This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Andrea Jagaric, the Chief Design Officer of Aerie, Offline and Unsubscribed. This mom of two has over three decades of experience in the fashion industry, including executive positions at American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret.
We spoke to Andrea about her family life, her current roles, her mom uniform, and more.
Can you please share a bit about your family?
My husband Shteff and I have been married for 28 years – he is truly the love of my life. We moved across the ocean to NY together and first lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and then in Grenville, Ohio. We moved out to Greenwich, Connecticut, 10 years ago and just fell in love with the town. We found it has the perfect balance of urban and suburban life – it is close to the city but allows us freedom to enjoy our boat in the summer and explore on the weekends. Our son Isak is 25. After getting his sports management/exercise science degree, he established a personal training business and is also a SoulCycle instructor. Our daughter Lucia is 16 and currently a junior at Greenwich High School. She is a star setter on the school volleyball team.
For anyone who isn’t familiar, how would you describe Aerie, Offline and Unsubscribed?
Aerie is a lifestyle brand offering intimates, apparel, activewear and swimwear. With the #AerieREAL™ movement, Aerie celebrates its community by advocating for body positivity and the empowerment of all women. Aerie believes in inspiring customers to love their real selves, inside and out. We have been retouching-free since 2014 and continue to encourage our customers to Let the Real You Shine®.
Offline is the activewear side of Aerie. It has been so incredible expanding upon this important category and our customer’s response is extremely positive. She loves our leggings!
Unsubscribed is a private label collection that offers consciously-made, slow-fashion. we make clothing and accessories that are better for you and the world. easy and luxurious the assortment offers pieces that are made to be worn forever. Unsubscribed also offers a highly curated collection of third-party labels and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that represent socially conscious and ethically produced practices.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background?
I was born and raised in Croatia. I was always very creative and driven by esthetic and since a very young age knew that I wanted to be a designer. I told my school counselor at age 12 and have been working towards it ever since. At age 13, I won a local design contest and quickly realized that in order to pursue my dreams, I needed to move outside of Croatia and out of Europe. Shteff and I moved to New York so I could attend FIT. While my peers were focusing on luxury or eveningwear, I wanted to create pieces that would make millions of women happy and feel good. I wanted to design things that women needed to use every day – my first love was intimates.
After I finished school, I started working at Victoria’s Secret where I was immersed in the intimates world. During my 8 years there I not only learned everything about bras but I also learned how to work on high volume big ideas and was given the chance to focus on product innovation. I now own 7 bra technology related patents. Following my time with VS, I spent 6 years at Abercrombie conceptualizing and launching their new brand, Gilly Hicks. This opportunity allowed me to build a brand from the ground up and I loved it. I realized my true passion was creating something out of nothing – building a vision and executing it. Around this time, I was introduced to Jen Foyle and together, we turned Aerie into the brand it is today.
How has motherhood impacted your work?
Motherhood teaches me balance. Both are extremely important jobs – being a good mom as well as a good designer and leader for my large Design Team. Family is a priority – we make time to do things together – but my children understand my career and the importance of hard work and persistence. Lucia has had an incredible impact on what I do and how I design. She is my own personal sounding board – she is truly our customer and she sees things differently than I do which allows me to grow as well. Isak loves fashion and he sees it in a more gender fluid way. He enjoys wearing Offline hoodies or unsubscribed cashmere accessories. His point of view makes me realize that every generation is so different and it is incredibly important to stay open minded to remain relevant. I value and welcome my kids’ opinions and feedback.
Do you have any favorite styling tips/go-to looks?
I normally dress based on how I feel in that moment, not necessarily for the occasion. Some of my favorite outfits are shared below!
1.Vintage denim with long sleeve crewneck sweater/ vintage Gucci belt/sneakers
- unsubscribed long sleeve crewneck sweater
- veja sneaker
- Vintage Denim- we carry vintage denim in all our stores
2.Denim on denim/Ruffle Denim Blouse with vintage denim/Vintage Hermes scarf
- unsubscribed denim ruffle blouse
- Vintage Scarf- we carry vintage scarves in our stores
3.Cashmere Quarter Zip with a matching jogger/fur slides
- unsubscribed cashmere quarter zip sweater
- unsubscribed cashmere side stripe jogger
- unsubscribed cozy fur slide
4. Button down shirt dress with cashmere cape/over the knee boots
- I recently got our new recycled swim and paired it with our gauze cover-ups made with BCI Cotton for my trip to St Barts
- unsubscribed gauze shirt dress
- unsubscribed recycled nylon triangle bikini top
- unsubscribed recycled nylon high waisted bikini bottom
- Chiffon floral mini dress/mesh bra and undie set/boots
We love to support local businesses. Can you please share your favorite places in Greenwich, CT to:
Get your hair/nails done:
Go for girl’s night out:
- The Cottage restaurant – local farm to table/with my friends
- Kissaki Sushi – my new fave on the Avenue/with my husband
- Grigg Street Pizza with my daughter Lucia
- Cooking at home – sharing a meal with family and friends
Go for date night:
My husband & I like to be active and go for a walk on the beach or out on our boat
Go Shopping for yourself:
- Vintage/ RealReal
- Designer Boutiques
- Organic food/Farmers Market and Local stores (Mike’s Organic)
Go Shopping for your kids:
This post originally appeared on The Local Moms Network