Why should today's #teens opt for Aéropostale (remember Aéropostale?) as opposed to one of their umpteen million fast-fashion options? Because their clothes are "safe" and you won't get relentlessly mocked for your fashion choices. Or at least that's what the CEO thinks!
BuzzFeed points to remarks by CEO Julian Geiger, in the company's recent Q3 earnings call. Business hasn't been going so great; sample self-flagellation: "Nobody at Aéropostale believes that the company's level of accomplishment is satisfactory, it is not even close." So they're attempting some sprucing up, which (this being corporate America) presumably involves many State-of-the-Brand memos and Powerpoint presentations and whiteboard brainstorming sessions and surly off-the-record Gchat conversations.
Conclusion: The money's in helping teens conform.
I still believe that while they strive for individuality in many ways, at 14 to 17 years old, they still want to be accepted by their friends and peers and that there is still a uniform that they wear that makes them cool and fitting.
"The teenager today wants to fit in. They want to fit in by wearing things that make them feel safe," Geiger added. "If there's a brand promise to Aéropostale, it's that the teenager could wear our clothes, go to school and not be teased or made fun of the way they look." Hence, they're pumping the breaks on trendy, fast-fashion offerings and focusing on "fundamental basics that are the underpinnings literally of what they wear." (SeekingAlpha transcript h/t Business Insider.)
Is that really true, though? Teens will always have a complex relationship with conformity, but these days, aren't stagey attempts to stand out the most popular way to conform? TEENS, PLEASE ADVISE.
Image via AP.