“Jen is a strategic brand visionary, with a proven ability to drive consistent profitable growth,” said Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman of the board and chief executive officer of American Eagle Outfitters. “She has led Aerie to incredible success, resulting in the quadrupling of sales and profits over the last five years. She brings passion, innovative thinking and an ability to infuse clear vision across product and marketing to create real connections with customers. In Aerie, we have one of the best brands in retail today and I know Jen’s influence will be instrumental as we continue to drive our momentum and shape the future of American Eagle.”
In addition to her existing responsibilities at Aerie, Foyle will oversee merchandising, marketing and design for the American Eagle brand, reporting directly to Schottenstein. Chad Kessler, American Eagle global brand president, will now report to Foyle.
“I look forward to working with Chad and the team to build on AE’s many strengths and leading product lines to fuel the next chapter of growth,” Foyle said. “We also remain intensely focused on the vast opportunity ahead for Aerie.”
A graduate of Roanoke College in Virginia, Foyle has more than 26 years of experience in the retail industry. Intimates brand Aerie was started in 2006. Under Foyle’s leadership, the AerieReal campaign launched eight years later. Aerie was one of the first innerwear brands to feature so-called “real women” modeling bras and underwear — minus the airbrushing.
Since then, the brand has become the second largest e-commerce intimates brand in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, delivering 21 consecutive quarters of double-digit sales growth. In March, Foyle told WWD that Aerie — then already nearing the $1 billion mark — had its sights set on becoming a $3 billion brand.
Aerie also continues to open new physical stores as many of its peers close brick-and-mortar locations at alarming rates and has prompted a string of copycat brands to adopt Aerie’s marketing strategy.
But Aerie was just the beginning for Foyle. This summer American Eagle Outfitters, which also includes the Todd Synder brand, launched its fourth brand, a single-store retail concept located in East Hampton, N.Y., called Unsubscribed that focuses on slow retail, the opposite of fast fashion. It was also the brainchild of Foyle.
Less than a month later, Aerie launched an activewear sub-brand, Offline by Aerie.
“We have to keep on moving forward,” Foyle told WWD earlier this year. “We have to keep on thinking differently and trying new things.”