Introducing the 2017-18 Aerie REAL Ambassador Team!

We’re so excited to be working with Aerie this year to spread body positivity on campuses across the country. Throughout the program, our 35 amazing ambassadors will be tasked with the mission of helping girls feel good about their REAL selves; both inside and out. From on-campus events to weekly digital content creation, these girls will be joining the movement and spreading the love on behalf of Aerie. Learn more about what makes these girls #AerieREAL below!

“What makes me #AerieREAL is my motivation to empower women to feel good about themselves no matter what they do or what they look like. A simple compliment or word of encouragement can go a long way.” – Ama Appiah, University of Connecticut [@amaappiah]

“To me being #AerieREAL means being authentic and true to yourself and who you want to be regardless of others. I’d rather be true to myself then pretend to be something or someone that I’m not.” – Ella Vanderbilt-Fried, Ohio State University [@ellahazel328]

“I am #AerieREAL because I embrace my flaws and I am not afraid to be completely (and happily) myself.” – Cassidy Wilshire, Rutgers University [@cassidywiltshire]

“I’m #AerieREAL because I choose to love myself in whatever condition I’m in. I never try to be anything but myself and I’m perfectly happy being just myself.” – Annabelle Schmitt, Pennsylvania State University [@a_nnabae]

“I am #AerieREAL because I love myself and every flaw that comes with that. I really want to use this platform as a way to encourage girls to think more positively about themselves and feel like they are perfect just the way they are!” – Anna Grady Wilson, Clemson University [@annagrady]

“I pride myself in being a feminist that is so down for empowering women. Everyone has a different body type and that should be embraced! I am confident in myself and the power women have.” – Brenna DeSalvo, Boston University [@brennaclairex]

“Sometimes it’s tough to accept your flaws while growing up seeing the idealistic way a woman “should” look everywhere. Being #AerieReal means accepting and loving all my flaws because they truly make me who I am.” – Morgan Baker, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@morgiibaker]

“My journey to find my self-love and getting to the point where I love who I am inside and out with my flaws included is what makes me #AerieREAL.” – Emily Chertow, Pennsylvania State University [@echertow]


“I am #AerieREAL because I make it my mission to promote body positivity in all girls. I am so excited to encourage all types of women on and off campus to accept their “flaws” and flaunt the amazing aspects of who they are as powerful and real individuals!” – Kate McKeaney, University of Pittsburgh [@katemckeaney]

“I am #AerieREAL because I have a fit and healthy body! All bodies are beautiful, so keeping it healthy is what really matters. Strong is beautiful!” – Candice Ho, University of Maryland [@candicaramel]

“I am #AerieREAL because I am excited when girls know and embrace their self-worth! :)” – Alexandra Valanzola, University of Connecticut [@lexivalanzola]

“I think what makes me #AerieREAL is my ability to see through my biggest flaws and handle them with confidence. Especially in our social media-influenced society, I believe in taking every notion to be as real as possible, and attempt to portray myself in this manner at all times.” – Mara Nasui, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@maranasui]

“I am empowered and confident in the skin I have. I know I am beautiful and capable regardless of whatever flaws I have.” – Emily Wells, North Carolina State University [@docia_and_mimosas]

“I’m #AerieREAL because I’ve learned to put myself first. I disregard the images magazines put on their pages because the girls in those photos are not the definition of perfect. Beauty is only skin deep and I have so much to offer to the world!” – Tinah Ogalo, Clemson University [@tinah.ogalo]

“I am #AerieREAL because although I am not perfect, I know that everything about me, good and bad, adds up to something great. My worth is held not in how others view me, but how well I view myself, because those flaws and imperfections make something beautiful and worth getting to know!” – Nikki Paige, North Carolina State University [@nikkipaige1396]

“I am #AerieREAL because I truly believe that every women is beautiful, full of strength, and uniquely inspirational and I wish that every woman could see that in themselves. No matter your size, skin color, sexuality, religion, etc., every woman deserves to feel like a goddess in all aspects of their lives. ” – Meghan O’Neil, University of Connecticut [@moneilll]

“I think what makes me #AerieREAL is my confidence in myself and my dreams. I always try to focus on what I want to do with my life and how to get there rather than allowing others to persuade me otherwise.” – Carson Abernathy, Boston University [@carsonab]

“I have struggled with self-acceptance for a long time. Day-by-day I am becoming stronger and happier, and learning to love myself despite my faults. I am not perfect; I am real.” – Danielle LaPerche, North Carolina State University [@daniellelaperche]

“I’m #AerieREAL because no one else is like me, and that should be celebrated.” – Olivia Dubro, Clemson University [@dubroskiii]

“I’m #AerieREAL because it brings me so much joy to help other girls to be able to love their body the way I love mine.” – Rachael Balent, University of Pittsburgh [@rachaelbalent]

“What makes me #AerieREAL is my ability to not only recognize my imperfections, but more importantly to embrace them.” – Emily Godfrey, Pennsylvania State University [@emmilygodfrey]

“Now that I am in my twenties, what I once thought of as flaws, I now view as attributes that marks me as an individual and this is why I believe I am #AerieREAL.” – Katie Mueller, Ohio State University [@katie_mueller5]

“I am #AerieREAL because I love the body that I have. I throw the haters aside, dress how I want and flaunt the body my momma gave me.” – Michelle Pelowski, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@itsyogurl_ilymily]

“I believe that everyone is beautiful on the outside. What really matters is the beauty on the inside and if you are honest.” – Marissa Paolella, Clemson University [@marissa_paolella]

“What makes me #AerieREAL is the level of comfort I have with myself. I have learned to love my body and my personality, despite the many flaws that come with them.” – Megan Rust, University of Maryland [@megan_rust]

Follow along with the girls by searching #AerieAmbassador on Instagram and Twitter, and join the mission yourself by using #AerieREAL!

New York, the (Big) Apple of My Eye – by Ellie Williams

brand reps pose with Jessica Simpson in New York City

Without a doubt in my mind, my trip to New York City as a Jessica Simpson Campus Manager was the coolest experience I’ve ever had. Upon arriving in the concrete jungle, my co-manager and I met up with the other campus reps in the luxurious lobby of our hotel. When it was time to leave for Jessica Simpson’s exclusive 10th Anniversary Collection launch party, I raced into the first cab in sight. Together, all twenty of us marched into the party at the elegant Tavern on the Green, under a canopy of lights like stars in the brightest city in America.

Jessica Simpson and brand rep taking selfieWhile we were certainly some of the youngest attendees there, it was surprisingly easy to talk to people! I met so many genuine and down-to-earth ladies and gentlemen, and exchanged phone numbers with the current Jessica Simpson intern. I danced to the band playing “Don’t Stop Believing” and received fashion tips from one of Jessica’s close friends. But the highlight of the night was when Jessica took the time for a photo-op and to socialize with all of the Campus Managers. By the end of the party, no one wanted to leave. What we didn’t know at the time was that the next day would be just as eventful!

The following day we had lunch with the Jessica Simpson brand team from Sequential Brands Group, where we had the opportunity to pick the brains of successful individuals in the fashion, marketing, and PR industries. After lunch, the Director of PR for Jessica Simpson gave us a tour of the company’s showrooms. My co-manager and I were attached to her hip the entire time, and learned as much as we could.

The showrooms were beautiful; white, sleek, and clean, just as you’d imagine. We visited the apparel room first, which featured samples of all potential future lines. Across the hall, a sales rep was in a buying meeting, showing off the new children’s clothing. Interestingly, I found out that any apparel that doesn’t make it to the selling floor is sent to a fashion vault, where it is used for future inspiration or later seasons. No wasted creativity here! I also learned that by the time the product makes it to the stores, it’s fairly old news to the design team. They work months in advance to prepare the products that we can buy.

Jessica Simpson fashion displayAfter visiting the apparel showroom, we made our way a few blocks down to the accessory showroom where we walked into a handbag design meeting that Tina Simpson was leading. Women I met the night before at the party were gathered around a table bouncing around ideas on how to improve a certain piece. I didn’t realize the extent of planning and detail that goes into every item before it hits the shelves!

After that meeting, we made our way to our final stop, the jewelry room. Let me just say, I am SO excited for the future Jessica Simpson jewelry line to come out! At the end of the tour, the Jessica Simpson team thoughtfully gifted all of the Campus Managers a purse and a necklace from the upcoming collection. I was sad to part ways at the end of the week, but it was such an incredible and unforgettable couple of days.

If I were to write about all the fun things we did on our trip, it would be a 100 page novel. It was truly an incredible experience. I learned so much in such a short amount of time! This experience has inspired me to work in the PR/Marketing industry, move to New York, and embrace any opportunity I can. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to represent Jessica Simpson as a Campus Manager for Youth Marketing Connection.

Jessica Simpson's campus brand manager

Gift This, Not That – 2014 Edition

By now you’ve survived Thanksgiving doorbusters, Black Friday crowds, Small Business Saturday strolls, Cyber Monday distractions, and are putting your focus towards holiday gifting. The only thing more stressful than those four crazy “shopping holidays” is trying to figure out what the young 20-somethings in your life really want. But don’t panic just yet, because YMC has you covered.

 

Step into the mind of a millennial this holiday season and avoid any gifting pitfalls. The YMC team surveyed over 250 college students to find out their gift-related wants, needs, and preferences this holiday season. Here’s what we found out: As it turns out, millennials aren’t too different than past generations. They have their own fashion identity that closely aligns with their lifestyle and individual personality. They like having the freedom to choose, with 36% of respondents saying cash is their most needed gift. Millennials are also practical when it comes to selecting gifts for one another, preferring to shop at retailers that offer variety like Urban Outfitters and Amazon, and recommending gifts that are universally appreciated, like makeup.

 

Hopefully our findings will save you some time this holiday season, and put a smile on the face of your favorite gift-worthy millennial. Happy holidays!

 millennial holiday gift guide infographic