,” he said.