BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Fears of the coronavirus did not stop Aerie from celebrating the ladies. 

A lot more than three hundred folks — which includes Aerie followers, executives, friends of the manufacturer like author Katherine Schwarzenegger and model Hunter McGrady, and twelve of the thirteen AerieReal position versions — flocked to New York City’s Dumbo neighborhood for the sold-out AerieReal Summit, the intimate brand’s 1st, on Intercontinental Women’s Working day on Sunday. 

But rather of substantial-fives and hugs, attendees exchanged air-kisses and elbow bumps. That is because only a working day earlier, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of unexpected emergency thanks to an improve of verified coronavirus cases in the state. 

Still, attendance was “beyond expectations,” Stacey McCormick, senior vice president of Aerie marketing, instructed WWD. “We did not know with all this media occurring right now with the coronavirus we weren’t confident if folks would demonstrate. But everyone’s listed here and we’re energized.”

The all-working day celebration was held at the upscale 1 Resort Brooklyn Bridge and included panel discussions on points like sustainability, enjoy and results and Schwarzenegger talking about forgiveness in honor of her new e book, also about forgiveness. Attendees sipped on green juice smoothies, potted do-it-you air vegetation and took turns talking to the position versions in the “Real Talk” booth. 

“Now that we’re putting the position versions in front of the local community far more and allowing folks to meet and speak with them, it is a match-changer,” McCormick reported. “It just receives every person far more included. The local community needs to meet the position versions. They want to meet them they want to speak to them they want to hear far more about how they’ve owned their voices, how they can be far more like them.” 

Eight-month expecting Iskra Lawrence, the primary position model, together with DJ Tiff McFierce, kicked off the celebration, followed by a guided meditation from Olympic gymnast and fellow position model Aly Raisman. 

“International Women’s Working day really should be just about every working day,” reported Raisman, who has been with the manufacturer for three several years. “It’s outstanding to see the development with the position versions just about every solitary year. I believe we’re all listed here because we relate to the manufacturer and want to make modifications.” 

Broadway star and position model Ali Stroker been given a standing ovation soon after a shock musical performance, even though entrepreneur and position model Jenna Kutcher gave business ideas for aspiring job ladies. 

“What’s so fascinating about the women that Aerie picked is that we’re all on these distinctive paths,” Kutcher reported. “It’s our job to cheer just about every other on. I believe that ladies contend and women empower.”

Actress and model Hari Neff added that she was apprehensive about partnering with the retailer.   

“I definitely experienced my defenses heading up heading into it,” she spelled out. “It’s because they’re allowing me get away with doing things like this [celebration] that I’m like, ‘OK. This is excellent this works.’ [Aerie is] mainly providing me a system, investing in my voice. They’re not automatically seeking to twist it to just offer things.” 

All of the position versions were there apart from snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, who lately gave start. 

Proceeds from ticket product sales went to aid NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association. 

McCormick reported the manufacturer, which is owned by dad or mum corporation American Eagle Outfitters, options to host far more gatherings, these as the AerieReal Talks that materialize in Aerie outlets and even taking the summit on the street to other towns and university campuses about the nation. 

“If this works out excellent — which we’re really sensation excellent about the vitality and anything so significantly — we’ll look to do far more of this style of celebration,” she reported. 

Aerie was just one of the 1st innerwear brand names to feature so-named “real women” modeling the products — total with all their flaws, like extend marks and cellulite — back in 2014. Since then, the fashion industry has followed accommodate, making range and inclusion the new norm.    

“To know that what we’re doing has shifted the society in a substantially more substantial way — substantially more substantial than marketing, substantially more substantial than retail — which is the reward for us,” McCormick reported. “It’s pretty fascinating and it is pretty demanding, because we have shifted the society and now we need to have to manage it and go on on the route of driving true tales and setting up this self-confidence. So, the weight’s on the shoulders.” 

In reality, the manufacturer proceeds to consider market share in the U.S. women’s intimate attire room — three p.c in 2018, up just one p.c from a year prior to, in accordance to Euromonitor Intercontinental. 

Jennifer Foyle, Aerie international manufacturer president, reported the manufacturer is nearly at its just one-billion-greenback revenues purpose — and then options to intention even increased, for $three billion. 

“It’s not easy to grow a manufacturer right now,” Foyle reported. “It has to have a goal. And I believe with the authenticity that we produce in Aerie, the local community just needs to be aspect of it. And the local community is our purchaser.”