Teen Vogue: American Eagle Is Going Back to School With Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler

By: Aiyana Ishmael | Link to article

Back-to-school season is around the corner, and everyone needs a good pair of blue jeans. Now, American Eagle and the Ziegler sisters, Maddie and Kenzie, have you covered. Today, July 27, AE launched a new campaign focused on its staple pair of jeans. The brand hopes this collection will connect authentically with Gen Z. That’s where Maddie and Kenzie come in. The pair are debuting an exclusive product collaboration designed by the dynamic dancing, acting, and singing duo.

“AE jeans are the #1 brand for women of all ages and men in our core demographic — and we are excited to unleash our denim domination for back-to-school,” Jennifer Foyle, President and Executive Creative Director of AE and Aerie said in a press release. “The socially-connected Ziegler sisters and their personal approach to styling represent a genuine connection to our customer community, providing the inspiration to incorporate AE jeans into any outfit, for any occasion.”

The collection was inspired by ’90s fashion, which is perfect for our ongoing nostalgia renaissance. From jean vests to comfortable blue jeans, there’s something for everyone as they figure out their back-to-school wardrobe. Below, we chatted with the Ziegler sisters about the collaboration, Canadian tuxedos, and how to plan the perfect first-day-of-school outfit.

Teen Vogue: How did your collaboration with American Eagle come to be?

Kenzie Ziegler: I feel like the way we started this collection, we kind of based it off of one single piece, which was the vest, and we kind of wanted to go for that model-off-duty kind of vibe. New York, Brooklyn kind of feel. And everything is super versatile. You can see in the photos that we kind of dressed it differently.  We seriously love every single piece, and it was so awesome collaborating with American Eagle. We got to pick everything down to even the buttons, which was really cool.

TV: What is it like getting to work together on this collection as sisters?

Maddie Ziegler: I think for us, we don’t really have the opportunity to work together too much anymore. We used to go from literally working together every single day to not, so any chance we get to work together is so special. And especially something like this was so fun because we really bond over inspiration and clothing, and we really have, which is a blessing because it would not have been a fun process making a collection with two completely different opinions, but we really share the same love with everything that we wear. So it was honestly such a breeze. It was so easy and so fun, and just fun to be inspired together and share ideas. And we had a great time.

TV: How would you describe your personal style? Or, I know finding your personal style is hard, so maybe what has your journey looked like?

KZ: I feel like I have finally found my style. I mean, I always go for basically baggy jeans or cargo pants and just a tiny top. I definitely choose comfort more often than cute unless I’m going out and doing something. I feel like I used to kind of experiment in different ways, but I feel like now I’ve found my style, and I have a go-to outfit that I always wear.

MZ: I’m very, very, very similar. I think Kenzie and I, especially now, unless we’re really trying to, like if we’re really going out, then we’ll put a lot more effort into our clothing, but we just wear what makes us feel comfortable but also what makes us confident. So even if it’s not necessarily the most elaborate outfit, it’s what makes us feel cute. So I think just a good silhouette is what we really look for, like a baggy jean or pants and a baby tee or some sort of cropped tee or a tank top. And then just a really cute sneaker, I think, is what we gravitate towards because it’s comfortable. It’s cute. It’s easy. And I think that’s kind of what we’ve honed in on a really nice way.

TV: And I know you guys mentioned the jean vest was the start of it all. So, outside of the vest, or maybe it is the vest, but for you, is there a specific piece from the collection you think shoppers are going to want to immediately get their hands on?

KZ: I feel like there are so many pieces from the collection, but I feel like one of our staples is our leather jacket. I feel like it’s super versatile, just like everything in this collection. You can really wear it anywhere. But Maddie and I love wearing leather jackets at all times, even when it’s hot out. So I feel like that could definitely be one of them just because it is so versatile, and I feel like you can never go wrong with a simple black leather jacket.

MZ: I think also the jeans, just because you can wear them every single day. I literally wear them every single day.

TV: If you were to go back to school this upcoming fall, thinking of this collection specifically, what would be your first-day fit?

MZ: Call me crazy, but I honestly love — and this was inspired by Jennifer Aniston in the nineties — our black slip dress with just a baby white tee underneath and a scrunched-up sock, and either a Doc Marten or a sneaker. I think would be so cute for the first day. And then, from literally starting day two, it would be just a jean and a t-shirt every day. But I would say the first day, I would try and commit to wearing that outfit because I think it’s so cute. It’s still casual, but it definitely is a way of being like, “Okay, I’m committing to this style today, and I really love it.”

KZ: I think I would definitely either go for our pair of jeans or our cargo pants. I’m super into cargo pants, so I feel like that would be my go-to. And I think our kind of longer sleeve white tea I think would be super cute. And even a white t-shirt with even the vest over it, I feel like you can totally dress that down. And the way you accessorize it, I feel like could definitely make it more casual.

TV: I think just when it comes to style, especially when you’re younger, it’s so difficult to figure out what you want to wear, especially with so many trends. But for you guys, what would be your advice to young people going to school in a couple of weeks and they’re scared to try new things with their clothes? What would be your advice to them?

MZ: I would say one, I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to care what people think. And if you really want to wear something, then you should wear it. If it makes you feel confident, then you should experiment and try it. And if you realize you don’t like it, then that’s totally okay. But I think as we’re getting older and growing up, and trends are going to come and go, I think it’s really good to experiment now. And I think also just have fun. And if you want to be comfortable, then just be comfortable. But if you want to wear a dress or a skirt, you should do that as well.

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