Aéropostale and other American clothing giants are struggling as teenagers are rapidly changing their perception about fashion and what they want to wear. For one, teens don’t want to wear clothing with logos any more. They want to stand out and wear clothes with more personality — a far cry from the youngsters of years ago who wanted to blend in and conform. The rising culture of individuality is pushing teenagers to flock to trendier stores such as Forever 21, H&M and Zara.
In May, Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed more than 150 stores. The brand’s attempt in 2014 to offer 14 to 17-year-old girls clothes with a flirty tomboy persona proved ineffective. Another attempt to copy fast-fashion companies like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara also backfired. Loyal shoppers shunned Aéropostale because the clothes looked so different from what they were used to. They felt these reinventions made Aéropostale lose its identity and design aesthetic.
Other failing American clothing giants have somehow revived themselves in the midst of the changing teen market. American Eagle, for instance, has recast its popular denim jeans. A&F is adding more sophistication to its apparel to capture older customers’ interest.