American Eagle’s Aerie lingerie brand soars after banning retouching in ads

american eagle aerie photoshop ban lingerie models outfitters sign
In January 2014, clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters promised the world it would stop Photoshopping models in advertising campaigns for its Aerie lingerie brand.

Related: See here for more American Eagle/Aeries products and accessories

In the two years since, the company has stuck to its word and featured models of all shapes and sizes in its marketing material, without a hint of body manipulation to be seen.


While the move was viewed as nothing more than a marketing tactic by skeptics, it appears as though it’s paid off in the most literal of ways, regardless of its true purpose.

Since launching its #AerieReal campaign, the company has seen impressive growth. In 2015, Aerie grew by 20 percent year-over-year, according to Business Insider. Already in the first quarter of 2016 the company has increased its sales by 32 percent, an increase of 20 percent over last year’s first quarter increase of 12 percent.

While it’s impressive and encouraging to look at Aerie’s numbers after its move, it’s important to note this is very much a prime example that correlation does not imply causation. There could be many other factors affecting Aerie’s growth, but the numbers do line up regardless.

This news also comes on the heel of two recent instances where celebrities went out of their way to criticize photographers and publications for unrealistically manipulating their bodies.

Earlier this month actress Rumer Willis called out Vanity Fair photographers Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa for allegedly photoshopping her jaw in a photo. Williams and Hirakawa responded to the allegations claiming the unusual appearance of her jaw was due to a correction applied in post-production due to shooting with a wide-angle lens, but no definitive conclusion was reached by both parties.

In the same week, HBO’s Girls creator Lena Dunham accused Spanish magazine Tentaciones of editing an image of her which appeared on the publication’s cover. This claim was also disputed, when the magazine replied with an open letter saying the image was “approved by the agency, the photographer, and [her] publicist.” In addition to getting approval, the photo was shown to appear in the exact same form three years earlier in a feature on Entertainment Weekly. Dunham later apologized in an Instagram post, although she has since taken it down.

What can be taken from all of this? Not much if you’re looking at it purely for the numbers. But if you step back, it shows there’s an obvious trend of celebrities and companies who are willing to go out of their way to ensure the body image of themselves or fellow models is as realistic as can be – whether it’s altruism or for the bottom line.

Product Review

A year later, Fortnite remains the battle royale to beat

Fortnite’s building mechanic is still its shining feature almost two years later. The constant changes to the map, weapons, and gameplay modes make for a consistently intriguing experience.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

Laugh, cry, or just relax with the best series now streaming on HBO

Whether you prefer the twisted world of True Detective or the lovable techies that have quickly come to define Silicon Valley, you'll love our picks for the best HBO series now available on HBO Now and HBO Go.

Live out your 007 fantasy with this special edition Aston DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin is releasing a limited-edition DBS Superleggera inspired by the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Superleggera's ancestor was 007's car in that movie.

The best Nikon cameras, from DSLRs to superzooms

After reviewing dozens of Nikon cameras, we've rounded up the top models from the mighty D850 to the 125x-zoom P1000. These are the best Nikons you can buy right now.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.

Peak Design’s Travel Tripod is must-have gear for photographers on the go

Peak Design has returned to Kickstarter to launch its latest product, the Travel Tripod. The company's first tripod, it uses a unique design with a triangular center column to minimize the volume it takes up in your bag.

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

What are mirrorless cameras and are they better than DSLR cameras?

What exactly is a mirrorless camera, and what makes them so special? In this article, we break down the specifics of mirrorless cameras, including how they differ from the likes of a DSLR camera, and what kind of pros and cons are.

What is ISO? A camera's sensitivity to light -- and how to use it -- explained

Curious what ISO is and how it affects your photos? Here's everything you need to know about the fundamental camera setting, including how it impacts exposure and how to properly adjust it for certain scenarios.

Olympus launches Tough TG-6 waterproof compact, and we’re not entirely sure why

With a spec sheet nearly identical to that of its predecessor, we're having a hard time figuring out what's new about the Olympus Tough TG-6. A new flash diffuser and fisheye adapter were also announced.

Adobe Premiere Rush now allows Android users to edit video without the laptop

After launching on desktop and iOS, Adobe Premiere Rush, a streamlined video editor, is now available on Android. Premiere Rush is designed for social media projects and non-professional editors.

The Fujifilm GFX100 is a 102-megapixel, stabilized beast of a mirrorless camera

Double-digit megapixels just not enough? The Fujifilm GFX100 boasts the highest resolution yet for a mirrorless camera. But along with those 102 megapixels, the medium format camera offers in-body stabilization, 4K video, and enhanced…