American Eagle is finding a new groove for its latest move toward size inclusivity, teaming up with Lil Wayne for a new jeans collection.
The Pittsburgh-based retailer says it is expanding jean sizing for all styles in stores and online, with women’s now ranging from 00 to 24, and men’s from size 26 to 48. And this fall, it is introducing a selection of different-sized mannequins -- size 4, 8 and 16 in all its stores -- to showcase its size diversity.
Called AE X Young Money, the Lil Wayne collaboration debuts this fall. It’s backed by a campaign that the company says celebrates freedom, inclusion, empowerment and difference. Shot in a school gymnasium using a homecoming theme, the campaign highlights the new collection on a wide variety of kids, all dancing their Gen Z keisters off to a live version of Lil Wayne’s “Uproar.”
Cinematographer Mathieu Plainfossé shot the video for the collection, which aims to blend streetwear, denim and music as it highlights the brand’s commitment to flexible and comfortable denim.
The 25-piece men’s collection features graphics inspired by the singer’s Young Money record label and AE’s Stacked jeans, hoodies and t-shirts, priced up to $100.
The campaign also gives plenty of attention to many more of American Eagle’s jeans, including the newly launched Curvy collection. This one offers a bit more space in the thigh and hip, and promises to eliminate waistband gap. AirFlex uses a special yarn to make the denim soft. And Stacked features a longer inseam meant to show off shoes.
AEO’s commitment to inclusivity has propelled the Aerie division to impressive gains, and overall, American Eagle is doing a brisk business in malls where rivals are struggling to stay open.
Last month, the company posted record results for its fiscal first quarter, with net revenue climbing 8% to a record $886 million, compared to $823 million last year, and same-store results rising 6%.
The company credited its ongoing dominance in the denim business for some of the improvements. And Aerie, a pioneer in the size-inclusivity movement, had its 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit gains, with comparable sales jumping 14%.
While size inclusivity has become part of the brand’s overall commitment to making all bodies feel welcome, it also underscores a powerful opportunity. Coresight Research reports that the plus-size women’s market will generate $30.7 billion in 2019.