After AnF, I decided to take a breather. But the day I resigned a past colleague who had joined AEO, called me to ask if I’d consider moving to NYC. For some reason, I’d always been resistant to New York. I’d spent my college co-ops in London, instead.
I agreed to interview. I spent a few years at AEO, building their Men’s denim & non-denim bottom’s business. My first season there, I grew the denim business 300%. I was able to have a direct impact on the store displays for my categories. I was asked to design the floor set layout and fixtures for Men’s and Women’s Denim, at the new flagship store in Soho. It was so much fun, and my first time to work on an interior design project. And, I fell in love with NYC. Change is good.
This group shows line sheets of a few styles I designed.
We needed a signature back pocket stitch for our denim bottoms. I looked back through the archives of what had been developed for the brand. I found something I loved. I ran with it and tweaked it a bit. That back pocket stitch still exists today and is brand strong.
Roger Markfield who was the CEO of AEO, challenged us all to a contest. He wanted to create an icon for the brand. That day, I partnered with the head of graphics and I directed what I was looking for.
The following season, all of my sales samples had direct embroideries of this new icon (I was the only one). And, that was the beginning of re-branding AEO. We did it before Abercrombie & Fitch….and Mike Jeffries was not happy.