Jeans are a staple for back-to-school and American Eagle Outfitters is planning to capitalize on its market-leading position in denim by spotlighting an expanded offering in its fall campaign.
Entitled The New American Jean, the campaign will feature an eclectic cast of Millennials from varied backgrounds including model-vlogger Amanda Steele, bull rider Bonner Bolton, professional basketball player Brandon Ingram, model activists Halima Aden and Iskra Lawrence, and rapper Joey Bada$$.
Through unretouched photographs and video created with Laird + Partners and shot by Cass Bird, the campaign features each cast member in images that reflect their particular style and personality. The campaign will be unveiled on American Eagle’s social media channels on July 6.
The soundtrack for the campaign is “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest and each cast member shows how they kick it in their American Eagle jeans. The denim assortment, which is the company’s largest ever, will offer 15 fits for women and 11 for men and will hit stores on July 8.
Chad Kessler, global brand president for American Eagle Outfitters, said the campaign is an update to the company’s #weallcan campaign that kicked off a year ago. But this iteration is tagged #ican and is intended to offer a “message of empowerment” and show that “young Americans come in all shapes, sizes and colors,” he said.
Bolton said he got involved in the campaign after meeting Laird + Partners’ Trey Laird in Los Angeles during a fashion awards event while he was on “Dancing With the Stars.” They bonded when they realized they are just “two good ol’ Texas boys,” and when Laird was casting the campaign, he immediately thought of Bolton. “It was great,” he said. “They had an old pickup truck and a horse for me to ride. I love beat-up old trucks. I bought my first pickup — a yellow 1957 truck for $700 — with the money I earned riding junior rodeo and drove it around the ranch.”
That authenticity is just what American Eagle was seeking in the campaign, and Kessler is hoping that it will help the retailer to strong sales for the important b-t-s season.
“I feel as confident as ever in the future of American Eagle,” he said. “The world has changed and the way we sell, the number of stores and our web site will evolve. But we still stand behind American youth and jeans.”