American Eagle is hatching a new product concept for Spring 2023 after it quietly discontinued a premium experiment earlier this year.
In a earnings call on Wednesday to discuss American Eagle Outfitters’ (AEO) disappointing second quarter with a net loss of $42.5 million, Jen Foyle, president and executive creative director of its American Eagle (AE) and Aerie brands, told analysts that she and her team will launch something new at AEO for spring but remained rather tight-lipped as to what it will be. However, she hinted that it will be bottoms-based and said point blank that it will be casualwear.
“When it comes to our new idea, I can’t tell you, but it’s very exciting. And it will be launched for Spring 2023. And it’s a new concept for us, and I am pretty excited about. We have already had some early reads on some of the product categories. And very well received, very well received,” she said.
“I think the casual trend is here to stay. And certainly, our generation and the generations to come, love casual, comfortable sportswear, which I would like to say we do best. And when it comes to denim, there are definitely some shifts and we are certainly reacting to it. We have been working on the inventory,” she added. “There is a shift for sure into some other bottoms that we are starting to see. And certainly, we are testing all of the silhouettes as we speak again.” AEO “initiated a whole new test and scale” program that will “make us even more smart or smarter, I should say, for the future,” she added.
“The stuff that I see that Jen and the team is working on for the holiday season and to the Spring of ‘23 looks very exciting,” AEO executive chairman and CEO Jay Schottenstein added. “And also introducing new concepts into the brand, not just introducing more denim,” but introducing some additional fresh, new products types would be very exciting, he said.
Foyle stressed that the new items–whatever they may be–will not stray from the comfy casual looks that are part of AEO’s brand ethos. “I have to tell you, casual lifestyle apparel is not going away with our sector. I watch my daughter every day go to school in sweats and a hoodie and it’s here to stay. And I think American Eagle and Aerie does it best as far as comfort casual lifestyle wear, and that’s where we are up to, and that’s what we are focused on in the future,” she said.
“We have new ideas. Every day, we have some really new exciting concepts that we are going to launch,” she added. “We stay focused, we stay in our lane and something I would tell our teams every day is just stay in your lane, stick with our brands and look ahead and make sure that we are innovating and competing on our terms.”
One of the company’s newly birthed concepts is Unsubscribed, a slow-fashion womenswear brand that opened its first store in East Hampton, N.Y. in summer 2020 and now has four additional ones. AEO COO Michael Rempell said on the call that the company is continuing to “incubate” Unsubscribed, which is “doing very nicely.”