Aerie, the lingerie and intimate apparel sub-brand of American Eagle, is enjoying record-high sales as a result of their body positive branding. Back in 2014, the company garnered much attention when they made a vow to stop Photoshopping models through its Aerie Real campaign. Since then, Aerie has enjoyed a 26 percent rise in the fourth quarter, according to a recent press release—more than double the increase Aerie saw for its second quarter sales in 2014. Now, the company is challenging the status quo and promoting curvier models.
Many companies have fallen under fire in recent years for over-airbrushing their models, resulting in a number of “Photoshop fails,” such as impossibly small thighs and even missing body parts. Aerie’s success comes at a time when other retailers struggle to keep sales up and saw a particularly rough holiday season.
Aerie is making headlines for featuring popular “curve” model Barbie Ferreir in a couple of ads in which she states why the company’s stance on body positivity is important to her. “What makes me Aerie Real is that I am unapologetically myself, no matter what anyone’s opinion is,” Ferreira said in the video. “Not being retouched in the images is something that’s very important to me—people knowing that that’s what I look like without anyone’s perception of what my body needs to look like.”
The company also garnered praise for naming Iskra Lawrence the face of its campaign. Lawrence was once fired from a modeling agency for her larger hip size so she took to Instagram to voice her appreciation for this changing climate that Aerie is helping to foster.
“[To] all the people who said I would never make it because I was too fat to model, all that rejection was actually the ammunition to prove them wrong,” Lawrence wrote on Instagram last month. “I’m proud to be me, healthy and happy because I know I’m more than a size or label. Never let anyone tell you you aren’t beautiful. You are beautiful because you are you.”