American Eagle, a retailer already building a reputation for its dedication to diversity and inclusivity in its campaigns and product lines, formed the AExME Council earlier this year, a cohort consisting entirely of Gen Zers. The group of nine men and women brings in a number of prominent voices in teen activism, including Delaney Tarr, the co-founder of March For Our Lives, mental health activist and founder of the Buddy Project Gabby Frost, and Saaneah Jamison, founder of dance fitness series Curvy Confidence. Each member is paired with an American Eagle “mentor”, and they meet about once a month to brainstorm new product and campaign ideas and messages, as well as discuss social responsibility efforts.
The council has resulted in a number of notable projects so far, including a denim recycling program and a partnership with One Tree Planted during Earth Day in response to the California wildfires. More recently, they partnered with Delivering Good to create a casualwear collection, designed by the council members, to raise money to support homeless and underprivileged youth. American Eagle’s spring campaign, meanwhile, consisted entirely of Gen Zers they recruited through social media, who photographed themselves to show off their unique style with iPhones and film cameras in their own environments for the series. Their goal was to “join forces” with Gen Zers by “amplifying the voices” of their customers, around half of which, according to Business of Fashion are between 7 and 22 years old.
“It’s important for kids in this generation to know not all big companies are the same,” Chad Kessler, global brand president of American Eagle told Bloomberg. “We are turning over a certain amount of control of the brand to this generation.”