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It Was Only a Matter of Time Before Aerie Got Into the Shapewear Game

American Eagle-owned Aerie is taking on Spanx and Skims with a size-inclusive, comfort-first entrant in the shapewear market, which Grand View Research values at $3.8 billion by 2028.

Known for its body-positive branding, the lingerie label’s new Smoothez range offering bras, underwear, leggings, pants, shorts and tops made from mesh, microfiber and a lacy blended textile will be available across more than 130 options, Aerie said. Smoothez debuted with the Bra-Ish—a silhouette featuring floating cups that mold and move with the body for a feeling of custom-fitted support.

The debut supports the company’s #AerieReal campaign, launching Aug. 8, which celebrates “real beauty, real bodies and real voices” which showcases size-inclusive staples on everyday consumers as well as notable personalities. Aerie tapped new and existing brand partners, from actresses Selma Blair, Alexandra Daddario, Danielle Brooks, Charithra Chandran and Saniyya Sidney to gymnast and two-time Olympian Aly Raisman, Paralympian snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, models Bridget Malcolm, Selita Ebanks and Hunter McGrady, musical artist Kelsea Ballerini, and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs to be the faces of the ad campaign launching Aug. 8. Aerie curated inspirational messaging and photos from their social feeds for the campaign, which it will post on its own social channels.

The Smoothez campaign features athletes, actresses and models.
The company is also partnering with adaptable lingerie brand Liberare on an offering of functional and fashionable intimates designed for consumers with disabilities, including the Liberare Bra, the Convertible Plunge Bralette, the Cheeky Tanga and the Everyday Bikini. Those garments will be available Aug. 18.

“We are incredibly excited to introduce a much-needed update to shapewear with Smoothez by Aerie to set women free with first-layer, second-skin intimates,” AEO executive creative director Jennifer Foyle said. “Aerie’s vision for the intimate apparel industry is a community where women accept their truth, love their real selves and wear clothes that make them feel good.”

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The company is noted as one of the first intimates brands to commit to promoting authenticity over the industry’s traditionally aspirational beauty standards. Aerie grabbed headlines when it introduced #AerieReal in 2014, banning photoshop and using models who represented a broadly diverse segment of the population versus industry competitors like Victoria’s Secret. Aerie “continues to present incredible growth prospects for the future and highly desirable product categories,” company CEO Jay Schottenstein said in June, with revenue increasing 8 percent from the previous quarter, and more than doubling since 2019.

“Every day, we are inspired by our customers and associates who remind the world that there is nothing more powerful than living unretouched and being real,” said Foyle, who joined the company eight years ago. In September, she was promoted from Aerie global brand president to her current role, where she oversees creative direction across American Eagle’s product lines.

Smoothez is  available at all Aerie retail stores, as well as on Aerie.com.